By Ken Albala
monitoring those end result and seeds via cultivation, harvesting, processing, and consumption—or non-consumption, when it comes to people with nut allergies—award-winning nutrition author Ken Albala presents a desirable account on how they've been cooked, ready, and exploited. He unearths the social and cultural that means of nuts in the course of numerous classes in historical past, whereas additionally immersing us of their sleek makes use of. Packing delicious recipes, magnificent evidence, and interesting nuggets inside of its hardcover shell, this exciting and informative booklet will pride enthusiasts of almonds, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and more.
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Extra resources for Nuts: A Global History
Surprisingly, the cookbook survives in four versions, one in Low German, two in Danish and one in Icelandic. Whoever translated these almost certainly intended the recipes to be used, even if only by the wealthy, which is at least indirect evidence that almonds had reached the far corners of Western Europe and beyond by the twelfth or thirteenth century. Among the first recipes is one for almond oil. The word ‘meat’ in the recipe below in Danish, as in medieval English, merely means all foods rather than flesh.
Normally the meaning of an individual ingredient or recipe will change over time. What is rare and exotic in one period seems humdrum in another; what is expensive and a mark of distinction in one place is considered unpalatable elsewhere. What is used to promote health at one time is later taboo. Nuts defy these radical shifts in meaning over time and place. In fact, I think they may be one of the few foods whose social and cultural meanings have remained pretty much stable over time and in many different cultures.
Even an imitation thick sour milk, or curd, is made by combining almond milk with vinegar and cooking this. For the full efflorescence of almond cookery, we must move to the latter fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, precisely in the time of a demographic slump following the bubonic plague, when almonds, spices and exotic luxuries began to come into more widespread use among the general populace. This was because there were fewer people, and there was more expendable income among those aspiring to eat like their social superiors.