Hamburger vs hamburg

James A. Landau JJJRLandau at AOL.COM
Sun Jul 15 21:13:13 UTC 2001

In a message dated 07/14/2001 6:04:46 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU writes:

> I could imagine that the original Salisbury steak was more like what we
>  would call a cube steak, that is, a single, integral piece of meat whose
>  fibers have been broken up by a medieval torture device. This "torture"
>  might be believed to make the meat more easily digestible.

from URL

Following the Civil War, Dr. Salisbury devoted himself

to treating chronic diseases and was again busy writing.  A 330
page publication  presented the rationale

of his dieting method.  The way in which the food was
prepared was to scrape or chop the meat, which was then
patted into cakes with just enough pressure to hold them
together during cooking - Salisbury steak.  Lean beef was
preferred, but oysters, fish, chicken, or game could be
added.  All the meats were to be cooked.  The rationale
was based on the concept that men and women were said
to be 2/3 carnivorous and 1/3 herbivorous, and that by
such a "natural" diet we can maintain healthy bodies and
live longer.  As if these ideas weren't outlandish enough
he also suggested that fibrous tissue, was responsible for
most of the world's problems, including locomotor ataxia,
ovarian tumors, goiter, and "sclerotic states."  Partly to
erase the fibrous tissue he placed patients on diets with
frequent drinking of hot water.  A pint was to be sipped
slowly an hour or so before each meal.  The writings of
Dr. Salisbury include many testimonials, including one
from the Duke of Argyll.
        Could there have been anything to the Salisbury
diet?  Clearly bad teeth were universal, or nearly so, and
proper mastication was difficult for many.  Food was
relatively abundant and cheap, and possibly Salisbury's
diet was effective in reducing weight by eliminating some
of the fat present at the time in the average diet.  Dr.
Salisbury himself lived to be 81.

        More information on the story of James Salisbury,
the Salisbury diet, and Salisbury steak may be found in The
Ohio State Archeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. 59,
pages 352-370, October, 1950, by L. Cummer.


      - Jim Landau

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