How Foods Tasted in the Early Modern Period and How They Taste Now

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How Foods Tasted in the Early Modern Period and How They Taste Now

this podcast is brought to you by the School of Advanced Study University of London all of our podcasts are available from our website WWE si si si tu k leaving everyone a very warm welcome to you all the path that is who are not bending my name is Roger Kay i’m the DD intensive of the school bravado study here we are an institution which supports facilitates and promotes research in the humanities and Social Sciences in London across the UK and out to the rest of the world tonight we’re here to listen to the academic year 2011-12 visiting fellow veteran which has been made possible by a very generous endowment to the school of our study by a Singapore businessman and philanthropist send t3 we use his guitar between a referral international stature to the UK to meet us tourists to vapors we have here others and to engage with like-minded academics across the UK tonight speaker goes on a train reach Edinburgh and Bristol now the process by which the visiting fellow is why the directors of the ten Institute’s which make up the school of the lights Ellie this year the visiting fellowship versus being shaken of Harvard University was nominated by Mary Smith director of our Institute of philosophy and was unanimously supported by myself and by various qualities and bangs a little bit more about that Steven alone when he takes a chair to the ledger and the subsequent tasting event which he organized but let me just say this gig changing is an academic who genuinely can be said to this tried the world stage a person that we and STV politic associating with school of our study so the chariot I’m n is a two-handed fair I’ll now pass over to Prez Barry Smith correct religion philosophy and associate dean of the school it’s a great pleasure to welcome Stephen Jaden to join us and also to give the STD this is improv sort of fell back sure many of you I think it’s neither of the audience because you already know of students work which stands enormous amount of a detailed thoughtful discussion of the history of science the way science is pursued way industrial relations between scientists inside academies and outside academies and be conducted in the 19th 20th century his work has reigned over a very large set of issues but always with the same forensic detail those with the same attention to not just the science or scientific findings but the methods that scientists use the way their ideas are trapped in pursuit and the community and history of those ideas and it’s a great delight to see that he has been increasingly turning his attention to the subject of taste now taste was a rebel time one of the most neglected of the senses one of the poor relations always overshadowed by vision tradition as being intellectual senses which we raise our eyes our ears attend to things independent of ourselves but many many academic style and certainly in Natural Sciences Bureau sciences psychology and Indian cultural anthropology have been discovering just how complex and I articulate our notion of tasting tasting is taste is one of the first experiences we have taste sensitizes a gatekeeper to everything that dangerous body from the environment to nourish us and is a very important since which develops preference of liking disliking for things from that

barely sense of our engagement with taste we become discriminating and discerning and it’s often something that we take for granted but that just comes from our own individual experience but of course Steven Jo has done water research into the history of our sense of taste of the cultural factors which have practices in scientific endeavors to calculate amenities which are shaped and given some extra dimension to the experiences that we think of as just perhaps subjective individual and it’s a great pleasure to have somebody research this area bring to light some historical roots as well as the contemporary discussions that tastes that are going on a pace in the Natural Sciences so I think we need the cultural dimension the historical dimension for that reason are very lucky to have Steven addressing these issues tonight and after the theoretical discussion for those of you who have registered there will be a tasting each other p eating just across the hall so if your name is on the list noting coming if it’s not I’m afraid we had to count the numbers just so that we could contain enough glasses and tables of people to commute acing but first let’s raise our appetite properly with the serious intellectual business of evening and would you join me me steel chain tremendous pleasure to be here thanks so much i want to thank Dean Cain very Smith sir alan peter Niven for getting me here unfortunately none of them could get me through Heathrow passport control there was a time when I wonder whether actually arrived here in time that’s the usual starting slide we have these they but that’s also my subject that’s the title on the right and that’s my subject on the left that’s a genre painting from the 1670s by men called Godfrey Schalk and that’s not of great importance but this is one of the few images we have not of the genre of the five senses of which there many but of the act of tasting this is a girl who is about the taste an apple sharpened it quite a number of these sorts of things and if you look at that scene there there are quite a few natural faxes that were involved in that scene one can hypothesized with some confidence that the apple that she’s about to eat is chemically roughly the same may have tasted better may not have tasted it but roughly chemically the same as apples now are one can also hypothesize with great confidence that the neurophysiological processes that she will undergo when she puts the apple on our tongue are roughly the same as the neurophysiological processes that happen now but there’s also deep historicity and that scene a series of questions which are his star of a nature what’s in her head as she puts that apple in her mouth what does she think that food is made of what does she think its virtues and its powers or how does she think the substance of that food relates to the substance of her body and eat other things in the world and finally what does taste mean to her what what language is what concepts what sensibilities does she have to understand what she’s tasting when she tastes that Apple what is it signal about the goodness the nutritious pneus the possible risks and dangers of the food now would be nice to parse taste into its stable natural bits and its variable historical bits but it’s not that simple psychologists as well as common sense actors know how profoundly taste at a neuro and exponential level is affected by one’s expectations of taste and these are his is thoroughly historical matters so this is a scene which has got natural bit but it’s got historicity all the way through so it’s a good image it wasn’t easy finding an image like thats a good image to consider now I want to start by describing some features of a taste culture that marked the early modern period 17th 18th century and first there is as a word an ontological or a cosmological aspect the relations between what people believe about their food and their understanding of the basic nature of matter secondly there there is an

epistemological aspect thought about the sensory experiences of taste and of digestion and it status is a source of knowledge about what makes up the alimentary portion of the world and third their features relating the ontology and the epistemology of element to practical medical advice into what have been called the practices of the self what are the edibles in the saying the well-known saying you are what you eat who is this you how does this you know about these edibles and what they do in you and to you so it that little scene of the girl eating the Apple is as we’re a window want to a series of questions as big in scope as you can imagine so let’s start with am a basic vocabulary used from antiquity through the early modern period for describing the nature of elements here’s some examples onions are hot and dry black pepper is the same but more so melons are cold and moist figs are hot and moist beef is cold and dry although if you rose to be if you make it moister and if you bake it you make a dryer it was often said that all wines are hot but different sorts of lines differed in their qualities and they could change fundamentally as they age so was widely said that wines got hotter as they got older now this vocabulary his galenic vocabulary comes from the roman physician galen in the second century AD its vocabulary that was used stabili from latin antiquity at least through the seventeenth century and in the vernacular the one could say into the 19th century and beyond it was a vocabulary that was used to describe the edible world and to prescribe what and how people should consume it refers to the four basic qualities of things in the world all things qualities possessed and pairs by the four elements in the Aristotelian platonic system earth air fire and water and in the body by the four humors which were blood phlegm yellow bile and black bile but the same time this is important to note hotness coldness Moyes’s and dryness are qualities that are apprehended by the senses by the sense of touch you can touch all these things but also by the sense of taste and for Aristotelian the senses of touch taste and smell were constitutively related what can be tasted is always something that can be touched now here you have to understand the taste and smell were understood to be contact senses the the the sense thing or an emanation of the sentence thing have to be in contact with the senses organ or to be experienced unlike sight and unlike hearing which were senses that could take in the world at a distance contact senses touch taste and smell might be necessary even in some cases reliable senses but they’re almost always regarded as low and crude from antiquity to the present in the 18th century for example cardiac began a survey of the senses with smell he said because of all the senses it is the one which appears to contribute least to the cognitions of the human mind taste wasn’t much better but it affects its possesses more powerfully than smell can’t believe something pretty much the same has been pervasively used as a model for proper knowledge in gustation only specific views of exponential effect Laden knowing the philosopher of science Michael Polanyi in the 1950s repeatedly referred to scientific judgment is connoisseurship and he gestured parallels between the skills of the scientist and those of the wine taster but apart from the views of thomas kuhn this sort of anti rationalist picture of scientific knowing has not proved popular the vocabulary of qualities didn’t of course exhaust the language that past people use to describe a taste of things Aristotle’s on the soul divided the species of flavor into the opposing categories of sweet and bitter the former included the succulent we don’t know what that is and the latter the salty we do somewhere in between ferrous metal came the pungent the harsh the astringent and the acid these pretty well exhaust the varieties of flavor Aristotle said and he concluded there was neither the need for nor the possibility of a very rich and extensive vocabulary of tastes and smells even

after the attempted revolution in the language in epistemology of olfaction gustation in the late 17th century John Locke who led that revolution wrote that the varieties of smells which are as many almost if not more than species of bodies in the world so in other words there is a rich and complex experience of smell most of them however he said lack names they like descriptive predicates sweet and stinking commonly serve our turn for these ideas which in effect is a little more than to call them pleasing or displeasing nor are the different tastes that by our palates we receive ideas of much better provided with names sweet bitter sour harsh and salt are almost all the epithets we have to denominator lyst variety of relishes etc etc so everyone noticed that the experience of taste and smell could be complex but our language wasn’t up to it and most people for reasons we’ll consider didn’t think that our language should make much of an effort of being up to it the lock was right about that early modern repertoires for describing the smells and tastes of food weren’t very extensive nor were there very discriminating nor did they try to belittle her change from antiquity apart from the galenic terminology common early modern vernacular terms for describing the tastes of foods and drinks were limited writing in the anatomy of plants in 1675 nemire cup eight simple tastes each illustrated by a botanical type paradigm so you want to know what bitter is for night my grew his rhubarb but he also gave names to many more compound tastes as many as 1800 but grew scheme never caught on and attempts to expand the list of basic tastes categories including those by von hauler and Linnaeus in the 18th century never got a grip on other scientific or vernacular usages a 17th century attempt to describe wine tastes name just for sweet acute was fear and mild now for substance that was recognized to have very complex flavors and odors that’s it in principle all the basic tastes terms like acid and sweet were understood to derive from the four Aristotelian qualities of things so for example sweet was sometimes said to be hot and moist but for present purposes it’s important to note that these qualities were themselves sensory qualities hot cold moist and dryer or qualities of things that are sensible as such by the related contact senses of touch and taste now the tongue is a tasting organ but it’s also a tactile Oregon at the same time now it’s a common sign it goes back as far as you like you are what you eat when you can find versions of it practically everywhere with a vocabulary of galenic medicine bound your nature to element and to the experiences of taste and digestion in a profound way just as food and drink could be described in terms of their possession of the four qualities so too were the humors which produced human temperaments and the temperaments complexions or constitutions the melancholic was someone in whom which we need in Hulme the humour of black bile dominated and thus tended too temperamental coldness and dryness scholars are notoriously melancholic cold and dry and of course you all get cold and dry as you get older and so on for people of bilious temperaments phlegmatic or sanguinary temperaments you could actually see these temperaments because this is the 18th century scheme fizzy na macol scheme of lava ter you have the phlegmatic man at the top left and the scholarly melancholic man at the bottom right so these humors are actually visible through ocean through showing the predominance of one or other humor so these are ways of describing so just as the categories of hot cold moist dryer way of the ways of describing types of people say to her sweet acid salty and dry it’s an interesting observation but it makes sense through the humoral scheme of things now the two broad principles regulating medical and lay practical advice about diet in the system first of all if you were a person in normal health you should consume foods that on the whole natural agreed with your temperament so for example if you were melancholic like me telling the cold and dry and in normal health than the diet that agrees with me as a diet of foods that tend towards the cold and

dry and so on and so forth and the term of art that was used now we don’t think of it as a term of art to describe this matching was agreement so when we say something agrees with us empty linguistic shell of a cosmological and psychological scheme in the galenic system so for example in the late 16th century the Venetian diet writer Luigi Cornero by the way need she hated because he was ascetic said that you ought only to eat and drink such things as agree with the stomach and that agreement follow the contours of temperament if you were cold and dry you should eat foods that tended toward the colder and so on and so forth however if you were ill an illness understood is it imbalance of one or the other humor therefore an imbalance of the qualities some melancholic people states of disease tend towards the extreme of coldness and dryness then you should eat foods that corrected for your momentary imbalance so they should eat foods that were whose qualities were in the opposite direction now of course we’re talking about cuisine and the Arts and Sciences of cooking were medically framed and medically understood tastes that went together and that were commended for their harmony and pleasantness were commonly combinations of element whose qualities balanced or corrected for and again the empty linguistic shell is correct the seasoning corrected for each other’s qualities for example here’s a classic one you can get at any Italian restaurant where the coldness and moistness of the melon is corrected by the dryness and the heat of the prosciutto or the Parma ham here’s another one much loved in an England rhubarb corrected by ginger so again the whole the whole understanding of cuisine in terms of the matching of foods has got a medical galenic framework cuisine and medicine you’re using the same line which in other words so these kinds of practices are ways of correcting foods whose qualities might tend towards over balance the qualities in your own body and therefore within a dish within a meal within a day within a seasonal diet the exercise of galenic medicine as the exercise of cuisine was to correct for imbalance the qualities of foods and you couldn’t know whether foods agree with you first by the quality of taste because after all your tongue your palate is made out of the same substance or the rest of your body so pleasant is on the palate is a sign an ontological sign that the foods that you have put warrior your palate agree with you and by the close observation of what foods were pleasant to your coward and what foods were well digested and what foods came out the other end in due form and order you clearly was it say become your own physician and you should be your own physician so your experience of tasty experience of digestion your experience of evacuation was the experience of what agreed with you and that was the basis on which was widely said you could and should be your own physician sometimes it was said then until the age of 30 until the age of 40 until the age of 50 every man was either a fool or a physician meaning of you hadn’t learned that much by that age then you were indeed a fool but typically it could be expected that you would learn that much you find that sort of language very strongly in montana who is of course extremely skeptical of the expertise of physicians so coming to know whether something agreed with you or not you could do this in a number of ways one way you could do was by reading the hundreds of books called diet aires which would explain to you what qualities were possessed by what different items element but the other way in which you could do this is I mentioned was through the experience of taste and hear the the Latin tag that expresses this powerful and it bounces around through the early modern period and beyond its quotes a pit nutrient if it tastes good it’s good for you the the thing has been attributed to a number of people but it’s probably like a lot of Proverbs and epithets of folks saying that pretty much everyone knew how to say it was an article of medical common sense at least in those sectors of society that could exercise significant elementary choice

your taste reliably told you what the qualities of foods were on what was good and needful for you and this is something that could be conceited even bike Cartesian like Nicolas mellow brass he used just that example in the late 17th century this is mal Abrash a man in fever for example who finds that wine is bitter and wine is also then harmful to him the same man finds it pleasant tasting when he is in health and wine is then good for him senators experience you find exactly the same example in Montaigne so when you go off wine when wine doesn’t taste good to you that is a sign that you should not be taking you should not be taking wine and when wine tastes good to you again that’s a sign that wine should be taken that it is helpful for you and this is the connection in which it’s useful to remember the taste one scary the general sense of testing were trying which it now does only in the case of cooking so you see a chef on television saying taste taste taste in a sense of test test test just as a section says correct the seasoning now quotes Abbott was one basis for the now seemingly perverse medical enthusiasm for sweet things they’re like many other exotic foods and spices shooter had long been treated as a medicine and sold in patha carry shops in 1620 an English physician announced that sugar agree with all ages and all complexions as temperaments some historians claim that expert medical sentimental this was changing by the beginning of the 17th century but influential physicians insisted on the superior nutritious taz of sweet things well into the 18th century and I give you William Cullen lecturing on a materia medica in the 1760s and he said that the agreeableness of taste was a wholly reliable guide to the nutritious pneus of things this is Cullen in general the more sweet substances are all nutritious while those of an acrid bitter and nausea snitcher are improper human bodies are most delicate and the acrid bitter and disagreeable can never be admitted as elements nocona definitely heard criticism of Scott’s notoriously sweet tooth and he rejected it sugar is wonderful he said it doesn’t rot the teeth as some allege and he said the mischiefs of what is cold and Scotland eating of sweeties are wrongly imputed to sugar including sweet wines so this was a common thing well into the 18th century quotes at but nutrient in the 1670s malla branch the Cartesian defended the reliability of the senses including gustation as guides to medical prudence how things tasted could be quite a good sign of their powers and effects a suggestion that was also made by Robert Hooke and now Maya grew so the subjective experience of liking something was in another frame index of that things real qualities and powers that’s to say the aesthetic experience of liking the subjective experience of liking if it gives epistemological grip to the experience of customization and olfaction now this broad relationship even taste quality and consequence was folded into the intellectual structures of eighteenth-century botany materia medica and physiology the article on botany in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica codified common knowledge glossing standard taste categories according to their bodily effects the sensations of smell and taste give us some intimation of the nature and qualities of plants an agreeable taste or smell is seldom accompanied with nauseous qualities and lots and lots of people said but the taste of bitterness of botanical things for example was a reliable sign perhaps divinely ordained of the elements thank you don’t eat me I may be poisonous and by the way there for the the discussions from the middle of the 17th century 21 word about the naturalness and healthfulness of tea and coffee was very much set against this sort of background because tea and coffee were reckoned to be notoriously bitter and there further the connection is Sydney mints has argued between the tea and sugar powering the Industrial Revolution again is understood in terms of a galenic medical framework 18th century philosophers debated the relationship between judgement and taste and they debated the emerging metaphorical extension of politics through aesthetic taste and doing that they could call on a standard of taste which was grounded

in both physiology and theology and that held out the possibility of moral critique so this is Thomas read Scottish common sense philosopher and essays on the intellectual powers of man the taste of the palate may be accounted most just and perfect when we relish the things when we relish the things that are fit for the document of the body and are disgusted with things of a contrary nature that sort of taste was the manifest intention of nature and so for people like Reed had to account for the depravity of taste which was the result of custom which was the result of civilization is one of diseases of civilization that corrupted the natural taste by which we would eat things that tasted good and though things that only those things would be good for us so connoisseurship the connoisseur who was appearing on the scene at around the time read as writing if you want them to be an ascetic presbyterian po-faced critic it was one of the causes of corrupted taste there’s a debate between the connoisseur as a refined figure in the connoisseur is an example of depravity now there was a second sense of what it was for element to agree you could tell whether something greedy when it didn’t go down well when didn’t sit well in your stomach and we didn’t come out the other end do I pay a doctor when you could tell the evidence signs would agreed with you now in practical Dietetic terms this understanding of agreement and it’s related ontological concept of taste meant that following your appetites might and often should be the right thing to do aesthetics and people commending deference to professional medical expertise might differ but the notion that if it tastes good it’s good for you circulated influential II throughout the renascence and early modern civil society which one of the problems that doctors had in taking all the joy out of life the first rule of medicine inscribed on Apollo’s temple of Delphi was know thyself and in galenic medical culture you might do that effectively through the evidence abundantly and excessively offered by how foods taste it and by the experiences of digestion in the early modern taste and digestion were cosmological conditions with evident epistemological implications so I summarized this bit of what I have to say in the early modern culture of taste a culture that remained amazingly stable since Roman antiquity how things taste it had ontological grip the taste of things testified to how things ultimately were taste also had epistemological implications in that taste based knowledge might be regarded as secure maybe clumsy but secure even if it lacked the discriminating language and it had practical consequences since exponential knowledge of yourself and your food enable you to constitute your own expertise and to prescribe your own regiment so the question is what happened what happened when this culture of taste began to change and finally when it practically disappeared from official expertise about bodies and elements at the very end of the 17th century John Locke was one of several thinkers trying to come to terms with that it’s the exotic taste of a pineapple the pineapple was both a talisman of the unprecedented ly exotic and a typical sense object this is a painting by John rose around the 1670s of the royal gardener no not painting by genres it is John Rose the royal gardener presenting the first pineapple allegedly grown in England to King Charles the second Royal Society had an intense interest in the cultivation of the pineapple through the middle of the 18th century but the John Locke and other philosophers the pineapple was a problem lock reckoned that the standard language we had to convey taste others who had not consumed such a thing was wasn’t up to the task though that objection I think should apply to much more common subjective experiences such as the taste of a pair I mean John Locke when he wrote this apparently had never tasted a pineapple everyone had tasted a pair so you could say pair like and everyone would know because everyone had the simple idea of a pair but if he said pineapple you couldn’t do this in language because no one knew what a pineapple tasted like and the language wasn’t up to it we talked about how things taste but it’s mostly only talk and what we ascribe to words should be rightly ascribed to prior sensory experiences with the material objects of taste and this is John Locke and the essay concerning human understanding basically he said simple ideas are only

to be got by those impressions objects themselves make with our minds by the proper inlets appointed to each one he that thinks otherwise it white let him try if any words can give him the taste of a pine people and make him have the true idea of the relish of that celebrated delicious fruit you can do it okay think about that wine tasters now here we’re on the classic ontological and epistemological terrain of the Scientific Revolution the distinction between primary and secondary qualities traced first in Galileo’s assayer and later found and writings by Descartes boil and systematically John Locke himself the subjective experiences of how things look feel sounds smell and taste are not to be taken as reliable indications of how they are of what they are as objects so that lock wrote that sensible qualities like the yellowed earnest of the pineapples flesh the sharpness of its skin the sweetness of its savor and any other of its sensible forms are secondary qualities they are in truth nothing in the pineapple itself the power is to produce those sensations are in the pineapple but they depend on the primary qualities of the size shape arrangement and motion of its non sensible parts so what Locke is doing is taking away epistemological an ontological grip from the experiences of olfaction and a gustation note here that the vocabulary traditionally used to describe the pineapples foodstuff including its position when the map of galenic qualities was so to speak sorry for the fancy term deontology and the knowledge that we may have of the pineapple as a smelled and tasted object now appears is epistemological problem the taste of a pineapple you could say with some exaggeration was perhaps one of the first truly modern philosophical problems epistemological problem the pineapple was a move in philosophy but it also marked the shift in the status of common experience in medicine and in the practices of the self I’ve said something about how taste featured in medical thought and practice in the 17th century and before you are what you eat temperaments to the extent that were still invoked after lock could have no causal connection to the qualities of element the cosmological connection had been formally broken with some notable exceptions quote sabat nutrit became a nonsensical thing to say in official scientific and medical culture Bree a sovereign said that in the 1820s in France but he was a gourmand not a doctor or philosopher indigestion also lost so to speak its epistemological significance and more generally every cultural practice that depended upon taste and smell being reliable guides to what the world was ultimately like was being set free from its ontological and epistemological moorings now if taste had lost some time around 17th 18th century of tastes that lost its status as a reliable philosophical guide as an index to what the world was ultimately like that didn’t mean it had become worthless nor could it or any of the other senses be regarded as worthless in a culture that understood the senses as divine gifts the same senses that were no longer much good and telling us about the ultimate realities of the world might remain valuable in getting us around the world on a day-to-day basis foucault and others have written about the pre classical world of signatures a world in which there were telling and god-given resemblances between the appearances of things their natures and their powers those resembles operated on an elementary level consider how this worked for wines in the sixteenth and seventeenth century minds that resembled blood were scribe some of its powers so 10th or Tinto probably as we would say Rioja is it was said in something century a gross nutritive wine and is very quickly concocted into blood this is an illogical reasoning wines there were light in color and light and texture were often said to have medical consequences flowing from those sensible qualities so for example Rhenish one or hawk is wholesome diuretic and serviceable in the stone and graph everyone had the stone in the early modern period while tart and sharp wines cause obstruction so once it appeared light in color and texture could even be

said to dissolve gravel and the stone this is again as analogical reasoning now Foucault said that the cosmology in resemblances and signatures disappeared by the early 17th century replaced by mechanical quality less cosmos the world of representation true in the atra mechanical medical and physiological practices deriving from the natural philosophies of boiled Descartes Newt in other words the attempt to make the mechanical philosophy of nature into a medical system the causes of taste and smell were ultimately ascribed to the effect on the bodily substance of particles that were variously size shape configured and move but again it’s not quite that tidy loot onian and cartesian medical writers of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries could stick with the old inferential patterns the galenic patterns or they might use the newer mechanical vocabularies to justify traditional inferences from the sensory appearances of Alamut to their qualities and powers and more commonly and this is the typical taste in history they work with a pastiche of the old galenic and analogical modes of reasoning and the new mechanical modes of reasoning in the early 18th century for example the newtonian physician John Arbuthnot going through a standard list of elements in their virtues occasionally endorsed analog the reasoning from the taste of things to reliable knowledge of their physiological powers this is for a Newtonian even while tracing the effects of foods to their corpuscular makeup apples are buffett said were in general cooling and gently laxatives and he noted that their qualities may be easily known by their taste this is not the kind of thing that a Newtonian should be saying we said it things give sensory signals of what they were likely to do when when eaten the vocabulary linking taste the powers didn’t disappear suddenly nor was it likely to do when you reflect on the range of expert and lay practices in which such inferences were institutionalized in other words they’re a part of the processes of getting around on a quotidian basis it’s not easy to get rid of the schemes that underlie those practices reference the taste that invoke qualities and temperaments continued into the 19th century and beyond especially in popular medical genres though they began to fall away from academic writings from the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century the so-called chemical revolution of the late 18th early 19th century for all practical purposes shattered any remaining substantial links between the experiences of taste and knowledge of the real properties and effects of foods the physiological writings of the English chemist William proud divided the properties of element as he called them the three stamina or root principles into the saccharine sweetness the oily a category of which for him included alcohol and the albuminous or we would tend to say proteinaceous and while you can see in principle how at least the sweet might map onto the sensation of taste in fact Krauts work in the 1830s made absolutely no reference to gustation more than the slightly later and more influential work of the German chemists used as for leaving dividing the nutritious constituents of aliment into proteins starches and fats liebig knew what these constituents were chemically they knew what effects they had on the human body but the experiences of taste were no longer a significant part of the story you couldn’t taste these things you had to go through the chemists laboratory in order to know these things as the constituents Val Elliman by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the fast-developing disciplines eventually to become known as nutrition science had effectively removed taste from the resources people possess to know what their element was made of and when ingested what effects it would have on them here’s a modern artifact it’s a Nutrition Facts label this one comes from the United States but there are equivalents in the UK and in many other European countries you cannot taste the listed constituents on this Kristen conjuncture of nutrition science and state authority you cannot taste saturated and trans fats cholesterol and even though you say you might be able to taste sodium as salty we all know that through the ingenuity of organic chemists but the experiences of fattiness and the experience of saltiness can be produced by substances

other than sodium or or or lipids so you don’t know these things and the modern nutritional science scheme of things through taste you think you know that sweet things of sugar but then there are artificial sweeteners and so on and for example of salty things you know them and they have become too large extent part of our vernacular whereas when people say I have to watch my sodium or have to my cholesterol but we know these things by courtesy to have to transit the expert chemists the board Tory another to become part of our vernacular so it’s not an opposition between a modern vernacular it’s that part of our modern vernacular is now generated in the chemists the boards right now what about the place of connoisseurship in the story the character of the connoisseur came fully into being in the 18th century together with the English importation of the French term and I want to argue but couldn’t possibly establish the claim here that the full flowering of the vocabulary of elementary connoisseurship is a 20th century phenomenon if that’s so there’s some apparent counter evidence to consider plenty the elder Roman antiquity mentioned a freed slave in the court of Emperor Claudius who could reliably distinguish wines of different geographical origins detect which of them were flawed and predict which would suit the Emperor’s palate emerging culture of refinement and sensibility in the 18th century edgeley approved the extension of the idea of a taste for element to a taste for beautiful art for some that was metaphorical for others it testified to capacities genuinely shared between the two forms of taste in 1712 this is an example of approving of the extension joda joseph addison of the spectator wrote about taste and how it might be improved i know a person who possessed gustatory abilities and so great a perfection that after having tasted ten different kinds of t he would distinguish without seeing the color of it the particular sort which was often these are not uncommon stories even in roman antiquity they certainly circulate in the 18th century now on Don Quixote Cervantes told a story which was importantly repeated in the mid 18th century and day humes great essay of a standard of tastes and this is the story that humans telling which he lifts from from Don Quixote it’s a story about Sancho Panza saying he comes from a family of celebrated wine tastes there isn’t a story is that some of Sanchez kins went to a village and is a hog set of wine and you’re so good they say the villagers say through the the Ponce’s tell us whether this wine is good or not the relatives take a taste of the wine once says pretty good by detect a note of leather other one tastes is pretty good but I the test detect a note of iron and the villagers laugh of them just like they laugh at the guava and bell pepper people and include berry and me using such predicates but the joke Sancho panz and David humans was on the villagers because when the hog said was drained they found at the bottom of the Hogs at a leather and key so a little bit of a taste of leather a little bit of the taste of art but note this story is not about guava and Belle paper as flavor components it’s about flaws in the taste of wine wine what not to taste of art what not to taste of of leather so the ability of people to make these discriminations though the language was lacking is not a problem but is widely acknowledged over a very long period of time by very many people becomes rather more important as the culture connoisseurship develops in the 18th and 19th century this is bria sovereign applauding the Gorman’s of Rome who are able to distinguish the flavors of fish taken from above and below the bridge have we not seen in our own time that gourmands can distinguish the flavor of the phy on which the Partridge lies down from the other are we not surrounded by gourmets and I love this example comparing the accuracy of judgment with the accuracy of scientific knowledge are we not surrounded by gourmet so you can tell the latitude in which any wine ripened as surely as one of bosra goes disciples can foretell an eclipse and in 1863 an English connoisseur who

professed himself unable to make the such discriminations wrote that the palette like the eye the ear were touch acquires by practice various degrees of sensitiveness that would be incredible were not a well ascertained fact it is related that of the Roman epicures in the time of the poulos that they could decide whether an oyster was from the loo cream lake or from natalia the Victorian English were notably insistent on the pertinence of such discriminations a connoisseur and one of trollops novels urged the importance of knowing that tastiest bit of a salmon was it from the neck or the middle a crude palate was the exact equivalent of an untrained eye or an immoral character not to distinguish this is a trollop character not to distinguish a51 wine from a 58 is to look at an arm or leg on the canvas and to care nothing whether it is in drawing in perspective or out of drawing not to know the finest beefsteak from other beef sakes is to say that every woman is the same to you see getting connoisseurship as a form of knowing yes it has epistemological significance and it also has moral significance in a culture of refinement discriminatory discriminatory taste skills had long had an important place in court and polite societies and by the 18th century a reflective polite culture of connoisseurship valued gustatory discrimination even if many writers continue to have their doubts about its legitimacy as any in aesthetic capacity on a par with the taste for poetry or painting how could it have happened can’t ask that modern languages have designated the aesthetic Faculty of judging with an expression useless suppor that merely first to a certain sense organ the inside of the mouth and to its discrimination as well as choice of enjoyable things the feeling of an organ through a particular sense has been able to furnish the name for an ideal feeling the feeling namely of a sensible universally valid choice in general so some approve that transference of pallet tastes the higher aesthetic taste others insisted on the firm distinction between palette judgement and painting judgement but the development of elementary connoisseurship is a noteworthy moment in the history of taste and it now has a body of solid scholarship about it but some historical qualifications have to be made almost everything about gustatory discrimination before the late 18th century almost everything about the talk about gustatory discrimination before the late 18th century concerned the capacity to discern soundness and authenticity especially in the case of wines there was a series of practical concerns address through taste and smell was the wine flawed was it in good condition was it adulterated was it the wine that it was said to be there is no doubt that certain consumers were also concerned with the taste of quality and that quality judgments about different sorts of Parliament including wines circulated in past cultures they did but once those questions were addressed there was little or no concern with parsing gustatory and olfactory experiences reflecting on the range of those experiences analyzing those experiences assigning to those experiences descriptive predicates and then using those analytic descriptions to do something in the culture that was not an ontological nor medical the vocabularies of connoisseurship from the 18th century filled part of the cultural space once occupied by the sensibilities and categories of Aristotelian natural philosophy and galenic Dietetic medicine so the decline of both scholasticism and Galen that galenic medicine must have something to do with the changing languages and practices of taste and here the history of taste intersects the history of epistemology sometime in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the institutionalization of the distinction between primary and secondary qualities disrupted traditional network connecting taste experiences knowledge personal identity and practical action learning society came to regard taste and smell as less and less capable of serving as a probe into what the world was like and what its ingestible portions did for you and

to you for guidance and such things you now had to turn to external expertise you could no longer taste the reality or experience its constitution through digestion taste experiences and judgements were filed away in the drawer labeled subjective carrying the epistemic health warning that there’s little to be coherently said about them or done with them but paradoxically through the 19th century and into the 20th century we’ve actually wound up saying not less and less about taste but more and more the removal of taste experiences from the practices of producing reliable knowledge of the world and of our bodies may taste the scientific and philosophical orphan but at the same time it may taste the suitable case for connoisseurship our modern connoisseurs display their ability to analyze distinguish between and assign descriptive predicates to each of the thousands of wine flavor and odor component and to produce seemingly precise quantitative measures of how good good wines taste the vocabulary of taste is accordingly moved from the spare to the ornate from the limited vocabulary of wine tastes used in the 17th century we now have wines tasting like wet stones roasted lilacs raw walnuts savory fennel seed tomato skins burley tobacco and even my favorite fresh roadkill how would you know there are people who know how to make those distinctions and there are those who do not we no longer use taste to know the qualities and powers of element to sort the edible world into the bits that are good for you and those that are not for those purposes we have the language concepts skills and institutions of technical experts what’s left the lay society is the use of these of these distinctions to sort the species of people those that have taste and those that it not and here’s the image I don’t know if you can read this the famous James Thurber cartoon from The New Yorker in 1937 the host hoists his class and says it’s a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding but I think you’ll be amused by its presumption distinctions between people thank you understand we have time for a few questions yes through this young asian takes from Romania Bulgaria and just wanting the house much about craft your face you need Oh it’s very relative to the fish lindenstra├če as he young you know a copy and soap soap makers yell at customer values just you’re absolutely right the person who was a great difference authenticity the court of choice to slave the Charter includes the mysteries miss from the vendor’s group south he’s a very important source of that ability to do things comp access including the sense you’re absolutely right about it it should be who intends to be another pressure correctly broader visible from

the view of the scientific in other words and I’m in London clear about that on the one hand we have a poverty of language the other hand we have the admitted ability of certain people perhaps through practice grabs the national natural gifts to make very fine consequentialist distinctions however the people from romantic me through the renascence era tomonori until agriculture were fun negative symptoms are not highly valued people so I think it’s extremely interesting suggestion No it’s a very interesting example I think can’t describe minute quantities say the face against the main girl office surgery what happens is it talk about my speech so the one hand we were feeling rather but unheilig or macao this tendency to think things that takes the must be bad force which is that geologic relationship to why medicine should better in other words that things that taste good can’t possibly be good for us is a cuddle it’s a doppelganger to the idea the things that are powerful perhaps dangerous perhaps curative are similar by their blood plasma communities or what happens I think in a doctors surgeries or eye of the how many units of alcohol as an ultra-flattering boy i dont rly position glasses and some doctors will say or has a cigarette out of this case others will say well if you enjoy it must be unquote so I think that’s the kind of pasty sure nobody comes in the well that face disturbance at a stretch on Saturn disease or premises not a disease true that such again I think he got very high loaded message so one hand you’re sick must have this bitter tasting medicine under your head you’re sick I miss myself the only time I should like that is when i’m sick and so some of a culture my grandmother would notice if there’s something this is world Montaigne if you if you want something worse it’s probably good for you if you don’t I think secret recover finest official medical texts and I think Russ these kalenna quote seven neutral sensibilities of it alberta health official medicine which do not train from our our daily practices ok nice true the story of original sin one of kind of food by the way I become an apple in history art but the wrong come under equal attention since the same language it taste of what does happen with original set without any forecast as they know how to do things that they didn’t have before moving that who’s a transfer of everything that needs cook sellers were understaffed and his treatment is debated pneus today mark what is the group of are the one was that there were feet

area today were said it Cody get as a condition of original sin its immortal beings that continues of the flood the earth becomes the spurt out our tastes Nathan me now solstice places and save a recount and Calvinism as a story about why is the relevance of your question why is your rush for spicy and compounded allowing prepared foods is a bad thing morally so this is one of the great debates about whether we are made for pleasure babe 15 it does really poorly several slices possible a purpose or the compounding of foods for the late Middle Ages yeah the answer is it as a contestant easily know I chose really go to say only and they don’t have to is pretty ridiculous y agreed but then the constant string of contests both biological and sometimes from political as in debates have reported clerked for the 18th century of this country our arguments over the natural taking ideas of the documentation humankind is how racial set has affected how surplus of similar practices where are our London for things corruption of taste by the civilizing process or whether our liking things is our alliance truce this is two bowls of terms correctly morality or and Eric very drove us apart and various tall tales rich satisfying hours all the ways would expect faisal auto first very cool I feel that I’m hoping that some people may find that in what comes next those of you who have that signed signed up to because the tasting tasting is across the hall in mcallen wall justjust very costly and if you were going to take a seat and we were in that within 5-10 minutes but before that will you join me