Lecture 6 Tuesday, October 15, 2013
• **Lecture: “Grub and Grog: Food and Drink in History”
o Shannon Lecture series on history of food/drink, they’re every Friday. Last Friday
was on history of Mexican food. Another one this Friday on margarine—very
interesting subject, big history.
o The lecture next Friday: food in the early modern period (the lecturer also
teaches alcohol). November: taverns and drinking culture in 18 and 19 century
Canada. Last one: indigenous peoples’ foods in western Canada.
o Great series of lectures if you’r einterested in food as well as drink!
• Test: next week (Tuesday)
o Section T, last name A-Ha: room SA 306!
o 90 minutes long, 6-7:30pm, no lecture after
o All short-answer questions. 12 questions, have to answer all of them. That works
out to spending about 7.5 minutes per answer—nothing very extensive.
o Some questions are worth 10 marks, some are worth 5 marks. So spend more
time on the questions that are worth 10 marks.
If a question asks for three reasons, you get 10 points. Not necessarily
writing more points for questions that are worth more marks. Just try to
pull some examples (from middle ages, 18 century, THROUGHOUT the
course). Spread your examples.
For final example, WILL be required to draw form three periods for your
o Focus on lecture material, it’s cool if you can support it with material from the
textbook as well.
• Book review—due November 8 (Friday)
o It’s not an opportunity to summarize the book. That should be 1/3. The rest
should be analysis of how successful the book is.
o Prof will look at a draft/outline, but he’ll have to have it about a week before it’s
o Prof is going to be away, so e-mail the draft. He’ll make sure that he has it back
with comments on the Monday.
• Alcohol in the New world (last class)—transfer of European alcohol to the new worlds—
Spanish in South America and British in North America.
o Looking at how it was transferred, the chagn etha ttook place in alcohol cultures
o The cultural frameworks in which alcohol was consumed o New cultures developed. Quite clear that we can pin it down in the case of British
o Instead of beer and wine, Americans drank beer and spirits. They couldn’t make
their own wine, difficult to get wine across he Atlantic safely and in good
• Now: eighteenth century, early nineteenth century (in Europe, also North America)
o **This includes some material the prof would have delivered next week
o Eigtheenth century: changes in alcohol.
o New alcohols emerged—entered mainstream drinking cultures. FORTIFIED
WINES. (Wine with eau de vie added. Eau de vie was not the same as brandy, it
was colourless pure alcohol, meant to add to drinks and not be drunk on its own.)
• Port: initially in 1600s
o Eau de vie added to stabilize it—alcohol is a preservative, make things last
o Was meant to stabilize it for shipping/transportation
o When British begant o get wine from Portugal in 1600s, they found it was spoiled
by the time it got to British ports. They added alcohol to it. We don’t know how
much they added, but we think that by early 1700s, around 3% of barrel was
o By mid-1700s, they were adding 10%
o By late 1700s, they were adding 17%. Like a high-alcohol wine today.
o Proportion went up. Port got stronger during the 18 century. Now it’s even
stronger, around 25%.
o Port is an interesting drink, associated with the British (the ones who invented the
drink, they were the ones bringing it from Portugal). Most big port houses have
English names, and there aren’t many Portuguese-owned port producers. All
initially founded by English merchants.
o Very popular on English market because it was flavourful, very sweet—they liked
sweet drink. Also, high alcohol.
o But it wasn’t cheap—confined to the elites.
o Real problems: Port took off in end of 1600s. By early 1700s, demand for port in England
was so high that producers couldn’t make enough to meet demand
Began to counterfeit port. Counterfeiting is a huge global business, also
big with expensive, luxury wines. Now, about 40% of luxury wine in
secondary markets (auctions) is counterfeit wine. Canadian ice wine is
very widely counterfeited—take cheap wine and stir in a lot of sugar,
Instead of using port from the region where port came from (Douro valley
in Portugal, the end of that valley is called Porto—that’s where all the
warehouses came from), producers began to counterfeit wine. Brought
grapes from all over Portugal, Spain, wherever they could get it. Added
sugar to make it sweeter, added crushed elderberries to give it more
colour, added spices like cinnamon and ginger to give it more flavor.
Once it was realized that this fake wine was being brought to England,
sales dropped. 1728—British imported 116,000 hectalitres. By 1744—
fallen to 87,000. 1756, fallen to 54,000.
Imports fell by about 50% in about 30 years.
Price of port on the market fell dramatically. In late ‘30s, barrel would have
been worth 16 pounds. By early 1750s, worth 2 pounds.
This was bad news for port merchants and also for the Protuguese
government (losing taxes that they could levy on these exports).
They created WINE LAW, an APPELLATION (French for “a name”)—
when we refer to appellation, we refer to provenance (where soemthign
comes from). Wher does Champagne come from? Champagne. Where
does Bordeaux come from? Bordeaux. These are appellations. The wines
reflect their appellation by carrying their names. But you can have a
generic wine (a Chardonnay) that comes from California, but if it comes
form California it’s going to say tha ton the bottle. The bottle has got to
carry an appellation on it.
Appellations go further than alcohol—they go to cheese (every France
cheese like Brie, Camembert, etc. named after where it came from;
Cheddar cheese comes from Cheddar…but those people decided not to
enforce the appellation)
Important in food and drink, but they became particularly important in the
20 century. For the longest time, they were important but ignored—you
could buy “Hardy Burgundy” from California, South African port from
somewhere else. The appellations weren’t enforced, but from about 1980
onwards they begant o enforce them to the pont at which Neapolitan
pizza has been claimed by the people of Naples. You can still make
Neapolitan pizza, but it has to follow certain regulations—crust made with certain flour, certain cheese, certain varieties of tomatoes on it. Unless it
satisfies these requriements, can’t be called Neapolitan pizza.
This will go on until states and coutnries and towns enforce their
**This was one of the very first appellations—the appellation of PORT.
Government decided there was a crisis because of this counterfeit, losing
income—causing problem for Portuguese economy. Created a port region
—this is the appellation that port would come from. If your vines ddin’t
grow form that region, couldn’t be called port.
When you make an appellation, you tend to limit the amount that can be
made, that doesn’t allow for the region to grow. The law sets down a
region in which you can grow grapes to make port.
They banned elderberries—those were used for deepening the colour.
Had to rip out al lthe elderberry bushes from the region.
They banned the addition of spices like cinnamon and ginger (for
**One of the FIRST WINE LAWS. Now, wine and food laws are very
important. This guaranteed for the consumer that when you buy port,
you’re getting genuine port. Later, provided official stickers to go on port
bottles so you could sell the wine.
o Port became much more popular after this. By end of 1700s, English were again
importing huge amounts of port. Enoguh by 1800 for 6 bottles per capita for
whole English populatin—about 60 million bottles being imported per year.
o Of course, when we say 6 bottles per capita, we don’t mean that everyone was
drinking 6 bottles. Children weren’t drinking it, women weren’t really drinking it—it
was mainly male drink, for upper-class and middle-class males.
o Strong relationship between port and masculinity. The more you could drink, the
more masculine you were.
Of course, this is still going on now, but this was almost institutionalized in
England with port in the 1700s
Men expected to be “3 bottle man”. Expected to drink three bottles of port
at one session, remain standing and reasonably articulate at the same
Bear in mind that there’s less alcohol in alcohol then (14-16%) than there
is now (about 20%).
Also the size was different—bottles weren’t standardized until 1820s-
1830s. Bottles were individually blown. They were as big as glass-
blower’s lungs. They varied in shape and volume. So they oculd have
been smaller than they are today. Also, there would have been sediment at the bottom of the bottle and you
wouldn’t have finished it.
So, three bottles would be impressive but manageable by a manly man.
Became matter of pride to drink more than three bottles. Some were
reputed to be six bottle men—Prime Minister of England. University of
Oxford prof was a 13 bottle man.
Quote from Dr. Johnson, 18 century scholar at Oxford—he said “Claret is
the liquor for boys, port is the liquor for men…but he who aspire to be a
hero drinks brandy.”
**Brandy was also used as a drink in its own right. We see a big increase
in brandy production in west of France, early 1700s. The consumption of
it likely increased dramatically.
o Fortified wine, made on island of Madeira
o This is an appellation now
o It’s usually pale with amber colour, made in same way as port and sherry—
adding eau de vie to wine
o Begant o add eau de vie to the wine of Madeira- -an island in the Atlantic,
belongs to Portugal. The wine being shipped down to Africa or across to
American colonies was going bad in the barrels. Added eau de vie to preserve it.
o But for some reason, the wine wasn’t off-loaded when it got to destination. It
came back from destination. And when they tasted it, they found it was even
better than it was when it left. They didn’t know whether it was the heat, or the
rocking effect on the ship. They kept the wine for extra period on Maderia,
simulated the heat and rocking of trans-Atlantic voyage (left barrels out on the
sun, had slaves rock the barrels). Created a different kind of beverage.
o Similar to sherry.
o What makes it differtn from port is that it’s slightly oxidized—oxygen had
chemical reaction, created oxidized flavor. Oxidation is often not a good thing
with wine, but in certain cases like sherry and Madeira, it’s part of the
o Madeira becam important in 1700s. Started off as a cheap thing, but by en do
f18th century it was luxury beverage. Barrel of Maderia increased by 1600% over
the course of the century.
o Particularly popular in east coast of US, in the South (Charleston, etc.)
o Sherry varies a lot. Can go from clear like water to black. Can go from bone-dry
(puckering your mouth) to super sweet and rich (pours like molasses, like drinking raisin pie). Somwhere in the middle, there’s a sherry that tastes like
o **For the most part, Madeira was trans-Atlantic commodity while port was a
• 18 century: appear to have growth of heavy drinking by wealthy people
o Exemplified by port
o Maybe these people were drinking heavily all the tiem but no one cared. Either a
new phenomenon or a new sensitivity towards an old phenomenon. Can’t be
o We see growing distinction between drinking by wealthy people an drinking by
poor people. Move away from undifferentiated condemnation (in previous
centuries, warnings against general excessive drinking).
o We assume th atwealthy people could get away with it, but in the 18 century
there’s this distinction
o We looked at the gin craze of early 1700s—this was all about poor people,
concern by the wealtyh and middle classes about poor people (and especially
poor women). There was always that concern that alcohol in the hands of the
poor is more dangerous.
o But in 18 century, we see rationalization for the different attitudes towards them.
It was said that when poor drink, it tends to be socially disruptive. They drink out
in public, tended to be socially disruptive. For that reason, heavy drinkin by the
poor was matter of public concern. Law enforcers should be able to step in and
control drinking by poor people. But wealthy people tended to drink privately in
their homes (not taverns)—in the case of men and port, drank in their clubs.
Quite different between them—public vs. private.
o Drinking by poor in public places can lead to roudiness, disruption—needed to be
controlled. Wealthy dirnking at home could be disruptive if they wanted to be,
violent in subdued kind of way, but it was outside public view and not danger to
public order. Could be just left.
o Also general sense that when well-off people drank heavily, it was sign of moral
weaknes,s no reason to punish people for it. When poor drank, they drank to get
drunk and cause problems—could be prosecute for these kinds of acts.
o Poor more likely to neglect families/responsibilities, drink the money that should
have gone to provide for wives an dchildrne.
o IN many cases, alcohol was implicated in not only public violence but also private
violence. Look at divorce cases in France—many cases of family conflict and
marriage breakdown had alcohol implicate din them. Many cases of domestic
violence started with husband coming home drunk and beating her—also cases
of men admitting they drank too heavily, this is why they became violent. o But you couldn’t get off a charge for being drunk—was seen as either rhaving
nothing to do with the offence or being an aggravating factor.
o On top of alcohol and workers, increasing concern about alcohol and the military.
Soldiers and sailors had historically been given daily ration of alcohol by the
o British army during 18 century—between early 1700s and 1780s, the soldiers
got about 5 oz. of rum (2-3 shots), or about a gallon per month as standard
ration. For celebrations, got additional rations. If the weather was bad or had
hard duty, before going into battle—standard rations could double.
o Could purchase additional alcohol from merchants. Armies were enlarged by
followers—people who sold food/drink, prostitutes, etc. You have long crowd of
additional people following the army.
o Among these wer the victualers (sold food and drink)
o No hard and fast volume that soldiers were able to rink on daily basis. Some
counts of officers increasing the ration, a case of one officer selling men half a
pint of rum per day—quite a lot.
o Sailors at sea had even more—usually half a pint of rum diluted with water.
That’s because they were at sea and couldn’t buy additional rations. They were
o Tasked to reduce intake of alcohol by soldiers and sailors during late 1700s and
early 1800s. By 1830s, American army became first dry army in history. That
doesn’t mean they didn’t drink—they oculd purchase it—but they weren’t given
o When we get to WWI, the British and French, Germans, etc. all gave generous
rations to their soldiers.
o By 1916, most American states had Prohibition, so they couldn’t give soldiers an
alcohol ration. But some generals allowed their soldiers to drink light beer. In
WWII, it was more or less the same thing—light beer permitted. But it’s still a dry
army. Most armies are dry now—no official ration.
• American and French Revolutions—effect on alcohol because of taxation issues
o Alcohol: means by which governments could raise huge amounts of revenues
o Americans abandoned Prohibition in 1933 because they needed the taxation
from alcohol (hudnreds of millions of dollars from taxes before 1920. By 1930s
during Depression, they abandoned Prohibition for the revenues).
o Historicall,y Prohibition was a problem. Russia started it in 1914, it was continued
by Bolsheviks in 1917, but by mid-1920s, Soviet government begant o abandon it
because they needed the money—legalized vodka for the taxation. No possibility of getting loans through itnernatioanl market.This money supported the 5-year
o It was taxed and it was not taxed. System of taxation everywhere, but it was
usually excise tax—taxed as it passed through certain borders. In France (before
Revolution, there was no national market/economy…all the economies were
regional and various provinces all had provincial governments…Burgundy,
Bordeaux, etc.), if you wanted to ship anything by land across France, every time
you crossed provincial boundary, had to pay a tax. To ship from Bordeaux to
Paris, go across 3 or 4 boundaries, its value had increased maybe 4 times—it
was sold to consumers for high price. France was series of regional economies.
Wasn’t until Revolution that these boudnaries were erased and nation of France
was created—freed up the market. French Revolution created first national
o There was a lot of money to be made from taxation…Americans taxed alcohol
and its production.
o 1791: tax to enable federal government ot collect taxes on distilled spirits (from
other countries). Spirits produced in US from imported ingredients (molasses)
taxed at a lower rate. And spirits produced in US from local ingredients
(completely domestic) taxed at even lower rate. Distinction between large and
small brewers, too.
o All spirit production was now to be taxed—very different.
o Tax would prove to be very unpopular. The New Republic formed, needed money
—taxed the production of ANY spirits, including spirits produced for domestic
consumption. A lot of farmers used to make corn and produce their own corn
whiskey (for their consumption or to trade with their neighbours). Government set
up bureaucracy with tax inspectors, calculate how much was being made and
impose a ta.x.
o Whiskey Rebellion, 1794—farmers rebelled, attacked the offices of the alcohol
tax, attacked some of the inspectors and bureaucrats themselves. The rebellion
was put donw, but important reaction to this new kind of tax being imposed.
o American Revolution: shift in drinking patterns from rum to whiskey. Rum was
made from molasses, from British West Indies. War of independence: British
colonies casesd shipping molasses (trade imbargo), Americans didn’t have
ingredients to make rum. But there was lots of corn, could make whiskey out of it
—became patriotic drink. Rum associated with imperialism…
o French Revolution: see decrease in wine prices. 1791, the French eliminated
their alcohol tax. Before Revoulition, sales taxes on all kinds of good (soap,
firewood, wine). 1791, abolished these taxes, restricted system to get rid of sales
taxes and create income taxes instead to raise the money. A large amount of
price of wine before was taxes.
o Before central taxes were abolished, epopel tried to evade the taxes. By late
1700s, a lot of communities just outside of the city walls—they were able to sell wine outside more cheaply because when alcohol was brought in, had to pay tax
on it. But outside in cabarets, inns, etc., alcohol was cheaper. Migration outsid
eon the weekends to drink cheap alcohol. City authorities sent navies to build
new walls, bring them within boundaries so