Tag Archives: Spices

Early Modern English Brewing with Elliot Samuel-Lamm

For December, I have a discussion with one of my recent graduates.  At Marlboro, every students does fairly extensive research and prepares a collection of materials in a senior portfolio referred to as a “Plan.”  Elliot Samuel-Lamb did his work on brewing and beer and together we researched the character, flavor, and brewing practices of England in the Early Modern period (we looked some at the late medieval period, also, but focused on the 17th-19th centuries.) In the podcast, we talk about some of our findings that the English continued to like beer sweet long after continental brewers (particularly in Germany and the Netherlands) had introduced hops and begun to switch to a more bitter beverage.  English brewers all the way to the 19th century continue to sometimes caution against the inclusion of too much hops specifically so as to not overly bitter their brew.  Elliot continues to brew beer and be interested in all things brewing, making beer from locally grown ingredients and reading about beer’s quirky history. Continue reading Early Modern English Brewing with Elliot Samuel-Lamm

Spices in Medieval Cuisine

This is the very first podcast from the History Cafe.  If you google spices in medieval cuisine, you will find fairly prevalently the myth that spices appeared so often and so heavily in medieval food because they covered up the taste of rancid meat (sometimes you get a more subtle version stating that spices help preserve food and prevent rancidness to begin with, which is at least somewhat true.)  At any rate, more and more work demonstrates quite convincingly that this explanation simply does not do justice to what we know about medieval cuisine and their love of spices.  A lot of work, in particular, has been done by my own dissertation advisor, Paul Freedman, so I dedicate this inaugural podcast to him.  You can also see some of his excellent lectures online through the Yale Courses feed. Continue reading Spices in Medieval Cuisine