Medieval flavors

Medieval flavors from Avicenna's Canon, there are 8 different flavors: sweet (represented by honey), fat (butter), bitter (nuts), acid or sour (vinegar), austere tightened (unripe citron - related species of lemon), bitter, and piquant (spices). Other texts give: insipid (the white of egg )

This classification is not suited to the four elements ...

Medieval flavors from Avicenna's Canon, there are 8 different flavors: sweet (represented by honey), fat (butter), bitter (nuts), acid or sour (vinegar), austere tightened (unripe citron - related species of lemon), bitter, and piquant (spices). Other texts give: insipid (the white of egg )

This classification is not suited to the four elements (air, earth, fire and water), but there are conversion tables  such as Bartholomy the Englishman (Book of properties of things, fifteenth century) :

Piquant XXX XXX      bitter warm XXX XXX     salt XXX XXX    

fat XXX XXX    soft temperate XXX XXX
insipid XXX     acid XXX     austere cold XXX    sour XXX 

In The thirteenth century, Aldebrandin de Sienne, living in Champagne, wrote in French the "Plan body" diet book for a fairly large public. Here may be seen the advent of dietetics for the whole population.  
  The Tacuinum Sanitatis is a translation of a book written in Baghdad by Ibn Butlab in the Xth century. It contains tables presenting the qualities of foodstuffs. In 1260, the Latin version is written in 1260, probably for the account of the count of Manfred of Sicily. The second is published in Italy in the XVth century. Two texts are published : the first one, quite complete, is a good adaptation of the original. The second is published in Italy in the XVth century, finely decorated, each page contains an illustration with little text. Cream cheese is described as cold and wet. It is better if it comes from the tempered milk from healthy animals. On the positive side, it softens and fattens the body, but it causes constipation; this unfortunate event may be avoided by almonds and nuts (warm and dry nature). 

A Greek legend will have it that medecine was invented as a consequence to an alimentary problem.   It is believed in the Middle Ages there was a correspondence between the human body on which four moods operate (blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile), in conjunction with the 4 elements. Blood is warm and humid as air, and melancholy, cold and dry, corresponds to phlegm or earth.It influences foodstuffs : fowls that live in the air are also warm and humid whereas roots, in contact with the earth, are cold and dry. To keep one's health, a man must consume food that allows him to keep a balance between his moods. His food will vary according to his temperament.

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