- Jan 27, 2008
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- Republic mo
That’s why I said rare, or costly is another word.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
Cayenne Pepper (aka red pepper) and other "chili peppers"
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.