Containers for Spices and Such

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tenngun

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There were a LOT more seasonings than most people realize, and while some were expensive, a great many were affordable.

Cayenne pepper are the seeds from a South American plant. "Long Pepper" was introduced to Europe by Romans, and was being cultivated in the Caribbean in the 18th century.




NO not really "rare". Some were costly, heck check the price per ounce on spice bottles today..., BUT some did not require much for the flavor to be there... Nutmeg was all over the place, for example. Below are some excerpts from recipes..., not quite as wide a variety as we have today, but not nearly as scarce as some folks taught us years ago. OH and some stuff that we don't use today such as ambergrease and cubebs...,

…, put inside mustard seed bruised, a clove of garlic, some slices of ginger, some horse radish…, whole pepper, cloves, mace, …,

…, one ounce of nutmegs grated, half an ounce of cloves, as much mace, a large spoonful of salt, …,

…, take of sage, rosemary, borage, …, balm, bay-leaves, …, cinnamon…, nutmegs, cardamums, mace, cubebs …, musk and saffron…, ambergrease,

The Compleat Housewife or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion 1729


…, put to it one ounce of nutmegs grated, half an ounce of cloves, as much mace, …

…, shred some thyme and parsley in it…, with a little grated nutmeg;…,

…, two handfuls of salt, and a bunch of sweet herbs [savory, thyme, bayleaf, basil, mint, rosemary] and lemon-peel…, some cloves, mace, sliced ginger, whole pepper, and salt,…

The Compleat Housewife 1750


… to every gallon of pickle put one nutmeg…, a quarter ounce of cloves, a quarter ounce of mace, a quarter ounce of whole pepper, and a large race of ginger sliced;….

The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy 1774


…, season it with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, and a little ginger, ….

…, to every quart of pickle put one ounce of long pepper, one ounce of sliced ginger, a few corns of Jamaica pepper, a little mace…,

… a sprig or two of winter savory, a little lemon peel, one anchovy, a little cayan pepper, half a nutmeg grated, …

The Experienced English Housekeeper 1786



…, make a seasoning with beaten mace, pepper, salt, nutmeg, sweet herbs [savory, thyme, bayleaf, basil, mint, rosemary] parsley, …,

…, cut some garlic very fine, scrape a great deal of horse-radish, …, bruised mustard seed, a few bruised cloves, and some ginger…, throw in some cloves, mace, broken cinnamon, and a small quantity of cochineal…,

Mrs. Mason’s Cookery, or the LADIES’ ASSISTANT 1787

One of the great myths about spices is "They wanted pepper and other spices to cover the flavors of tainted meat"..., UM OK there is ZERO documentation of that probably because..., the folks that could at first afford to buy spices, say in Tudor times, could afford fresh meat....,

IMHO if you want a basic "spice pallet" that a Colonial would've had regular access from the beginning of the 1700's on...and folks in American after independence

Bay leaf
Cayenne Pepper (aka red pepper) and other "chili peppers"
Cinnamon
Cloves
Ginger
Garlic
Horse radish
Mace
Mustard
Nutmeg
Rosemary
Salt
Thyme

LD
That’s why I said rare, or costly is another word.
But note on your list long pepper, garlic, horseradish, mustard, rosemary and thyme were all herbs that could be grown locally as opposed to imported spice.
there is a local store that sells a lot of imported cheese, and I buy some on occasion, mostly eat cheddar, Parmesan and Swiss bought at Walmart. Avalible vs rare.
 

tenngun

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"rare" means "hard to find" ..., well ok it also means properly cooked beef or venison..., while "costly" means expensive..., so the stuff was there but who could buy it is another question.

LD
Hmmmm
The reason it’s costly is that it’s hard to find, rock crystal vs diamonds
Most is seeds or bark or flowers of come plant in small amounts. Unlike coffee or tea that could be grown for bulk shipment spices were low yield and often labor intensive to harvest. Then even big east indianman were tiny and full of bulky stuff so spices were a small part of the cargo. Already expensive at the production point even more expensive by the time it got to the sellers store
Southwest Missouri where I live one can get live east coat lobster, but only in a handful of stores it is costly and it’s rare in that it has to be shopped for to find.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Hmmmm
The reason it’s costly is that it’s hard to find, rock crystal vs diamonds
Most is seeds or bark or flowers of come plant in small amounts. Unlike coffee or tea that could be grown for bulk shipment spices were low yield and often labor intensive to harvest. Then even big east indianman were tiny and full of bulky stuff so spices were a small part of the cargo. Already expensive at the production point even more expensive by the time it got to the sellers store
Southwest Missouri where I live one can get live east coat lobster, but only in a handful of stores it is costly and it’s rare in that it has to be shopped for to find.
Not necessarily.
The fact that they are present in cook books, and are listed in ads, shows they were available... the opposite of "rare" in this case... YES some spices were rare but simply because something is a spice does not mean it was hard to find in the colonies.. A huge part of my list were cultivated in the colonies...,


I can find several hundred tons of beef, right now. There are no less than four beef farmers within walking distance of my home. Not hard to find ;)
BUT I cant' afford to buy the stuff, except for the lowest priced..., but I can't buy as much of that as I did two years ago due to pricing. The beef isn't in short supply..., the cost of all the other stuff they need to live is causing the beef producers to raise prices to pay for that...

LD
 

tenngun

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Not necessarily.
The fact that they are present in cook books, and are listed in ads, shows they were available... the opposite of "rare" in this case... YES some spices were rare but simply because something is a spice does not mean it was hard to find in the colonies.. A huge part of my list were cultivated in the colonies...,


I can find several hundred tons of beef, right now. There are no less than four beef farmers within walking distance of my home. Not hard to find ;)
BUT I cant' afford to buy the stuff, except for the lowest priced..., but I can't buy as much of that as I did two years ago due to pricing. The beef isn't in short supply..., the cost of all the other stuff they need to live is causing the beef producers to raise prices to pay for that...

LD
With the exception of long pepper I don’t think any spice was grown in the colonies, maybe ginger(?). Nutmeg, mace,allspice was grown in the Caribbean and hence cheaper, I don’t know if it would grow in the Carolina’s or Georgia(?)
Most of your list were herbs, or salt that was imported but also found locally.
But I didn’t want to imply that spices were non existent, there is not much on your shelves today that wasn’t in Augustus’ kitchen spices.
However
Look at medieval cook books. Saffron is in about every dish. It takes about an acre of flower to produce an ounce of saffron. You can’t hardly look at a Spanish recipe today with out saffron in it. I substitute with a pinch if turmeric even today and use saffron just a few times a year
So in medieval times saffron was rare( hard to get) costly( worth twice its weight in gold) and widely seen in recipes. Though Sir Lion of Beof probably only tasted it a few times a year
Fry a steak in lard, remove from pan, add vinegar to pan salt and pepper if you have it, ground up hard tack biscuit to a flour like point added to your lard,beef drippings vinegar mix in your pan, bring to boil, put steak back in, serve you got you a high dollar WTBS dinner. That is in fact a official army recipe
People like flavor and regional cooking enhances that. From Yorkshire pudding to liver wurst to French hunters stew one could get rich flavors by combining foods and cooking style, spices were mostly saved for special occasions
 

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There were a LOT more seasonings than most people realize, and while some were expensive, a great many were affordable.

Cayenne pepper are the seeds from a South American plant. "Long Pepper" was introduced to Europe by Romans, and was being cultivated in the Caribbean in the 18th century.




NO not really "rare". Some were costly, heck check the price per ounce on spice bottles today..., BUT some did not require much for the flavor to be there... Nutmeg was all over the place, for example. Below are some excerpts from recipes..., not quite as wide a variety as we have today, but not nearly as scarce as some folks taught us years ago. OH and some stuff that we don't use today such as ambergrease and cubebs...,

…, put inside mustard seed bruised, a clove of garlic, some slices of ginger, some horse radish…, whole pepper, cloves, mace, …,

…, one ounce of nutmegs grated, half an ounce of cloves, as much mace, a large spoonful of salt, …,

…, take of sage, rosemary, borage, …, balm, bay-leaves, …, cinnamon…, nutmegs, cardamums, mace, cubebs …, musk and saffron…, ambergrease,

The Compleat Housewife or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion 1729


…, put to it one ounce of nutmegs grated, half an ounce of cloves, as much mace, …

…, shred some thyme and parsley in it…, with a little grated nutmeg;…,

…, two handfuls of salt, and a bunch of sweet herbs [savory, thyme, bayleaf, basil, mint, rosemary] and lemon-peel…, some cloves, mace, sliced ginger, whole pepper, and salt,…

The Compleat Housewife 1750


… to every gallon of pickle put one nutmeg…, a quarter ounce of cloves, a quarter ounce of mace, a quarter ounce of whole pepper, and a large race of ginger sliced;….

The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy 1774


…, season it with pepper, salt, cloves, mace, and a little ginger, ….

…, to every quart of pickle put one ounce of long pepper, one ounce of sliced ginger, a few corns of Jamaica pepper, a little mace…,

… a sprig or two of winter savory, a little lemon peel, one anchovy, a little cayan pepper, half a nutmeg grated, …

The Experienced English Housekeeper 1786



…, make a seasoning with beaten mace, pepper, salt, nutmeg, sweet herbs [savory, thyme, bayleaf, basil, mint, rosemary] parsley, …,

…, cut some garlic very fine, scrape a great deal of horse-radish, …, bruised mustard seed, a few bruised cloves, and some ginger…, throw in some cloves, mace, broken cinnamon, and a small quantity of cochineal…,

Mrs. Mason’s Cookery, or the LADIES’ ASSISTANT 1787

One of the great myths about spices is "They wanted pepper and other spices to cover the flavors of tainted meat"..., UM OK there is ZERO documentation of that probably because..., the folks that could at first afford to buy spices, say in Tudor times, could afford fresh meat....,

IMHO if you want a basic "spice pallet" that a Colonial would've had regular access from the beginning of the 1700's on...and folks in American after independence

Bay leaf
Cayenne Pepper (aka red pepper) and other "chili peppers"
Cinnamon
Cloves
Ginger
Garlic
Horse radish
Mace
Mustard
Nutmeg
Rosemary
Salt
Thyme

LD
This is some great info!

Thanks Dave!!!

RM
 

windini

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Looks like I might loose the ribbed one because its "cute" according to the missus.
3 out of 4 ain't bad!

I wonder if the folks of those times made distinction between "spices" and herbs. In other words, "spices" were rare and/or expensive, thus prized possesions of a known or aspiring cook; but herbs? Heck, any wife worth her salt knew 'bout those & just went & got 'em from outside!
 

Rod Man

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3 out of 4 ain't bad!

I wonder if the folks of those times made distinction between "spices" and herbs. In other words, "spices" were rare and/or expensive, thus prized possesions of a known or aspiring cook; but herbs? Heck, any wife worth her salt knew 'bout those & just went & got 'em from outside!
I bet they did, Lewis’s (Lewis & Clark) Mom made quite a name for her self with her knowledge of herbs.
 

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Spices were available but they were so expensive because they were rare , nutmeg was so rare there was a trade in counterfeit carved fake wooden ones , Even sugar was expensive .
I know someone who got an old recipe translated , weights, measures etc into modern English , he made a stew to the exact recipe and couldn't eat it , It was too strong .
A lot of excessive spicing of old time food is believed to be a big " I'm rich enough to serve you spiced food and drink " type of showing off ones wealth .
A lot of the meat eaten by the upper classes in Tudor times was Venison and the lower rabbit .The big houses had professional Larders who used big needles to drag strips of pig fat through venison haunches to prevent them drying out during spit roasting ( no ovens in those days) .also eaten were poultry , duck goose and capons ( chicken)
Cattle were kept mainly for milk and dairy products , although many big beeves were slaughtered to be brined in barrels for provisioning sailing ships ,
Sheep were for wool , England became rich off wool ,Queen Elizabeth 1 decreed that any one who ate sheep meat had to eat a bitter herb as a penance , this is why the Brits have mint sauce with their roast mutton to this day .
Pigs were salted and smoked into bacon and hams etc
The only method of preserving meat that we use today that was not available in Tudor times is refrigeration /freezing . They could dry salt , corn ( brine) , smoke , dry, smoke salt and dry, preserve in fat in pottery jars , make salami , jerky , biltong, air dried sausage , sugar , preserve in bladders .
 

Cutfinger

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The original use for a lot of herbs and spices was medicinal .many were probably more important medically than as a food additive . They would certainly have been carried by early explorers / hunters for that purpose ,Eg: rhubarb was a very popular treatment for wounds and severe bruising in Napoleonic times, before it was a food it was a medicine .
 
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