Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Lead Poisoning = Salty Food
Garum is very salty. Actually given the amount of salt used in making it, it would probably be a saturated solution, meaning the no more salt can be dissolved into it. In fact I've heard many of the ancient recipes appear to use so much salt as to be completely unpalatable. Odd.

Except I've also just read that one of the symptoms of lead poisoning is a inability or decreased ability to taste salt.

Curious indeed.
>|P. Dominus Antonius|<
Tony Dah m

Oderint dum metuant - Cicero
Si vis pacem, para bellum - Vegetius
Very few ancient recipes give quantities at all, and neither Apicius nor Vinidarius mention salt often. It has been theorised that in Roman upper class cuisine, garum stood in for salt and thus in many recipes the mention of 'garum' is equivalent to the 'pinch of salt' that goes into all kinds of modern foods to bring out the flavours.

Personally, I'm not sold on the 'oversalted' theory. We do not have quantities, and it was long assumed on dubious evidence that the plethora of herbs and aromatics mentioned in recipes must have been overwhelming, but they can equally well be balanced very finely. Chinese chefs do it all the time. It's just us Westerners that aren't good at it any more.

Remember, they also used to say that medieval food was spiced to disguise the taste of rotten meat.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
A few things might be taken into account here. One is the a person who eats spicy foods aften will gain a tolerance to the spice after a while such that it will take more and more to taste spicy, this being called sensory adaptation or a sensory-perceptual alteration secondly with age, adults loss taste buds as a normal part of aging. Once again more salt would be needed to satisfiy the palate, this is often evidenced by observing the diatary requests of the elderly, very spicey, not neccasarly good for them, but spicy because it takes more spice for them to taste. This may be as simple as the people are just accustomed to eating such salty foods on a regular basis. With Lead Poisoning Sensory alteration is a later sign of chronic exposure. by this time other symptoms may have developed such as paralysis, blindness, and death. It seems somwhat unlikely enough Lead would have been ingested for a long enough period to warrent a long term change in diet to compensate for senory loss.
AKA: Gary

"Don\'t worry about my life, I can look after it. When I let it go, It will be because I have no further use for it."

-Gaius Julius Caesar, "The Grass Crown"
About garum:
Though it is for heard, we all know that the garum was a sauce of fish realized by fermentation of the same one in vats with salty water and, today per today, it is lost as seasoning in west; nevertheless, in Vietnam a sauce of fish continues being realized, in concretly anchovies, which it is possible to use as substitute of the garum: it is a transparent liquid of color dark honey and strong smell of fish. If you are interested in obtaining it for the accomplishment of the plates, it meets facility in shops of oriental food, under Nuoc-nam's name.
See the related post:

Forum Jump: