Spices have always added taste and flavor to any food item. Without spices, food might have been bland and extremely tasteless. Various kinds of condiments are used for seasoning and flavoring food all across the globe.
History Of Elizabethan Spices
Elizabethan spices are one of them. These spices have a rich history and truly add that richness to the food in which they are applied. When we talk of the Elizabethan period, we actually refer to the time span when Queen Elizabeth I ruled in England. It was from the second half of the 16th century in 1558 to early 17th century in 1603.
A sea change came in food and spices during this particular period. It so happened because newer spices were being constantly brought into England from the so called New World. The spices were imported from other countries and brought to England, particularly for the royals. Since the condiments were imported, they were extremely expensive. It was quite obvious that the poor people or the ordinary people could not afford the spices at any cost and these became exclusive properties of the wealthy and the royal people only.
With the Elizabethan spices a new tool was also brought that was used to grind the spices. It was nothing but the mortar and the pestle that became widely used in the various households in the country. The spices that were brought were grounded with the help of mortar and pestle and then added to the various recipes. Most of these rich spices were added to recipes that had meat and fish in it. It added a special taste and flavor to the recipe. Some spices also added color to the dish.
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Facts About Elizabethan Spices
The most interesting part to know is what are these spices that were brought from the New World? Well now, these are some of the most common spices that are found in many kitchens of the world, but during those times, people had not even heard about the spices, leave apart using them. The most popular spices in this category are cayenne peppers, paprika and chili peppers. It is now known that paprika is obtained from bell pepper by grinding its fruit thoroughly.
There is another interesting fact behind the peppers. In the older times, when there was no provision of refrigeration, people used to preserve meat or fish by adding loads of salts to it. This created a lot of saltiness in the food. However, adding these pepper helped in masking that excessive saltiness in the food.
When the advantages of these spices were known they became popular all over the world and spice trade began on a regular basis between the Eastern and the Western countries of the world. Spices from Far East also became popular in the Elizabethan period, like cloves, black ginger, saffron and cinnamon.
The typical meals that used Elizabethan spices excessively included meat dishes, pies and other preparations with various kinds of fruits. Strong flavors were preferred by the royal people and these spices provided that in abundance. Thus the affluent people in the then society enjoyed sumptuous and spicy meals with flavors from almost all parts of the world.