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spice and spoilage

You know that myth about the Middle Ages using lots of spice to covered up the taste of bad meat? It doesn't work. At least, I don't think it does. I just cooked some ground lamb that was starting to smell off, despite being thawed and open for only 2-3 days, in some really excellent store-bought pasta sauce (Rao's). End result: still smells and tastes bad. Adding some chipotle hot sauce didn't help much. I ended up throwing most of it out; hopefully the few bites I did swallow won't come to much -- or if they do, do so quickly, before my flight...

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
heron61
Dec. 2nd, 2014 06:31 am (UTC)
The Taste of Conquest has a long section about Venice and the medieval spice trade, and one of the conclusions is that the amount of spices weren't all that large, but they were considerably larger than most later Western European food, since the general style of cuisine and attitudes toward taste and use of spices are far more like Middle Eastern & North African food than modern French, British, or German cuisine.
mindstalk
Dec. 2nd, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
Interesting!

I forget where, but recently saw something about older Italian food being more conventionally Mediterranean or Middle Eastern.

Chilean food is pretty bland these days, but I learned eventually that this is a relatively recent thing, like late 1800s, deliberating aping European food; older had been spicier.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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