Dori: You asked how our ethnic dishes got "invented"... Mostly it was
dictated by the kind of food that was available. In northern Germany by the
sea there would be more seafood, in the plains grains, pigs and beef, in the
meadowy hills sheep, in Bohemia and Austria lots of eggs are used in their
"Mehlspeisen" (pastry) dishes, Since animals were slaughtered only
at certain seasons, the meat supply was centered on that event.
Potatoes and Tomatos did not come to Europe until after the
discorvery of America, so most of the people had a grain based diet. As to
the more elegant preparation of now internationally famous dishes, and how
this came about, there is a simple explanation. Not everyone farmed, but
everyone raised their own food needs, or traded for it. Little cash was
expended on food items, so you had to become inventive. Most of the people
in the 17th and 18th century were craftsmen living on their trade and being
"Häuslers" meaning that they owned a house with a garden in the back.
Often, these were in cities, where the front of the house was wall to wall
with a garden in the back, or on the outskirts of the city where there was a
smithy or mill. They all "grew their own food"... Farmers with larger land
holdings were very few, as a 40 acre farm was considered a large farm. It
was often safer for the farmer to live in the city and farm his fields and
vinyards outside the city walls. These family establishments are intact to
this day in Germany. They were like that when our people still lived in
Bohemia before the expulsion.
Besides, Europe has a lot of castles, and also many
balneological treatment centers (you call them spa here, but it is not the
same, as whole cities are living from the spa tourism in Europe) and their
guests are housed in hotels with hotel kitchens. These kitchens are geared
to diets in order to alleviate the problems treated by balnealogical
medicine (water cures as old as time itself.) People working in these
kitchens brought home such recipes and they spread to all their neighbors.
Also, living in areas where the nobility hunted was always a good spot to
have enough food available to prepare feasts. There is another aspect,
think of it, because there did not exist a pharmaceutical manufacture,
except a few pill rollers in the local Apothecaries. It was, therefore,
the type of food you ate (or avoided) that cured most ailments supported
with a huge box of family gathered herbs. We have lost a lot of valuable
knowledge since then.
On Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 7:14 AM, Dori Rhody <drhody(a)spwl.net> wrote:
I was always under the impression that the women worked the fields
side the men along with caring for children. I also believed there was
little or no meat, soup was on the fire and added to as necessary (Peas
porridge hot :-) ).
This means when did the ethnics dishes become invented? ie tortes,
cookies, yummy breads, pickled pigs feet, potato dumplings etc. These
women either had help or a lot more energy and stamina than I.
German-Bohemian Heritage Society web site http://www.rootsweb.com/~gbhs/
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