Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Salt and pepper were very expensive in the seventeenth century and in short supply. Dishes were often seasoned instead with mustard, cloves and mace and garnished with lemons and capers.
Salt was needed for the preservation of fish and meat.
Fresh fish could not be transported any distance from the port of landing unless they were preserved. Two of these products were Red Herring and Salt Cod. Red Herring was made with heavily salted herring that was smoked for up to three weeks in a kiln
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