Don’t look shocked, it’s true, I’m alive. Gloriously so and blessed. Thank you for always being present and patient in my life! Let’s get to it….
We’ve all heard the term “Summer Madness” or, perhaps, the genuine terminology “Mid-Summer Madness.” The Classical definition is a temporary lapse into foolishness, senseless behavior, folly, etc., especially during the summer.
The term has a very intéressant ring to it, don’t you think? Have you ever wondered where the phrase originated? I would imagine many know the answer, but I did not. I found the answer fascinating, so let me…what else? share.
During the medieval era, diets consisted mainly of fish, bread, and meat. Bread being, of course, a very consistent staple. Lower societal classes dined on breads made with barley and rye, while upper classes enjoyed loaves made with wheat.
So? you say…
Let’s get to the gritty….summertime in medieval Europe wasn’t about bikinis and the beach.
(Roman woman athletes, I know…)
It was a time of the year when grain supplies were dwindling, harvesting still months away. Much of the remaining grain stock possibly mildewed due to poor storage and growing temperatures.
The resulting fungus, a deadly inhabitant, called Ergot.
A medieval LSD, if you will, a mind-altering hallucinogen. Alkaloids within the fungi deliver the punch, affecting neuro-transmissions and circulation. Rye is ergot’s favorite host, but can also be found in barley and wheat. The resulting effect, worst-case-scenario type, in mammals (not only humans), small and large, is technically termed Ergotism. Even a nursing mother can pass the illness to her infant.
Hence “crazy bread” originated, and I’m not talking Little Caesars.
Ergot is founded to be the most probable answer to many “devil-induced” epidemics and varied plagues across time. Imagine these contaminated grains combined with sugars of today? Major explosion to the immune system. Not a laughing matter when you consider the population is riddled with growing auto-immune disorders linked to, you guessed it, the consumption of grains.
Write-On! ❤ Jess