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Cooking, early-mid 20th Century


Did food taste better years ago and if so, why?

My mother's generation regularly complained that food didn't taste like it used to. She was born in the early years of the 20th century while Edward VII was on the throne, and her mother, who did the cooking for the family was using Victorian methods.

I think that my mother was almost certainly right that food used to have more flavour years ago and I believe that there are several reasons - see below.

Why food probably tasted better in years gone by

In years gone by:

Today we are concerned about germs and we have less time to devote to meal preparation. So is it possible to achieve that old fashioned taste with modern labour-saving methods, without paying a premium for organic food and without a risk to health? I believe that the answer is yes, to a large extent.

Carrots, to take the example of just one vegetable, certainly did taste better years ago. See the extract from the World Carrot Museum.

John Stolarczyk
Curator, World Carrot Museum

The above links are to pages which show how I have done my best to achieve the old fashioned taste while making my own amendments to capitalise on more modern techniques, equipment and attention to food safety. I hope you find the pages interesting and useful.

If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased if you would contact me.

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