Sugar. Sugar in the Middle Ages was not only considered a food but also a medicine
sugar in the Middle Ages it was considered a delicious food, but also a kind of medicine.
It was in fact in the middle centuries that it began to spread also in the West to replace, at least for the most part, the honey, which in ancient times had been the sweetener par excellence.
However, sugar was expensive and only the richest could afford it.
It became an indispensable ingredient for many dishes, including blancmange, one of the most characteristic of medieval gastronomy ( see also :https://www.pilloledistoria.it/3446/medioevo/storia-cucina-biancomangiare).
But that's not all.
As anticipated, sugar in the Middle Ages went far beyond cooking.
In particular, it was considered diuretic, useful for digestion and even effective against lung diseases.
Arnaldo da Villanova, famous doctor who lived in the thirteenth century who had among his most illustrious patients even pope Bonifacio VIII, he left numerous recipes to posterity medicaments which included sugar.
According to the luminary, they had extraordinary therapeutic and dietary properties.
One example among many?
A purified egg white sugar syrup.
In any case, it is good to specify that, already in the Middle Ages, it was understood that one should not make excessive use of this tasty food in order not to obtain the opposite effect, or health problems ( Photo gives: lenocinutrizionista.it).