Sunday, October 26, 2014

243 Quiz Answer

The answer is: ale.  Shakespeare’s frequent references to ale in his plays is not surprising because it was the one drink taken daily by most men, women and children of that time. Water enjoyed little favor, even for personal hygiene.  As mentioned earlier, John Shakespeare, Will’s dad, was for a time Stratford’s official ale-taster.


Also for ABC Wednesday: "P" is for "Potable")

News item: The past few years have been California's driest on record. Forecasters predict that punishing droughts like the current one could become the new norm.

Which got me to thinking.  What would we do without drinking water?

A question you may never have asked yourself; generally speaking, water is available for us to drink.

I came up with this question while studying Shakespeare because in his day the water was not to be trusted, it was usually too polluted to drink.

But they had to have something.  Little kids getting up in the morning, wandering into the kitchen for their breakfast, the sixteenth-century equivalent of Cheerios, had to have something to wash it all down with.  It wasn’t milk, wine or cider; they were too expensive for daily imbibing.

Tea and coffee were not introduced into England until about fifty years after Shakespeare’s death, so that he would have had no experience and probably no knowledge of those two beverages.  Imagine an England with no tea…

Well, there was a beverage that was cheap and plentiful; kids drank it regularly as did everyone else.

And just because everyone drank it, Shakespeare’s town, Stratford-Upon-Avon, appointed a special officer to oversee it.  Maybe they couldn’t make the water clean but they could make this stuff potable and not too dangerous. 

Will Shakespeare’s dad held this office for a while; it was one of the many town offices he held during his rise from semi-literate farm hand to – ta-da! – mayor of Stratford.

You can have the same stuff for breakfast today, though not many do.

(I don’t.)

What was it?

(The answer will be posted Saturday)

 

 

24 comments:

kaykuala said...

Perhaps ale, cider or even beer though not likely for kids!

Hank

Roger Owen Green said...

If it's not wine, it'd still likely be alcohol - beer, mead, ale. One of those?

Berowne said...

Roger Owen Green and kaykuala start us off with the right answer.

Altonian said...

Small beer is the answer. It was called 'small' beer because it was only about 4.5 - 6.5% a.b.v. in strength; much weaker than the proper stuff that was drunk later in the day. Those were the days!

Berowne said...

Altonian has just checked in with the right answer.

Kathe W. said...

beer or ale- it all can taste good in the morning compared to some water! Cheers! Have a lovely week!

rel said...

Beer?

Karen S. said...

The brew made from malt.... ale and beer!

Helen said...

I'm guessing it was good old English ale ...

naturgesetz said...

It was beer.

Truedessa said...

Hmm Could it be beer or ale as some say.

Berowne said...

Quite a crowd in the "winners" circle; Truedessa, naturgesetz, Helen, Karen S, rel and Kathe W all have the correct answer.

The Blog of Bee said...

Ale probably.

Berowne said...

Bee, of the Blog of Bee, has joined us with the right answer.

Katherine said...

Hi Berowne...I actually have little idea but will take a stab in the dark and guess.....would it be a broth or an ale??

humbird said...

English Ale and beer ?

Berowne said...

Another correct answer, this time from Katherine and humbird.

elaine said...

Ok I am going to be the first person who is wrong - I will say mead!

Berowne said...

Awfully close, Elaine, but not quite the right answer.

Gattina said...

I have no idea but I drink water
Gattina
ABC Wednesday

Trubes said...

Ale or Beer ?


best wishes, Di..
Abcw team.

Berowne said...

Trubes is back with another correct answer.

Stacy Lynn Mar said...

fruit juice?? :)

oldegg said...

Why drink water when you can drink beer?

 
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