When it comes down to it, I would rather have food then coffee any day. If I lived in during the civil war, and was a soldier I would never even drink coffee. Soldiers need to be awake and on their feet, and coffee has a reverse effect on me. Instead of energizing and being fast paced, I become very serene and sleepy. The smell of the coffee soothes my brain, while the warm sweet taste relaxes my muscles. Food, on the other hand ; fulfills my every need to be awake and on the move. I feel whole after a meal and I am able to conqueror anything in my path. Food trumps coffee in my book any day.
It is interesting to learned about the soldier’s diet during the civil war time from two articles New York Times and PBS. The soldier’s diet were simple, their meal consists of protein, starch and vegetables. What fascinated me was the hard tack, when I searched it up on Google, the picture of hardtack it reminded me of a simple cracker. I also understand why the soldiers were looking more forward to coffee instead of a meal. Coffee “fuels” the soldier and according to the article coffee was mentioned more than cannons and the war itself.
I prefer food over coffee because to me food is more satisfying to my appetite. This is not because I dislike coffee, coffee is something I enjoy but not love. I love food and it is hard to pick a food I can’t live without. However if I were to pick one, it will be fries. Especially “Banh Mi Fries” from my favorite Vietnamese Sandwich shop called JoJu in Elmhurst, Queens.
As a food lover I would have to say that I would give up coffee. For me food is life. I do drink coffee but once a blue, so I won’t be really missing it. Where as food for me is life, coffee for these soldiers was life. It was a bit disturbing reading that when they were desperate for a drink of coffee they would even brew the coffee in the water their horses rejected. We have a lot to be thankful for. Consuming coffee saved lives back then in the civil war. What caught my attention where there was no coffee and they would substitute coffee with roasted corn, rye and chopped beets. They got that brown colored brew but minus the coffee. I would do the same thing if I had to go without food. I would find some means, some way to provide myself with something that would nourish me or hold me until I could do better.The soldiers probably thanked GOD for hardtak and coffee,soldiers only knew ration food, salted beef etc, but thankfully I can enjoy a plate of baked macaroni and cheese, some seasoned rice, steam veggies, potato salad, lentils and baked pork chop. With that said I would have to part ways with coffee and enjoy myself a nourishing home cook meal.
In the days of the Civil War, the soldiers relied on rationed food such as meat, stale bread or hardtack, and coffee which were scarce. They carried these items in their haversacks and would cook these items when they were settled. It’s difficult to declare which had a better effect on their health in the long-run, food or coffee. Food was extremely scarce that most meals were skipped due to the lack of resources. Also, mostly the soldiers had little experience with cooking which unfortunately lead most of their meals remain raw including the meat. The food was more susceptible to cause illnesses due to the fact that the food wasn’t cooked correctly and the maggots that had taken shelter in their meats as well as their hardtacks. However, coffee was more readily available. They had received about thirty-six pounds of coffee each year which was enough to satisfy the soldiers.
Personally, based on the existing war times, I would agree that the soldiers could have given up food for coffee because coffee was easier to prepare and had more availability. Consequently, even most of the food that the soldiers consumed was raw due to their lack of cooking skills. Also, the harsh weather conditions required the soldiers to reserve heat which was easy with the addition of preparing the soothing flavor of coffee. The coffee was also a good sleeping aid because of its warmth and flavor qualities. It was a great way to wash down all the horrible tastes of the meal, they had just consumed. As an added bonus, the caffeine in the coffee possessed a great energy boost for the soldiers that assisted them to continue in their battles with more willpower to pursue in the battle to conquer. Ideally, the most fascinating concept about the Civil War soldiers’ diet for coffee is in comparison to the numerous citizens now in this era. Americans run on coffee, just as the soldiers used as a staple to their day. Now, I am an avid coffee drinker, making it one of my favorite drinks that I can’t live without because it is ultimately one of the best beverages I have ever tasted.
If I had to choose between coffee and food I would choose food. Food fills you up gives you energy and the nutrients your body needs to keep you healthy. While coffee has you energized and wakens you up for couple of hours and then you crash and you feel worse than you already were. In he case of these solders I think they were better of drinking the coffee because if they choose food they would get small portions, due to the food shortages. So they clearly needed something to keep them up and going. I found it fascinating how these solders would eat hardtack. This cracker is one of the hardest crackers I seen. It looks like you would have to soak it for hours before eating it. The food that I must have always is a fruit salad. I love fruit and I love to put walnut or granola on it.
Especially since I quit smoking, caramel machiatto is the only thing that keeps me up and give me an energy to get through a day. Also, caramel machiatto is what i get when I suffer from headache. I would totally understand if the soldiers chose coffee over foods, but I would choose food if I were them. It it true and I strongly believe that caffeine fuels people but without source of energy, there is nothing to fuel. “We save a piece of bread for the last, with which we wipe up everything, and then eat the dish rag.” This sentence impressed me the most through out the article because it reminds me of how my mother taught me not to waste any food.
Today almost every american drinks coffee with most of their meals, especially in the morning it is like their energy boost for the day. I never really did not know what was so great about coffee that most people could not go a day without drinking. It tasted awful to me and and really did not get it. I tried it for the first and it was one of the most awful experience because it gave me a bad headache for the whole day. Nevertheless i decided to try the it again because i needed to stay awake for my morning classes and it really gave me a boost everyone morning and i never slept in my morning classes. So for soldiers in the civil war to include coffee in their daily diet is very fascinating and i can imagine the energy that it gave them because their diet was not that nutritious and hygienic. Most Americans today can go the whole day without eating anything but just drinking coffee, one of my professor told me that she can not go a day without drinking coffee she has become so addicted to this drink she could not survive without it.It is amazing to find that soldiers got their energy and boost from what most Americans are addicted to and cannot do without. One of the food that i can not live without is cake cakes. They are one of my favorite desserts and i cant go a day without eating one.
Kelis her Food Album– follow the link
She is an energetic singer, dancer and a CHEF! Her music on her FOOD album may be inspirational and fun to listen to. Enjoy!
If you had a choice, which would you give up? Food? Or coffee? This coming week, we will look at photography of the Civil War and the difficulties of producing photographs during war. To help better understand the conditions that photographers worked in, in this week’s blog topic we will explore what Civil War soldiers ate and their dependence on coffee. The typical food ration for a Union soldier included small amounts of meat, coffee, and hardtack (what’s hardtack? Look here to find out.) The Union side half-jokingly believed coffee helped fuel their soldiers. Meanwhile, the Confederate South suffered vast food shortages due to strong Union blockades, and resorted to unique recipes (called receipts in the 19th century) to produce coffee substitutes. Read about cooking on the battlefront and the importance of coffee (the word ‘coffee’ appears more frequently than ‘rifle’ or ‘bullet’ in Civil War diaries).
Share what you think is most fascinating about a Civil War soldier’s diet AND post an image of a food item that you cannot live without. You can link to a photo on the web, or take a picture!
PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR POSTS BY MONDAY SEPTEMBER 22, 2014.
I grew up in a household where electronics and gadgets are not allowed at the dinner table for any reason. Til this day i follow the same rules up to a certain point. When i go out, i ocassionally take pictures of the things that i ate . I do it in rememberance of what i ordered, so i can come back and order it again. Also to recommend the meal to family and friends so they have a visual of what they are getting. Some people become obsessive over taking pictures of food , rather then the quality and and thought of the food. While some may want to take pictures of food and call them art, i believe food is an art all in its own. Pictures are not necessary to make food art. Walking into a restaurant and seeing people with their phones out taking pictures of every songle meal that comes out is what i believe classifies obsessive. Every once in a while is okay, but continuously is too much. It shows that people arent there for the food, but more so for the photographs. I believe that food is art on its own, and can stand up to any photograph of food.I have posted a picture of my family at thanksgiving. I took this picture because it was for memories and to hold as a keepsake because it holds sentimental value