We ate a lot more raw food as an earlier species. We simply had to in order to survive. Hunting is hard work. Ask a fisherman. We were much more capable at foraging and gathering for our calories. And besides that fire was not something humans had on hand for eons … so there is that. The more we became civilized it seems the more we began to seek meat for our meals. Raw meat is the essential definition of foods that appear with the word tartare.
I remember “learning” about the famed Tartars of distant Mongolia horsemen who supposedly put slices of raw meat beneath their saddles to tenderize tough cuts and supply the riders with an early form of ‘road food’. But this was storytelling and not factual. “The Cambridge Medieval History” of 1924 says the story was started by early chroniclers who saw Mongol horsemen sliding meat beneath their saddles, but that the meat was meant to help heal the horses’ sores rather than fill the men’s stomachs. The meat would have been tainted with the horses’s sweat and rendered inedible in little time at all. Now that would cure me of ever wanting to eat a such a dish!
Now it’s time to hit the ‘Listen on WLRN’ button at the top to hear the remainder of my show. ‘A Word On Food’ airs on WLRN every Saturday around 8:30 a.m. at 91.3 and also 91.5 on the radio. I want to thank so many of you who tell me in person how much you are enjoying the show! Please check out my Instagram photos and my new IG TV cooking videos @normanvanaken