Nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica. Myristica fragrans is a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, mace, from the seed covering, it is a commercial source of an essential oil and nutmeg butter. The California nutmeg, Torreya californica, has a seed of similar appearance, but is not related to Myristica fragans, is not used as a spice. If consumed in amounts exceeding its typical use as a spice, nutmeg powder may produce allergic reactions, cause contact dermatitis, or have psychoactive effects. Although used in traditional medicine for treating various disorders, nutmeg has no known medicinal value. Nutmeg is the spice made by grinding the seed of the fragrant nutmeg tree into powder; the spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm sweet taste. The seeds are dried in the sun over a period of six to eight weeks. During this time the nutmeg shrinks away from its hard seed coat until the kernels rattle in their shells when shaken.
The shell is broken with a wooden club and the nutmegs are picked out. Dried nutmegs are grayish brown ovals with furrowed surfaces; the nutmegs are egg-shaped, about 20.5–30 mm long and 15–18 mm wide, weighing 5–10 g dried. Two other species of genus Myristica with different flavors, M. malabarica and M. argentea, are sometimes used to adulterate nutmeg as a spice. Mace is the spice made from the reddish seed covering of the nutmeg seed, its flavour is more delicate. In the processing of mace, the crimson-colored aril is removed from the nutmeg seed that it envelops and is flattened out and dried for 10 to 14 days, its color changes to pale orange, or tan. Whole dry mace consists of flat pieces—smooth and brittle—about 40 mm long; the most important commercial species is the common, true or fragrant nutmeg, Myristica fragrans, native to the Banda Islands in the Moluccas of Indonesia. It is cultivated on Penang Island in Malaysia, in the Caribbean in Grenada, in Kerala, a state known as Malabar in ancient writings as the hub of spice trading, in southern India.
In the 17th-century work Hortus Botanicus Malabaricus, Hendrik van Rheede records that Indians learned the usage of nutmeg from the Indonesians through ancient trade routes. Nutmeg trees are dioecious plants and asexually. Sexual propagation yields 50 % male seedlings; as there is no reliable method of determining plant sex before flowering in the sixth to eighth year, sexual reproduction bears inconsistent yields, grafting is the preferred method of propagation. Epicotyl grafting, approach grafting, patch budding have proved successful, with epicotyl grafting being the most adopted standard. Air layering is an alternative though not preferred method because of its low success rate; the first harvest of nutmeg trees takes place seven to nine years after planting, the trees reach full production after twenty years. Nutmeg and mace have similar sensory qualities, with nutmeg having a sweeter and mace a more delicate flavour. Mace is preferred in light dishes for the bright orange, saffron-like hue it imparts.
Nutmeg is used for flavouring many dishes, nowadays is found in Western supermarkets in ground or grated form. Whole nutmeg can be ground at home using a grater designed for nutmeg. In Indonesian cuisine, nutmeg is used in various dishes in many spicy soups, such as some variant of soto, oxtail soup, sup iga and sup kambing, it is used in gravy for meat dishes, such as semur beef stew, ribs with tomato, European derived dishes such as bistik and bistik lidah. In Indian cuisine, nutmeg is used in many sweet, as well as savoury, dishes. In Kerala Malabar region, grated nutmeg is used in meat preparations and sparingly added to desserts for the flavour, it may be used in small quantities in garam masala. Ground nutmeg is smoked in India. In traditional European cuisine and mace are used in potato dishes and in processed meat products, it is commonly used in rice pudding. In Dutch cuisine, nutmeg is added to vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and string beans. Nutmeg is a traditional ingredient in mulled cider, mulled wine, eggnog.
In Scotland and nutmeg are both ingredients in haggis. In Italian cuisine, nutmeg is used as part of the stuffing for many regional meat-filled dumplings like tortellini, as well as for the traditional meatloaf. Nutmeg is a common spice for pumpkin pie and in recipes for other winter squashes, such as baked acorn squash. In the Caribbean, nutmeg is used in drinks, such as the Bushwacker and Barbados rum punch, it is a sprinkle on top of the drink. The pericarp is used to make jam, or is finely sliced, cooked with sugar, crystallised to make a fragrant candy. Sliced nutmeg fruit flesh is made as manisan, either wet, seasoned in sugary syrup liquid, or dry coated with sugar, a dessert called manisan pala in Indonesia. In Penang cuisine, dried, sh
Early modern European cuisine
The cuisine of early modern Europe was a mix of dishes inherited from medieval cuisine combined with innovations that would persist in the modern era. Though there was a great influx of new ideas, an increase in foreign trade and a scientific revolution, preservation of foods remained traditional: preserved by drying and smoking or pickling in vinegar. Fare was dependent on the season: a cookbook by Domenico Romoli called "Panunto" made a virtue of necessity by including a recipe for each day of the year; the discovery of the New World, the establishment of new trade routes with Asia and increased foreign influences from sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East meant that Europeans became familiarized with a multitude of new foodstuffs. Spices, prohibitively expensive luxuries, such as pepper, cloves and ginger, soon became available to the majority population, the introduction of new plants coming from the New World and India like maize, sweet potato, chili pepper, vanilla, tomato and tea transformed European cuisine forever.
There was a great increase in prosperity in Europe during this period, which reached all classes and all areas, changed the patterns of eating. Everywhere both doctors and chefs continued to characterize foodstuffs by their effects on the four humours: they were considered to be heating or cooling to the constitution, moistening or drying. Nationalism was first conceived in the early modern period, but it was not until the 19th century that the notion of a national cuisine emerged. Class differences were far more important dividing lines, it was always upper-class food, described in recipe collections and cookbooks. In most parts of Europe two meals per day were eaten, one in the early morning to noon and one in the late afternoon or at night; the exact times varied both by region. In Spain and in parts of Italy such as Genoa and Venice the early meal was the lighter one while supper was heavier. In the rest of Europe, the first meal of the day was the more substantial. Throughout the period, there was a gradual shift of mealtimes.
The first meal called dinner in English, moved from before noon to around 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon by the 17th century. By the end of the 18th century, it could be held as late as 5:00 or 6:00; this necessitated a midday meal, luncheon shortened to lunch, established by the late 18th century. Breakfast does not receive much attention in any sources. Breakfast, when it began to be fashionable, was just a coffee, tea or chocolate, did not become a more substantial meal in many parts of Europe until the 19th century. In the south, where supper was the largest meal, there was less need for breakfast, it therefore remained unimportant, something that can still be seen today in the traditionally light breakfasts of southern Europe, which consists of coffee or tea with bread or pastry. There is no doubt that working people since medieval times ate some sort of morning meal, but it is unclear at what time and what it consisted of; the three-meal-regimen so common today did not become a standard until well into the modern era.
Peasants in the early modern world ate a diet that consisted of "gruels, and... grains". As in the Middle Ages, breakfast in the sense of an early morning meal, is absent from the sources. It's unclear if this meant it was universally avoided or that it was not fashionable enough to be mentioned, as most sources were written by, about the upper class. For most of Europe, the many varieties of grain were the most important crop and formed the daily staple for segments of society; the differentiation was in its quality and how it was prepared. The lower classes ate bread, coarse and of higher bran content while the upper classes enjoyed the finely ground, white wheat flour that most modern Europeans are used to. Wheat was more expensive than other grains, eaten by many. Most bread was made with a mixture of wheat and other grains. Grain remained the undisputed main staple of early modern Europe until the 17th century. By this time the skepticism towards New World imports such as potatoes and maize had softened among the general populace, the potato in particular found new appreciation in northern Europe, where it was a much more productive and flexible crop than wheat.
In Ireland, this would have disastrous results. In the early 19th century, when much of the country depended exclusively on potato, the potato blight, a fungus that rotted the edible tubers of the potato plant while still in the ground, caused a massive famine that killed over a million people and forced another two million to emigrate. In regions of Europe such as Scotland and northern Russia, the climate and soil types were less suited for wheat cultivation, rye and barley were far more important. Rye was used to bake the dense, dark bread, still common in countries like Sweden and Finland. Barley was more common in the north, was used to make beer. Oats made up a considerable minority of the produced grain but stood low in status and was used as animal feed for horses. Millet, grown in much of Europe since prehistoric times was still used throughout much of the early period, but had disappeared by the 18th century although its exceptional storage period of up to twenty years meant it was used for emergency reserves.
For example, the Italian dish polenta made from millet was made with maize. Pasta had been a common food since the middle of the medieval period, gained in popularity during the early modern period (no
Arrabbiata sauce, or sugo all'arrabbiata in Italian, is a spicy sauce for pasta made from garlic and dried red chili peppers cooked in olive oil. The sauce originates around Rome. Arrabbiata means "angry" in Italian. Arrabbiata sauce is served with penne pasta; the dish has been celebrated several times in Italian movies, notably in Marco Ferreri's La Grande Bouffe and Federico Fellini's Roma. List of Italian dishes Food portal
Spinach is a leafy green flowering plant native to central and western Asia. It is of family Amaranthaceae, subfamily Chenopodioideae, its leaves are a common edible vegetable consumed either fresh, or after storage using preservation techniques by canning, freezing, or dehydration. It may be eaten cooked or raw, the taste differs considerably, it is an annual plant. Spinach may overwinter in temperate regions; the leaves are alternate, ovate to triangular, variable in size: 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3–4 mm in diameter, mature into a small, dry, lumpy fruit cluster 5–10 mm across containing several seeds. In 2016, world production of spinach was 26.7 million tonnes, with China alone accounting for 92% of the total. The English word "spinach" dates to the late 14th century from espinache of uncertain origin. Common spinach, S. oleracea, was long considered to be in the family Chenopodiaceae, but in 2003 that family was merged into the Amaranthaceae in the order Caryophyllales.
Within the family Amaranthaceae sensu lato, Spinach belongs to the subfamily Chenopodioideae. Spinach is an annual plant growing as tall as 30 cm. Spinach may overwinter in temperate regions; the leaves are alternate, ovate to triangular, variable in size: 2–30 cm long and 1–15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3–4 mm in diameter, mature into a small, dry, lumpy fruit cluster 5–10 mm across containing several seeds. Raw spinach is 91% water, 4% carbohydrates, 3% protein, contains negligible fat. In a 100 g serving providing only 23 calories, spinach has a high nutritional value when fresh, steamed, or boiled, it is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese and folate. Spinach is a good source of the B vitamins riboflavin and vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium and dietary fiber. Spinach, along with other green, leafy vegetables, contains an appreciable amount of iron attaining 21% of the Daily Value in a 100 g amount of raw spinach.
For example, the United States Department of Agriculture states that a 100 g serving of cooked spinach contains 3.57 mg of iron, whereas a 100 g ground hamburger patty contains 2.49 mg. However, spinach contains iron absorption-inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate, which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate and render much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body. In addition to preventing absorption and use, high levels of oxalates remove iron from the body. Spinach has a moderate calcium content which can be affected by oxalates, decreasing its absorption; the calcium in spinach is among the least bioavailable of food calcium sources. By way of comparison, the human body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach. A quantity of 3.5 ounces of spinach contains over four times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K. For this reason, individuals taking the anticoagulant warfarin, which acts by inhibiting vitamin K, are instructed not to eat spinach to avoid blunting the effect of warfarin.
In 2016, world production of spinach was 26.7 million tonnes, with China alone accounting for 92% of the total. Fresh spinach is bunched, or packaged fresh in bags. Fresh spinach loses much of its nutritional value with storage of more than a few days. Fresh spinach is packaged in nitrogen gas to extend shelf life. While refrigeration slows this effect to about eight days, fresh spinach loses most of its folate and carotenoid content over this period of time. For longer storage, it is canned, or cooked and frozen. Frozen spinach can be stored for up to eight months; some packaged spinach is exposed to radiation to kill any harmful bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration approves of irradiation of spinach leaves up to 4.0 kilograys. Researchers at the Agricultural Research Service experimentally tested the concentrations of vitamins C, E, K, B9, four carotenoids in packaged spinach following irradiation, they found with increasing level of irradiation, four nutrients showed no change. Those nutrients include vitamins B9, E, K, the carotenoid neoxanthin.
This study showed the irradiation of packaged spinach to have little or no change to the nutritional value of the crop, the health benefits of irradiating packed spinach to reduce harmful bacteria seem to outweigh the loss of nutrients. Spinach may be high in cadmium contamination depending on the soil and location where the spinach is grown; the comics and cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man has been portrayed since 1931 as having a strong affinity for spinach the canned variety. He becomes physically stronger after consuming it. Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia, it is not known by whom, or when, spinach was introduced to India The plant was subsequently introduced to ancient China, where it was known as "Persian vegetable". The earliest available record
Neapolitan cuisine has ancient historical roots that date back to the Greco-Roman period, enriched over the centuries by the influence of the different cultures that controlled Naples and its kingdoms, such as that of Aragon and France. Since Naples was the capital of the Kingdom of Naples, its cuisine took much from the culinary traditions of all the Campania region, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural ingredients and seafood dishes. A vast variety of recipes is influenced by the local aristocratic cuisine, such as timballo and the sartù di riso, pasta or rice dishes with elaborate preparation, dishes from popular traditions prepared with inexpensive but nutritionally healthy ingredients, like pasta e fagioli and other pasta dishes with vegetables. Naples has a history that goes back many centuries: the city itself predates many others in that area of the world, including Rome, it has endured the Greeks, the Goths, the Byzantines, dozens of successions of kings from France and Spain.
Each culture left a mark on the way food is prepared in Naples and Campania itself. Finding the connections between modern and Greco-Roman culinary traditions is not always easy. Among the traces of classical culinary tastes, plates from the period of Greek rule found in Magna Graecia depict fishes and mollusks, an indication that seafood was appreciated during that period. Frescoes from Pompeii depict fruit baskets filled with. An excavation at Oplontis in the Villa Poppaea shows a fresco of a cake, the ingredients of which are not yet known; the Roman garum is the ancient sauce most similar to that used for the modern Colatura di Alici, typical of Cetara. It can be traced back to the sweet-sour taste typical of the Roman cooking described by Apicius, along with the use of raisins in salty dishes, like the pizza di scarola, or the braciole al ragù; the use of wheat in the modern pastiera cake, typical of Easter, could have had a symbolic meaning, related to cults of Artemis and Ceres and pagan rituals of fertility, celebrated around the Spring equinox.
The name struffoli, a Christmas cake, comes from the Greek word στρόγγυλος. The Spanish and French sovereignty in Naples initiated the difference between the cuisine of the aristocrats and that of the poorer classes; the former was characterized by elaborate, more cosmopolitan, a greater number of expensive ingredients, including meat. The poor could be grown locally; these were embellished over the centuries and came into contact with the influence of the aristocratic cuisine, so that today traditional recipes of the poorer classes have acquired great quality and taste, while preserving the original simple ingredients. One of the most famous chefs from the nobles' courts in Naples was Vincenzo Corrado; the nutritional value of the napolitan cuisine was discovered by the American epidemiologist Ancel Keys in the 1950, being often mentioned by epidemiologists as one of the best examples of the Mediterranean diet. There is a great variety of Neapolitan pastas. Pasta was not invented in Naples, but one of the best grades available is found quite close by, in Gragnano, a few kilometers from the capital.
It was here that the industrial production of pasta started, with the techniques to dry and preserve it. The main ingredient is durum wheat, harder to manipulate than soft wheat, so the industrial production had greater success than in northern Italy, where home-made pasta is more popular. Traditionally in Naples pasta must be cooked "al dente"; the most popular variety of pasta, besides the classic spaghetti and linguine, are the paccheri and the ziti, long pipe-shaped pasta, broken by hand before cooking and topped with Neapolitan ragù. Pasta with vegetables is also prepared with pasta mista, now produced industrially as a distinct variety of pasta, but, once sold cheaply, made up of broken pieces of different kinds of pasta. Hand-made gnocchi, prepared with flour and potatoes, have become a popular method of overcoming the Neapolitan disdain for potatoes. In 1949 W. H. Auden wrote Igor Stravinsky from Forio in Ischia, "Forio thinks us crazy because we eat potatoes, which are to them a mark of abject poverty."
In reporting this, Francis Steegmuller, a longtime resident of Naples, remarks on the French-inspired gattò, in which "the potato complement is nearly overwhelmed by cheese and other ingredients". Some of the more modern varieties of pasta, like the Scialatelli, are becoming popular, Tomatoes entered the Neapolitan cuisine during the 18th century; the industry of preserving tomatoes originated in 19th-century Naples, resulting in the export to all parts of the world of the famous "pelati" and the "concentrato". There are traditionally several ways of preparing home-made tomato preserves, either bottled tomato juice, or chopped into pieces; the famous "conserva" tomato is cooked for a long time and becomes a dark red cream with a velvety texture. Some of Campanian dishes using vegetables, like the parmigiana di melanzane or peperoni ripieni can become real stars of the table; some of the most typical products are friarielli, Cichorium endivia, smooth or curly, several types of broccoli and others, used to prepare the minestra maritata.
Different types of beans, chickpeas
Spaghetti alle vongole
Spaghetti alle vongole, Italian for "spaghetti with clams", is a dish, popular throughout Italy in Campania. Palourde, or carpet-shell clams, vongola verace, are used. Both types are called arselle in Liguria and Tuscany. In America small cherrystone clams may be substituted. Italians prepare this dish two ways: in bianco, i.e. with oil, garlic and sometimes a splash of white wine. Traditionally, the bivalves are cooked in hot olive oil to which plenty of garlic has been added; the live clams open during cooking. The clams are added to the firm pasta, along with salt, black pepper, a handful of finely chopped parsley. In the Liguria region of Italy, east of Genoa, Spaghetti alle vongole means spaghetti with tiny baby clams in the shell, no more than the size of a thumbnail, with a white wine/garlic sauce. Linguine may be used for the pasta in preference to spaghetti. Italian-American recipes sometimes use cream in this dish, but in its area of origin this would be considered most unorthodox. Gillian Riley considers cream alien to the spirit of Italian cooking, remarking that, "the way cream dumbs down flavor and texture is not appropriate to the subtle flavor and consistency of pasta.".
Italian-born experts such as Marcella Hazan, give recipes for pasta sauces with cream, such as her "Pink Shrimp Sauce with Cream", cream is a feature of Northern Italian cuisines. In America cheese is sometimes added to this dish, although Italians believe it overpowers the simple flavors of the clams and of good quality olive oil. List of Italian dishes List of pasta dishes Spaghetti alle Vongole at Wikibook Cookbooks Media related to Vongole at Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Roman cuisine
Ancient Roman cuisine changed over the long duration of the ancient Roman civilization. Dietary habits were affected by the influence of Greek culture, the political changes from kingdom to republic to empire, the empire's enormous expansion, which exposed Romans to many new provincial culinary habits and cooking methods. In the beginning, dietary differences between Roman social classes were not great, but disparities developed with the empire's growth. Traditionally, a breakfast called. At mid-day to early afternoon, Romans ate cena, the main meal of the day, at nightfall a light supper called vesperna. With the increased importation of foreign foods, the cena grew larger in size and included a wider range of foods, it shifted to the evening, while the vesperna was abandoned completely. The mid-day meal prandium became a light meal to hold one over until cena. Among the lower classes of society, these changes were less pronounced as the traditional routines corresponded to the daily rhythms of manual labour.
Among the upper classes, who did not engage in manual labour, it became customary to schedule all business obligations in the morning. After the prandium, the last responsibilities would be discharged, a visit would be made to the baths. Around 2 p.m. the cena would begin. This meal could last until late in the night if guests were invited, would be followed by comissatio, a round of alcoholic beverages. In the period of the kings and the early Republic, but in periods, the cena consisted of a kind of porridge, the puls; the simplest kind would be made from emmer, water and fat. The more sophisticated kind was made with olive oil, with an accompaniment of assorted vegetables when available; the richer classes ate their puls with eggs and honey and it was occasionally served with meat or fish. Over the course of the Republican period, the Cena developed into two courses: the main course and a dessert with fruit and seafood. By the end of the Republic, it was usual for the meal to be served in three parts: one course, main course, dessert.
The Roman legions' staple ration of food was wheat. In the 4th century, most legionnaires ate as well as anyone in Rome, they were supplied with rations of bread and vegetables along with meats such as beef, mutton, or pork. Rations depended on where the legions were stationed or were campaigning. Mutton was popular in Northern Gaul and Britannica, but pork was the main meat ration of the legions. From 123 BC, a ration of unmilled wheat, known as the frumentatio, was distributed to as many as 200,000 people every month by the Roman state. There was a charge for this but from 58 BC this charge was abolished by the plebeian tribune Publius Clodius Pulcher. Individuals domiciled in Rome to receive the frumentatio. Flat, round loaves made of emmer with a bit of salt were eaten. In the Imperial period, around the beginning of the Christian era, bread made of wheat was introduced. There were many kinds of bread of differing quality. White bread was baked for the elite, with darker bread baked for the middle class, the darkest bread for the poor peasants.
The bread was sometimes dipped in wine and eaten with olives and grapes. At the time of the destruction of Pompeii in AD 79, there were at least 33 bakeries in that city; the Roman chefs made sweet buns flavored with blackcurrants and cheese cakes made with flour, eggs, ricotta-like cheese and poppy seed. Sweet wine cakes were made with reduced red wine and cinnamon. Fruit tarts were popular with the upper class, but the lower classes couldn’t afford to make them or purchase them from markets and vendors; the ancient Roman diet included many items. Pliny the Elder discussed more than 30 varieties of olive, 40 kinds of pear, a wide variety of vegetables; some of these vegetables are no longer present in the modern world, while others have undergone significant changes. Carrots of different colours were consumed, but not in orange. However, some foods considered. In particular and aubergine were introduced from the Arab world, tomatoes and capsicum peppers only appeared in Europe following the discovery of the New World and the Columbian Exchange.
The Romans knew about rice but it was rarely available. There were a few citrus fruits. Lemons were known in Italy from the second century AD but were not cultivated. Butcher's meat was an uncommon luxury; the most popular meat was pork sausages. Beef was uncommon in ancient Rome, being more common in ancient Greece – it is not mentioned by Juvenal or Horace. Seafood and poultry, including ducks and geese, were more usual. For instance, on his triumph, Caesar gave a public feast to 260,000 humiliores which featured all three of these foods, but no butcher's meat. John E. Stambaugh writes that meat "was scarce except at sacrifices and the dinner parties of the rich." Cows were prized for the milk. The beef was unappetizing. Veal was eaten sometimes. Apicius gives only four recipes for beef but the same recipes call for lamb or pork as options. There is another for veal scallopini. Fish was more common than