spices and sugar

The slow decline of the spice

Between the end of the Fifteenth century and the Eighteenth century, the medieval flavour changes significantly. While the latter was characterized by a search of flavors acids, sour allied to those of strong oriental spices (cinnamon, ginger, pepper), salty and spicy are gradually left behind. They prefer the sweet. The pepper and spices present in the very large majority of the dishes will disappear from the recipes of cuisine and pastry, the spices are used in smaller quantity.

“The softening of spices “1

Sugar so rare and expensive was in the Seventeenth century, imported in the same way as the other spices of the east. Gradually its consumption, in particular in the form of jams, replaces one of the spices. Jean-Louis Flandrin gave an account of the conquest of the sweet flavours.2

It is on the one hand the availability of more sugar and therefore its lower cost in the Seventeenth century that explains this for new. But we cannot explain its conquest by the argument monetary. It must also reckon with the loss of social prestige associated with the consumption of spices. As Georges Vigarello :3

“Social prestige is invested either in the spice, in the Seventeenth century, made it even more common by the renewal of the market and the routes, it invests rather in the refinement and diversity of” tastes “, the increase of their variety. “

“The social distinction is due to the diversification of resources, gastronomic, to the increase in the spectrum of sensations tasty : the spices can contribute ; it can also impede it by distorting the smell of each product. Where the possible impairment of its interest. “

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