As both the anthropologist Sidney Mintz and the historian Jean-Louis Flandrin have documented, it was only recently that the instinct for devouring sweets met the availability of abundant sugar. In pre-Crusades medieval European diets, only honey and fruit and other “natural” sweeteners were available, and they were mostly used in savory dishes. For centuries, sugar was a spice as rare as myrrh and as precious as saffron: an expensive extra used to give food taste and color. Only in the Renaissance did sugar slowly, through the New World, become widely current.
Short-hop regional flights could be running on batteries in a few years.
The artifacts were often made from found objects – an Ivory dish-soap bottle transformed into an earthenware figure.
On New Year’s Eve 1899, the captain of this Pacific steamliner sailed into history. Or did he?