I've noticed food evolves in a particular way when it arrives to a new country. It's logical that food needs to be adapted to the country taste in order to get popular, but what it intrigues me is that it usually becomes more "complex", a lot of new ingredients are added, and the original refinement is missed.
A good example is pizza, I'm from Mexico, so I was get used to pizzas with a lot of different ingredients and a specific shape: https://tinyurl.com/y7wd7hl6
So I was really excited to taste the real stuff in Italy and then I got shocked when I noticed how simple one of the most popular is: https://tinyurl.com/nqcdhah
Something similar happened to onigiri.
And it seems like this is not something particular to Mexico, it happens the other way around too:
"as time went by, a dish tended to become sweeter, spicer, and more complicated."
one of the truly frustrating things about renaissance and medieval recipes is that they are shorthand notes, not detailed instructions. Think inferring documentation from commit messages, basically.
i found a 15th century recipe for a particular kind of soup that started “make soup as normal;in addition add ...”
this is an interesting youtube channel related to this
Was hoping for a little more concrete research or recipes. I work in the food industry and history is one of my favourite topics as well. My grandmother was Ukrainian and lived on a farm, and her cooking was based 100% on ingredients that came from very close to their farm, as well as processed in a non-industrial setting (cabbage fermented in a barrel, natural sour cream, farm animals that were killed behind the barn, etc...). The taste was certainly different than industrial foods. Now going back in time there were no gas or electric ovens, people mainly cooked on wood fired hearths, which would have given a different flavour. Not to mention lack of refrigeration would mean more salted and cured meats and less fresh meat. It is certainly an interesting exercise to try to recreate old tastes, but not really possible. I'd guess we can come close though.
If you like this, I can't recommend the BBC's "Supersizers" enough. The pair is super funny as they re-create and re-eat historical foods.
The author unfortunately concludes at the bottom that it's impossible to know what the foods really tasted like:
> These early modern foods are culinary false friends. They seem like they'd be the same as our familiar correlates. But we can't be sure that they tasted the same.
> Like so much in history, they're so close, yet just out of reach.
There are several reasons, probably the most important being that the cultivars of plants they used at the time were so different that we can't know what they tasted like. Heavy selection and breeding over the course of 500 years changes a lot.
Apropos: Wikipedia has articles on topics like Ancient Roman Cuisine, Ancient Israelite cuisine, etc.
What do they mean by "squash" (on the map)?