Cultural History

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    I fully confess to appreciating the recursive commentary on impermanence this historical record creates in failing as YouTube links break.
     
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  3. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    The History of Castles
    by Ben Johnson

    Castles and fortified houses can be found all over Britain. Impressive, oppressive, dramatic, romantic: who built these castles, and why?
    Many fortified sites started off as Bronze or Iron Age forts, built as defensive positions against warring tribes and / or invaders. These were often built on high ground with commanding views over the surrounding countryside, and consisted of a series of ramparts and ditches. One of the most famous Iron Age fortifications is Maiden Castle near Dorchester in Dorset.
    After the Roman Invasion, some hill forts were occupied and used by the Romans whilst others were destroyed. Although Hadrian’s Wall cannot be considered a castle as such, it served the same purpose – keeping out the enemy! Hadrian’s Wall was built by the Romans in AD122-232 and stretched 73 miles, coast to coast. There were military forts at 5 mile intervals along its length.
    Some hillforts such as Cadbury Castle were abandoned during the Roman occupation but reoccupied afterwards as a refuge against Anglo-Saxon invaders. Later the Anglo-Saxons would also reoccupy hillforts as defensive sites against the Viking invaders.

    The arrival of the Normans in 1066 led to a new age of castle construction. Initially the sites chosen were in the towns and centres of population. Later castles often reused the ancient hill fort sites, as their situations in the landscape were still as relevant for the Normans as for the Iron Age peoples. The Normans also saw the merit of controlling the Roman road network which were still the main routes through the countryside, and so some castles were constructed at strategic points such as river crossings and crossroads.
    The first Norman castles were motte-and-bailey castles, a wooden or stone keep set on an artificial mound called a motte, surrounded by an enclosed courtyard or bailey. This in turn was surrounded by a protective ditch and palisade.
    These fortifications were relatively easy and fast to construct. The remains of these castles can be found throughout the countryside, mostly consisting of just the motte, bailey and ditches. Some stone built motte-and-bailey castles have survived intact; examples include the Tower of London and Windsor Castle which incidentally was built with two baileys.

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    Much more at : https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryMagazine/DestinationsUK/History-of-Castles/


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  5. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    The world’s first cookbooks

    The oldest sequenced recipe ever found was on the walls of the ancient Egyptian tomb of Senet. Back in 19th century BC, it taught the people how to make flatbreads. The second oldest (14th century BC) described the making of Sumerian beer, locally referred to as “liquid bread”. It was captured on clay tablets as part of a hymn to a goddess named Ninkasi, dedicated to beer.
    The first recorded cookbook that is still in print today is Of Culinary Matters (originally, De Re Coquinaria), written by Apicius, in fourth century AD Rome. It contains more than 500 recipes, including many with Indian spices. Apicius squandered his wealth on eating and when he came down to his last few million sestertii, he hosted an epic banquet. During the last course, he poisoned himself.
    Spices, actually, were my shoehorn into the fascinating world of ancient cookbooks. A research project into the history of spices and their uses was the rabbit hole that dropped me into the magical world of 14th and 15th century explorers—Columbus, Magellan, Vasco da Gama all set sail in search of spices— adventurers, gastronomes, historians, religious leaders, sailors, soldiers, chefs and writers, as I spent countless hours in the British Library, accessing ancient manuscripts related to spice-ship logs, ancient medical prescriptions using spices and ancient cookbooks.

    From Egypt and Rome, culinary instruction moved to the Middle East and Asia. In the 10th century, Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq produced a book called Kitab Al-Tablikh (The Book Of Dishes); a couple of centuries later, Muhammad bin Hasan al-Baghdadi wrote another book by the same name. In China, Hu Sihui wrote Yinshan Zhengyao (Important Principles Of Food And Drink) sometime in the 13th or 14th century. We also have the Manasollasa, a 12th century Sanskrit text composed by king Someshvara III of the Kalyani Chalukya dynasty covering many topics, including food. Ain-i-Akbari (16th century) talks about Mughlai food. A 16th century palm-leaf manuscript on dietetics, called Bhojana Kutuhala, has survived, in the Grantha and Devanagri scripts.

    From the 12th century onwards, Europe saw an ever- increasing number of cookbooks covering everything from nutritional and dietary advice to table settings, manners, medicines, managing the home, agriculture, wine and beer, carving meats, preservations and baking. A 14th century book, The Forme of Cury (meaning cookery), the oldest cookbook in English, was written by the cooks of king Richard II of England and contains 196 recipes, including ways to cook whales and herons with spices such as cloves, mace, nutmeg and pepper.
    Although anonymously, a significant number of books were written by royal cooks: Only the elite could afford to explore new cuisines, ingredients and methods. The first woman author of a cookbook was the countess of Kent (the cookbook was published in 1653, two years after her death). At the time, most of the women were uneducated, so cookbooks were written by men. Le Ménagier De Paris (The Goodman Of Paris), a popular French book on moral conduct, sexual advice, gardening tips, domestic management and cookery, was written by a gentleman to educate his young, inexperienced wife.

    European cuisine in the Middle Ages was also driven by Christian beliefs. While game and farm meat was eaten on other days, the faithful stayed away from meat and ate fish as the main course on Christian Saint Feast days or during the 40 days of Lent. This paved the way for traditions such as lasagne at Christmas in Italy; eggs and cheese on Ascension Day in Germany; goose on All Saints’ Day and pork on the Feast of Saint Anthony in France and the UK; and lamb on Easter across Europe.
    Books for urban households differed from those for country folk, where food supplies relied heavily on local produce. Historic recipes, unlike today, only summarize steps without mentioning quantity, weight or preparation guidelines.

    How we eat has changed as well. Since the 19th century, we follow an order of starters, main course and dessert. Before this, the order was based upon the medical dietary advice of the time and served based on how the stomach would handle food. The first course was for “opening” the stomach with fruits, followed by salads, saucy meats and roasts. Next would come the “entertainment” of pies with live birds (remember “four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie?”). To “close” the stomach, confectionery items would be served with cheese and candied fruits, followed by parlour spices (eg. candied coriander seeds/ginger) as a mouth freshener and to assist digestion. Sometimes all courses were served together, with elaborate rich dishes reserved for the upper classes.

    Reading ancient cookbooks makes for a magical journey: One needs only to close the eyes to imagine the cooks and chefs at work, to envision the roaring fires and platters of game meat, and the pomp and ceremony of presenting complex meals with rich sauces. I have been surprised by the similarities across the ages and regions, but utterly fascinated by the differences. Cookbooks enchant and tantalize all the senses of human nature—and the heart and mind.

    https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/9qxHySM4lFMueViQqWb1HK/Bread-and-beer-the-worlds-first-recipes.html

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  7. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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  8. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Cajun vs. Creole Food - What is the Difference? By Jay D. Ducote

    Louisiana's food is steeped with historical influences including Cajun and Creole cuisines. Learn what differentiates Cajun and Creole food.

    Compared to Louisiana, other states have it easy. Sure, Louisiana is home of the “Big Easy” and the locals are known for our “joie de vivre,” but we are also parents to some of the most precious cuisines in the world. While we may, on occasion, have one too many Bloody Marys at Sunday brunch or add some “punch” to our milk, we don’t take our responsibility lightly. Like real parenting, this job has no vacations. Even when away from the motherland, Louisianans still find ourselves bragging about and, on occasion, having to defend our pride and joy. Perhaps the most difficult task is explaining Louisiana food in a few short sentences. Of course, a Louisianan would prefer to sit down, put on a pot of coffee or pour a cold beer, and talk about it. However, we’ve come to learn that most people don’t have the time to do that.
    So if you’re versed on Louisiana history and culture, then all you really need to know is that Creole cuisine uses tomatoes and proper Cajun food does not. You can stop reading now. That’s how you tell a Cajun vs. Creole gumbo or jambalaya. You’re welcome (to be fair, some Cajun food, such as a sauce piquant, does include tomatoes as a key ingredient). However, if you’d like to know more, please continue reading so that you can learn why the terms “Cajun” and “Creole” that have become used so loosely and interchangeably when describing Louisiana food, are not at all the same.
    A vastly simplified way to describe the two cuisines is to deem Creole cuisine as “city food” while Cajun cuisine is often referred to as “country food.” While many of the ingredients in Cajun and Creole dishes are similar, the real difference between the two styles is the people behind these famous cuisines. They say in order to really know someone, meet their family. The same goes for food. In Louisiana, the best place to find authentic Cajun and Creole cooking is in homes across the state, which is what makes the food so special. Many of Louisiana’s most talented chefs learned their trade from their parents or grandparents. Cajun and Creole are two distinct cultures, and while over the years they continue to blend, there is still a vast distinction in Louisiana, and both have their own unique stories.

    Cajun Food

    The word “Cajun” originates from the term “les Acadians,” which was used to describe French colonists who settled in the Acadia region of Canada which consisted of present-day New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. With the British Conquest of Acadia in the early 1700s, the Acadians were forcibly removed from their home in what become known as Le Grand Derangement, or the Great Upheaval. Many Acadians eventually settled in the swampy region of Louisiana that is today known as Acadiana. Actually, four regions of south Louisiana were settled by the Cajuns, each with different resources and influences. Those distinct areas are the levees and bayous (Lafourche and Teche), prairies (Attakapas Indian land), swamplands (Atchafalaya Basin), and coastal marshes (New Orleans area and Houma).
    The Acadians were an extremely resourceful people who combined the flatlands, bayous, and wild game of South Louisiana with its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico to create a truly unique local cuisine. While many Acadiana residents today have Native American, German, French, or Italian roots, among others (which have all influence Louisiana Cuisine in the their own ways), their way of life is strongly influenced by the Cajun culture. Along with its food, this rural area of Louisiana is famous for its Cajun French music and language. 
 With no access to modern-day luxuries like refrigerators, early Cajuns learned to make use of every part of a slaughtered animal. When a pig is butchered the event is called a “boucherie.” Boudin, a type of Cajun sausage which consists of pork meat, rice, and seasoning stuffed into a casing, also commonly contains pig liver for a little extra flavor. Tasso and Andouille are two other Cajun pork products that use salts and smoke as preservatives. Cajun food is famous for being very well seasoned which is sometimes misunderstood as spicy. Seasoning is one of the most important parts of Cajun cooking, and that comes from much more than a heavy helping of cayenne pepper. Most dishes begin with a medley of vegetables based on the French mirepoix. “The holy trinity of Cajun cuisine” utilizes onion, celery, and bell pepper (rather than carrots) to provide a flavor base for many dishes. Garlic is never far away from any stove, either. Paprika, thyme, file (ground sassafras leaves), parsley, green onions, and much more are also very common ingredients in Cajun kitchens.

    Creole Food

    The term “Creole” describes the population of people who were born to settlers in French colonial Louisiana, specifically in New Orleans. In the 18th century Creoles consisted of the descendants of the French and Spanish upper class that ruled the city. Over the years the term Creole grew to include native-born slaves of African descent as well as free people of color. Typically, the term “French Creole” described someone of European ancestry born in the colony and the term “Louisiana Creole” described someone of mixed racial ancestry.
    Like the people, Creole food is a blend of the various cultures of New Orleans including Italian, Spanish, African, German, Caribbean, Native American, and Portuguese, to name a few. Creole cuisine is thought of as a little higher brow or aristocratic compare to Cajun. Traditionally, slaves in the kitchens of well-to-do members of society prepared the food. Due to the abundance of time and resources, the dishes consisted of an array of spices from various regions and creamy soups and sauces. A remoulade sauce, for example, which consists of nearly a dozen ingredients, would not typically be found in Cajun kitchens. Creole cuisine has a bit more variety, because of the easier access Creoles had to exotic ingredients and the wide mix of cultures that contributed to the cuisine. That’s why you find tomatoes in Creole jambalaya and not in Cajun jambalaya or why a lot of times you find a Creole roux made with butter and flour while a Cajun roux is made with oil and flour.
    The only place to get true Creole and Cajun food is in Louisiana, or at least in someone from Louisiana’s kitchen. However, if traveling down South isn’t in the cards, now you know a few tips that can help you determine if a dish is close to being authentically Cajun or Creole. Luckily, Louisiana is the one place where true Cajun and Creole food will never stray far away from its roots. With each new generation of Louisianans, there is a vested interest in history and culture and a proud new set of parents. There is no one better suited to ensure that Louisiana food adheres to its traditions and reputations. It’s a good thing there are over 4.4 million people fit for the job.

    Jay D. Ducote is the author of the food and beverage blog Bite and Booze, host of the Bite and Booze Radio Show, and co-host of Raise a Glass, both on the air in Baton Rouge. You can find him online at biteandbooze.com.

    https://www.louisianatravel.com/articles/cajun-vs-creole-food-what-difference

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  9. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Many other videos on 18th C American cooking & culture :

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    Seems to be a problem with the last link. If interested Google Townsends YouTube or go to YouTube & type in Townsends.

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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
  10. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2018
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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  20. StrangerInAStrangeLand SubQuantum Mechanic Valued Senior Member

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