A 16th century woodcut shows the interior of a kitchen. In medieval Europe, cooks combined contrasting flavors and spices in much the same way that Indian cooking still does today. Paul Lacroix/Wikimedia hide caption itoggle caption Paul Lacroix/Wikimedia The Salt How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking March 26, 2015 Complex, contrasting flavors are a hallmark of Indian cooking. They used to dominate Western food, too. What changed? When spices became less exclusive, Europe's elite revamped their cuisines.