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Ancient Greeks and Roman physicians "prescribed" cooking methods by humoral theory.
Meats were cooked with one general goal: make them edible.
reare dressed somwhat.1626 Bacon Sylva Sylvarum §53 Eggs (so they be Potched, or Reare boyled).1656 P. Estate France 260 A dish of Egges, rear-roasted by the flame.1722 D. With the exception of hogs, domesticated animals were slaughtered and consumed after they outlived their usefulness. Soups, stews, slow cooked casseroles & braizes were the norm.
Meats roasted on open fires released pleasing aromas, enhanced product flavor, and made the food easier to chew. Ancient western peoples so valued cooked meats that consuming anything raw was considered "barbarian."In the earliest days of civilization, most animals were kept for work (oxen to plough), textiles goods (sheep for wool), and sustainable edible products (cows and goats for milk & cheese; chickens for eggs). Slow cooking in some kind of broth rendered these tough sinews edible.
Joannes de Mediolano Regimen Sanitatis Salerni sig. 264 Let the egge be newe, and roste hym reare.1607 J. Some diners whoformerly consumed their beef on the raw side began ordering "well done" to be safe.
USA government stepped in to regulate "safe" cooking temperatures.
G.iii, Newe reare rosted egges be good in the mornynge.1548 T. ed.) at Ouum, Sorbile ouum, a reere rosted egge.1576 G. Certain meats were "prescribed" for boiling or roasting, according to their inherent humoral nature.
Before the days of reliable refrigeration, most meats were preserved. Cooking intensifiesthe taste of meat and creates its aroma. In sum: if it tastes good, people willorder.[Meat science 101: cooking methods/times of cooking effects flavor, texture & taste]"We cook meat for four basic reasons: to make it safe to eat, easier to chew and to digest (denatured proteins are morevulnerable to our digestive enzymes), and to make it more flavorful... It providessalts, savory amino acids, and a slighlt acidity to the tongue, but offers littel in the way of aroma.The Food Timeline: history notes Rare, medium or done? Originally only of eggs: slightly or imperfectly cooked, underdone. And when the cooking goes on for hgours, the fiber bundles fray away from each other, and even tough meatbegins to fall apart...A Western history of definitions & preferences According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "rare," counterbalancing "done" describing the doneness of meat, descendsfrom the word "rear," meaning imperfectly cooked or underdone. The earliest printreference to the word "rare" relating to meat cookery is circa 1615. Meat thermometers (1930s) took the guesswork out of judging doneness. Generally, we like meat to e tender and juicy rather than tough and dry.