1. Quantz

    Quantz Senior Member

    French
    Chaucer advised nutmeg in ale “whether it be moist or stale.

    Ale being a liquid yet, I don't understand moist ale.
     
  2. geostan

    geostan Senior Member

    English Canada
    He may have been referring to the nutmeg.

    Cheers!
     
  3. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    [SIZE=-1]"A draught of moist and corny ale." Origin: OE. Moiste, OF. Moiste, F. Moite, fr. L. Muccidus, for mucidus, moldy, musty. ...[/SIZE]
     
  4. furet Junior Member

    Near Bordeaux
    UK, now living in France
    Wow - this is an obscure question! Nutmeg was used to enhance the flavour of ale (beer made without hops [houblons]). Nutmeg [muscade] is a dried spice, so it is never used moist [humide], and it doesn't go stale [perdu].

    Ale, on the other hand, does spoil [corrompre]. In Chaucerian English, moist also meant fresh [frais].

    So the moist/stale reference is to the ale.

    I applaud your reading of Chaucer. You'll probably find as much interesting old French in there as English, but none of it will be much good in everyday use...
     
  5. Quantz

    Quantz Senior Member

    French
    Thx to both.

    Furet : speaking of Chaucer english, what about this one :

    George Farquhar’s 1707 play The Beaux’ Stratagem speaks longingly of a tankard “near as big as me... it smells of nutmeg and toast like an East India ship.”

    toast ??

    Plus this one :

    Spices helping the meat to digest (or “cook,” as the process was understood) in the stomach.

    Les épices contribuent à la "cuisson" de la viande dans l'estomac ?
     
  6. furet Junior Member

    Near Bordeaux
    UK, now living in France
    Hmmm...the nutmeg is easy - The East India Company was a sort of private navy established by the English which governed India and extracted wealth, much of it in the form of spices. So an East India ship would have smelt of nutmeg when it docked in London or Liverpool.

    It also smelled of toast, though, and this is harder to explain. Some spices were toasted before use, but never on board ship.

    Nutmeg was used to flavour bread, particularly when it was fried with beaten egg. It might be that Farquar was trying to evoke a childhood memory of eggy bread with nutmeg. It doesn't sound like a typical Irish breakfast to me, though.

    No - I give up. You've got me! Let me know if you uncover the truth.

    Furet
     
  7. Quantz

    Quantz Senior Member

    French
    Bravo, Furet, and thx.

    What about the second one :

    Spices helping the meat to digest (or “cook,” as the process was understood) in the stomach.

    Les épices contribuent à la "cuisson" de la viande dans l'estomac ?
     
  8. archijacq Senior Member

    Albi
    french France
    Les épices étaient autrefois considérées comme de nature "chaude" et souvent "sèche" et étaient classées en conséquence: par exemple, on disait du poivre qu'il avait le 4ème degré de chaleur.

    On se représentait la digestion comme une "cuisson", s'opérant dans l'estomac - espèce de marmite naturelle - grâce à la chaleur animale. En vertu de ce principe, les épices utilisées pour assaisonner les aliments étaient censées compenser leur éventuelle "froideur" et faciliter leur "cuisson".
     
  9. Quantz

    Quantz Senior Member

    French
    archi : exact, le texte traite de la médecine galénique et de ses quatre principes chaud froid sec humide.:thumbsup:
     

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