tue ancient grinding meal of chandigarh

traditional mediterranean recipes: ancient favorites from greece, rome, and egypt herbal academy

traditional mediterranean recipes: ancient favorites from greece, rome, and egypt herbal academy

Cuisine can tell us so much about a civilizationboth past and present. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, who lived more than two thousand years ago, bequeathed to us traditional Mediterranean recipes and remnants of their favored meals. By studying the eating habits of these wondrous civilizations through surviving texts, artworks, and archaeological remains, we can learn about their sacred customs, the diversity of animal and plant species in their environment, the diseases they suffered from, and the natural remedies they crafted to heal themselves.

These unique and powerful ancient civilizations frequently traded the diverse plethora of ingredients grown on their home soils with each other. Silphium (Silphion Gr.), for example, which grew abundantly only in Cyrene, an ancient Greek and Roman city now in modern Libya, was so incredibly popular across ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt that it became extinct in the 1st century CE. Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis) from the Greek island of Crete was special ordered by Roman chefs for a recipe that was believed to ward off the plague (Heilmeyer, 2007). Cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.), black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger (Zingiber officinale), and other warming spices were regularly brought by overland caravans from India and China, becoming essential flavors in Mediterranean cuisine.

Like today, diet was influenced by a persons socio-economic status and geographic location. The combination of these three factorsnutrition, status, and environmentgreatly affected health and wellbeing, especially as they were considered important influences in balancing the bodys four humours (an ancient Greek concept for maintaining health). In ancient Greece and Rome, for example, wealthy city-dwellers enjoyed lavish feasts with imported fruits, vegetables, and spices, as well as meat and fish. These lavish gatherings lasted for hours with multiple courses and musical entertainment, and socialites often enjoyed these feasts lounging semi-reclined. The working class and enslaved people, in contrast, ate simple meals with recipes mainly consisting of grains, including wheat, barley, or millet. Throughout the ancient Mediterranean world, meat was generally eaten on feast days and for celebrations across socio-economic classes.

Over the centuries, trade, travel, and warfare greatly influenced local culinary customs. The ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Egypt each had their own culinary practices worth exploring in more detail. As we will see, no culture stands alone in its quest for satisfying the sense of taste and gustatory fulfillment.

The earliest written evidence of the use of spices in ancient Greece is found on Bronze Age tablets dating from the 14th and 13th centuries BCE, which list coriander (Coriandrum sativum L)., safflower (Carthamus tinctorius), and saffron (Crocus sativus) (Arnott, 1996). The most common and locally grown food staples included olives, cereals (wheat and barley), grapes, and legumes. As the Greeks were sea-faring peoples, trade was extensive throughout the region; amphora, large jugs used for transport and storage, have been found to have remnants of legumes, walnuts, ginger (Zingiber officinale), mint (Mentha), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), oregano (Origanum vulgare), and sage (Salvia officinalis). Such findings indicate that trade was quite extensive, as some of these botanicals are not native to Greece (Foley, et al., 2012).

In addition to archaeological evidence, we can get a strong sense of the varied flavors and textures of the times through ancient food writers. Archestratus (4th century BCE), a Sicilian Greek from either Syracuse or Gela, had traveled across the Mediterranean and compiled local recipes into a humorous poem called Hedypatheia. In his poem, which translates to Life of Luxury, Archestratus offers his recommendations on where to find the best foods and reveals the secrets of the ancient Greek cuisine, akin to a juicy tabloid (Tsolakidou, 2013, para. 1). Going far beyond practical advice for the kitchen, his book was a provocation, written as a poem, that urged the reader to ignore the teachings of moderation in Homer and Plato and lead a life of unrestrained luxury(The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2013, para. 2).

This moderation, however, was well steeped in Greek cuisine, which was known for its frugality and simplicity. Many ancient Greeks practiced vegetarianism, and it was not until the Roman empire expanded over the Greek continent between (27 BCE-1453 CE) that the well-known lavishness of the Romans began to change the traditional Greek culinary landscape.

Generally, breakfast, or akratisms (),in ancient Greece consisted of either hard barley bread dipped in diluted wine paired with figs or olives, or a type of fried dough made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. The mid-day meal, called riston (), was a light meal of bread and olive oil, sometimes with fresh or dried fruit. Snacks eaten before dinner were called hesprisma (). Dinner or depnon() was the biggest meal of the day and included bread, local or home-grown vegetables, eggs, fish, cheese, or legumes (Tsolakidou, 2013). Dessert was relatively simple, consisting of honey drizzled on cheese, figs, or olives (Kotsiris, 2020). Wine was enjoyed diluted at all meals by men only, as women were forbidden to drink it. Men and women ate their meals separately, and enslaved people ate after everybody else. Food was handled by hand, as eating utensils did not exist.

Wheat, legumes, olives, figs, pears, celery, garlic, cabbage, broccoli, and carrots were staples in ancient Rome. Wealthy Romans enjoyed far more variety and delicacies compared to other socio-economic groups. As a prime (and perhaps surprising!) example, breeding and eating dormice, the edible dormouse (a species between a mouse and a squirrel), was considered a status symbol. Their gardens were also much larger and more extensive than their less-wealthy counterparts, including adornments and non-edible plants. A general replica of an ancient Roman garden is maintained at the Getty Villa in California.

As the ancient Roman empire changed over the centuries, so did culinary traditions. Towards the first century CE, three-course dinner meals became common. Breakfast in ancient Rome was calledientaculum and could include a wheat pancake of dates and honey, or bread, cheese, and fruit. For the mid-day meal, prandium (called cena in earlier antiquity), the ancient Romans enjoyed a light meal of fish or eggs with vegetables, bread dipped in wine, fresh or dried fruit, or cheese (Empire Rome, n.d.). Dinner, cena, called vesperna in early antiquity, was the main meal of the day. An early Roman staple dish was called puls, a type of porridge made with emmer wheat, salt, vegetables, olive oil, and water. The wealthy, whose dinners could include multiple courses, also feasted on meat or fish, eggs, cheese, olives, fruits, and vegetables. While sugar was not yet available among these ancient civilizations, honey was generously enjoyed at the end of a meal drizzled on dried or fresh fruits. For dessert, the Romans also ate foods we may not consider satisfying to our sweet tooth, such as oysters, shellfish, chickpeas, and olives, which were believed to improve digestion after a heavy meal (Empire Rome, n.d.).

There are a variety of recipes from ancient Rome that portray the Romans notorious lavish lifestyle. DeReCoquinaria of Apicius, a celebrated Roman cookbook of the late 4th or early 5th centuries BCE, is considered the oldest surviving cookbook in all of antiquity. The book includes recipes with a variety of local and imported ingredients and provides a plethora of information on how ancient Romans enjoyed their food. Lavishly, to say the least!

Because of the rich and fertile soil of the Nile delta, a variety of fruits and vegetables were available to all social classes in ancient Egypt: figs, grapes, garlic, scallions, celery, radish, cucumber, and lettuce, which was sacred to the fertility god, Min. Overall, the ancient Egyptians, both poor and wealthy, enjoyed a far more balanced diet than the ancient Greeks and Romans. Similar to counterparts in Greece and Rome, the ancient Egyptians did not eat a lot of meat, except for on feast days. The nobility were an exception. Common protein sources included legumes (lentils and chickpeas), eggs, and cheese. Dates were the most common fruit, and were eaten fresh, dried, baked, or soaked in beer gruel. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the pyramids were constructed by workers whose staple foods were garlic, radishes, and onions (Herodotus, ca. 425 BCE/1998).

A hard bread made from emmer wheat or barley and a nutritious beer gruelboth made from the same yeastwas a basis for all meals across social classes. The bread was made with water or milk, salt, and spices, including cumin (Cuminum cyminum) , anise (Pimpinella anisum L.), cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), or cinnamon (Cinnamomum spp.). Perhaps in acts of whimsy or religion, the dough was shaped not only round, but also in the shapes of cows or people. For breakfast, this bread was often paired with green scallions and for dessert, it was sweetened with honey or dates. A dessert recipe found illustrated in a tomb includes dates, tiger nut (Cyperus esculentus) flour, and honey (see below for recipe!).

Cereal crops provided much more than just nutrition; they were also used as a measure of wealth, as a form of payment, and even in mathematical calculations. Mathematical problems were phrased in terms of the conversion of grain into bread and beer, which formed the basis of wages, everyday diet, and funerary offerings. Bread and beer also featured prominently in the practice of medicine, with a significant number of the surviving remedies in the medical papyri including one or more of these in their formulation (Metcalf, 2016, para. 1).

Due to increased trade, travel, and invasions across the Mediterranean over the centuries, Egyptian recipes began to incorporate new flavors. Fruits, such as pear, quince, plum, and peach became popular imports, as well as nuts, including filberts, walnuts, pine nuts, and pistachios, introduced in the Graeco-Roman period (Ikram, 2001). When Alexander the Great founded the trading port of Alexandria in the 4th century BCE, the city would become a major metropolis, where for centuries later, western spice traders met with African and Asian spice merchants (Mundigler, n.d., para. 2).

While no recipe book from ancient Egypt has been found that we can refer to, there are an abundance of painted illustrations and plant remains in tombs that archeologists have been able to analyze to weave together this image of ancient Egyptian culinary favorites.

Below is a summary of common foods eaten in ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt. While eating habits shift on the personal and community level over time, these foods can help illustrate both the bounty of the land and the nutritional health of a civilization.

The flavors of the ancient Mediterranean world were spectacularly varied and creatively blended. For the culinary explorer interested in a taste of ancient flavors, here are several recipes that can ignite the imagination and (hopefully) please even modern taste buds.

8 semi soft-boiled eggs 3 tablespoons pine nuts, soaked for 3-4 hours in vinegar 1 tablespoon honey 1 celery stalk, chopped White wine vinegar, to soak and splash Black pepper (Piper nigrum) Salt, to taste

Adopted by the Romans from the Greeks, this dip was written about by the Latin writer Cato in De Agricultura (160 BCE/1934, 119) and was frequently paired with cheese. Recipe adapted from Not Just Dormice Food for Thought (2014) and Romans in Britain (n.d.).

6 ounces mixed whole black and green olives, pitted 2 tablespoons high-quality olive oil (Greek, Italian, or Spanish, preferably) 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon ground cumin (Cuminum cyminum) teaspoon ground fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds Bunch of fresh coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) leaves, finely chopped 3 mint (Mentha) leaves, finely chopped Sprig of rue (Ruta graveolens), finely chopped (or fresh fennel leaves)

Deriving from the Latin word for grinding bowl, mortarium, this recipe is a modern-day pesto with more complex flavors. The Roman poet Virgil had even dedicated a poem to this exquisite sauce! Recipe adapted from Not Just Dormice Food for Thought (2014).

1 small head of lettuce, chopped 1 small leek or celery stalk, chopped 1 cup ricotta cheese 8 teaspoon fresh mint (Mentha) 4 tablespoon fresh parsley (Petroselinum crispum) 4 tablespoon coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum L.) 1 sprig fresh thyme (Thymus vulgaris) Olive oil, for desired consistency A splash of vinegar Pepper, to taste (Piper nigrum)

A popular condiment among all social classes in both Greece and Rome. This fermented sauce, adapted from Giacosa (n.d.), was made with fish innards and a variety of herbs and spices, including celery, coriander, mint, oregano, dill, and fennel, fermented in salt water. It was so popular that ancient garum factories were unearthed in widespread locations, including in present-day Portugal, France, and Morocco, from where the sauce would be exported. A discovery in Pompeii in 2008 found many storage vessels of garum, and the find helped more accurately date the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius (Killgrove, 2019)!

1 pound fava beans, soaked overnight and drained 2 large onions, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic (Allium sativum), finely chopped 1-2 teaspoon ground coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) 1-2 teaspoon cumin (Cuminum cyminum) 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Capsicum) teaspoon baking powder cup minced parsley (Petroselinum crispum) A pinch of salt Black pepper (Piper nigrum), to taste Sesame seeds to coat the cakes Olive oil for frying

Named after a prominent Roman man named Fronto, this recipe was included in De re coquinaria of Apicius (9.246): Ahalf-cooked chicken marinaded in a pickle of broth, mixed with oil, to which is added a bunch of dill, leeks, satury [known as satureia hortensis in Latin, it was a white flower in the Lamiaceae family growing in southern Europe and commonly used in cooking].and green coriander. Finish it in this broth. When done, take the chicken out, dress it nicely on a dish, pour over thesauce, colored withreduced must [fruit juice containing skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit], sprinkle with pepper, and serve (Hill, 1936). The recipe below is adapted from GODGIFU (n.d.) and Pankte (1993).

1 whole chicken (3 lbs) 1 leek, bulb only, chopped 1 cup red wine cup olive oil cup dried rose petals 1 tsp salt cup fresh dill (Anethum graveolens), chopped 2 tbsp ground coriander seed (Coriandrum sativum L.) tsp black pepper (Piper nigrum) 2 tbsp olive oil cup syrup from canned figs Salt, to taste

Transfer chicken and all juices to a baking dish (if not using an oven-safe frying pan). Rub the remaining seasoning mixture on the chicken. Bake at 425F (220C) for 1 hour, occasionally basting with the juices. The chicken will be considerably browned. Generously drizzle fig syrup on the serving platter and place chicken on it. Season with salt and pepper.

This was a sacred cake often given as an offering to the Roman gods. The recipe was written about by Cato (De Agricultura, 160 BCE/1934,75) and the Roman poet Ovid (Not Just Dormice Food for Thought, 2014).

Meaning to stir, this was a sacred beverage of ancient Greece, particularly during the highly secretive Eleusinian Mysteries to honor Demeter, the goddess of the harvest. The drink was a simple blend of barley, mint or pennyroyal, and honey. While the original drink included ergot, a naturally occurring psychotropic fungus that grows on barley, wheat, and rye (Dean, 2013), this modern version is adapted from Tokev (n.d.) without the effect but just as refreshing.

While the ancient Mediterranean region was more bountiful than we can imagine today, given the impact of human consumption over the past thousands of years, we can perhaps imagine the bounty of the dinner table as we feast our eyes and taste buds on the timeless flavors of mother nature. The ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians were incredibly creative with the resources that were available to them and explored flavors that some might find unappetizing in todays modern world. However, there still remains this human curiosity to taste the flavors of the world and take part in the culinary experience thousands of years old. Reviving ancient recipes can help us do exactly this.

Cato. (1934). De agricultura. (W.D.Hooper and H.B.Ash, Trans.) Loeb Classic Library. (Original work published ca. 160 BCE) Retrieved from http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/e/roman/texts/cato/de_agricultura/introduction*.html

Foley, B., Hansson, M., Kourkoumelis, D., & Theodoulou, T. (2012). Aspects of ancient Greek trade re-evaluated with amphora DNA evidence. Journal of Archaeological Science, 39(2),389-398. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.025

Ikram, S. (2001). Diet. Oxford University Press. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/3265947/2001_Diet_The_Oxford_Encyclopedia_of_Ancient_Egypt_New_York_Oxford_University_Press_390_395#:~:text=The%20two%20staples%20of%20the,eggs%2C%20honey%20and%20other%20sweets

Killgrove, C. (2019). Vat of ancient fish sauce may confirm date that Pompeii was destroyed. https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristinakillgrove/2019/06/03/vat-of-ancient-fish-sauce-may-confirm-date-that-pompeii-was-destroyed/?sh=95a1ec97b221

Not Just Dormice Food for Thought. (2014). Trimalchios Kitchen pop-up restaurant at Royal Holloway 1st December2014. Retrieved from https://notjustdormice.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/trimalchios-kitchen-pop-up-restaurant-at-royal-holloway-1st-december-2014/

Please add your email addressbelow and click "Submit" to add yourself to our mailing list. Then check your email to find a welcome message from our Herbal Academy team with a special link to download our "Herbal Tea Throughout The Seasons" Ebook!

The Herbal Academy supports trusted organizations with the use of affiliate links. Affiliate links are shared throughout the website and the Herbal Academy may receive compensation if you make a purchase with these links. Information offered on Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.

The Herbal Academy supports trusted organizations with the use of affiliate links. Affiliate links are shared throughout the website and the Herbal Academy may receive compensation if you make a purchase with these links.

Information offered on Herbal Academy websites is for educational purposes only. The Herbal Academy makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. The Herbal Academy neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.

rock garden in chandigarh: all about this artsy tourist hotspot!

rock garden in chandigarh: all about this artsy tourist hotspot!

Located close to Sukhna Lake, the captivating Rock Garden in Chandigarh is an enormous innovative park space spread out like a maze that is unlike any you have ever seen! Offering something unique to visitors at every turn and made out of recycled waste transformed into eye-catching structures, this garden will change the way you define Art! From quirky waterfalls, labyrinthine formations, huge swings, hilarious mirrors, to sculptures made out of scrap and waste material like glass bottles bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, sinks, and wires, you will find something to keep you hooked to this place whichever direction you turn your head to. And if you havent ever visited this gem of a place in Chandigarh, this small guide will surely compel you to!

The best time to plan a trip to Chandigarh lies between the months of October to March. The weather during this time is great and favorable for sightseeing in Chandigarh. While the temperature remains at a moderate 20-30 degree Celcius, it drops rapidly at night owing to the replete greenery in this city. In January, the minimum temperature drops to a whopping 2 degrees Celcius at times.

While the heat is scorching in the summer months in nearby cities, Chandigarh enjoys a rather warm and somewhat pleasant summer season owing to the lush greenery, the presence of a lake, and the citys close proximity to the hills. The monsoon showers bring in some relief in July, considerably bringing down the temperature. If one wishes to visit Chandigarh when its not crowded, they should plan their trip in August or September.

The Rock Garden Chandigarh ticket is nominally priced so that everyone can visit this fascinating place without any restrictions. The entry ticket only includes the price for admission into the garden premises, and one has to pay extra if they wish to purchase food and beverages inside.

The Rock Garden in Chandigarh was a secret project of the self-taught artist Nek Chand who had established it on an infertile piece of land near Sukhna Lake. He had the hobby of collecting waste material from all around the city and nearby villages and using it to create figurines and bizarre structures, though where he was putting these up was unknown at that time. Despite having a hectic schedule as a dedicated Public Works Department employee, he used to take out time to finish his masterpiece and worked tirelessly on weekends and nights.

Upon discovering this project, the authorities decided to demolish it since it was illegal, but his creativity and unique art managed to win the hearts of the local people of Chandigarh and it was saved from destruction. Later, the authorities even named Nek Chand the in-charge of the park and gave him 50 laborers to complete it. The park was officially opened for public viewing in 1976 and soon turned into the most popular tourist attraction of Chandigarh.

He used all kinds of scrap and waste material that he could find. He used recyclable items like broken glass, mirrors, bangles, tiles, ceramic pots, broken crockery, photos frames, mudguards, forks, handlebars, metal wires, play marbles, porcelain, auto parts, sinks, pipes, rocks, and much more. Today, in addition to these figurines, the park also has a few waterfalls, creative walls, narrow doorways, swings, tall trees, a huge aquarium, and concrete arches that resemble ancient Roman aqueducts. Other than being a remarkable installation of creativity, this garden is also perhaps the biggest example of ecotourism and the importance of recycling.

Wondering what all there is to explore inside this vast ocean of art and creativity? Dont worry. Theres loads to see and do. Just gear up for a ride of thrill and excitement as you step into this wonderland!

Every door you pass through will take you to an even bizarre and gripping installation of art than the previous one. As mentioned earlier, these sculptures and figurines inside the garden have been made out of recyclable industrial, domestic, and rural waste, which makes them all the more fascinating. Dont hurry! Stop by and admire these beautiful pieces of art that reflect the creativity and skills of Nek Chand, the visionary!

2. Man-Made Waterfalls Take Selfies Image Source The set of inter-connected waterfalls inside the garden are unlike any you may have ever seen. And theyll be easy to locate in the premises since a great many people will be huddled over them to try and capture their beauty in their cameras. Reflecting the refreshing environment of the Green City Chandigarh, these waterfalls were installed long after the Rock Garden was opened to the public to add an extra dose of beauty to the park. However, one needs to be careful while checking these out, since visitors are not allowed to step inside and pollute these waters in any way. Suggested Read: Chandigarh Airport Is Undergoing Changes & Will Remain Non- operational From May 12-31 3. Aquariums Watch Sharks And Rays Image Source Other than the waterfalls, these massive aquariums were also added long after the Rock Garden in Chandigarh had become a popular tourist attraction. Housing bizarre fish like stingrays, parrots, starfish, sharks, and many more, these aquariums act as a respite from the static sculptures and figurines the park is otherwise famous for. And they are a great attraction for kids and youngsters visiting the park, who like to watch these beings of different shapes, sizes and colors simply swim by inside these large septic tanks. Suggested Read: No Kidding, Chandigarh To Shimla In Just 20 Minutes By A Heli Taxi! 4. Swings Enjoy! As you keep walking through this gigantic maze, door after door, youll finally be rewarded with the best kind of remedy to your fatigue and patience various huge swings! Located at the very end of this maze-like garden, there are plenty of swings hanging from the high aqueducts. All you have to do is wait for your turn, grab a swing, and fell the cool breeze of Punjab ruffle your hair as you sway back and forth. Suggested Read: Nightlife In Chandigarh: 20 Best Places To Experience Night Scenes Of The City 5. Open Air Theatre Attend Cultural Events Image Source The amphitheater at the Rock Garden is known to host many events from time to time and is one of the best attractions in the Rock Garden in Chandigarh. Stay tuned and you may just get lucky enough to witness a gig or two here during your visit to Chandigarh. The theatre is essentially a vast pavilion with a center stage that blends art and culture perfectly with the rustic and natural environs of the garden. Here, you can also be part of the Teej Festival that is celebrated by women in this very garden with a lot of enthusiasm and pride. Suggested Read: 30 Inviting Places To Visit Near Chandigarh For A Much-Needed Getaway In 2021 6. Food Stalls Munch On Street Food Image Source There are various food stalls and vendors selling street-side knick knacks at the very end of the garden where the swings are located. You can grab a quick bite or a water bottle at nominal rates to beat the heat while watching your kids play and swing nearby. Its the perfect place for a family picnic and to relax after roaming around tirelessly in this huge park. Restaurants Near Rock Garden In Chandigarh After having a great time exploring this giant maze, youll definitely come out feeling all tired and hungry. So, we took the liberty to enlist some nice restaurants near this place that you can head to for some hearty Punjabi cuisine. 1. Backpackers Cafe This is a vegetarian-friendly cafe that serves excellent vegan food options as well as an extensive gluten-free menu. Some of the best dishes on their menu include Mushroom Toast, Club Sandwiches, Ceasers Salad, Pancakes with whipped cream. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner to its visitors and also features takeout and table service. Its a great option to grab a quick bite and an economical meal. The staff is quick on their feet and the service is super fast. Location: SCF 16, Inner Market, Sector 9D, Near Chandigarh Dance Academy, Sector 9, Chandigarh 140110, India Cost For Two: INR 400/- Opening Hours: 8:30 AM 11:30 PM TripAdvisor Rating: 4/5 Reviews Suggested Read: 16 Hill Stations Near Chandigarh You Must Visit In 2021 For Surreal Views 2. Yo! China This place needs no introduction. Yo! China food chain is famous all over India for serving their guests with the best of Chinese and Asian cuisine. They serve dinner and lunch and also have an extensive vegetarian-friendly menu. The prices are between low to moderate, so its perfect for a hearty family meal where you can satiate your Chinese food cravings in a comfortable environment. The staff is quick, attentive, and always ready to serve the best food to their customers. Location: 4 & 5 Near Hsbc Bank, Chandigarh 160009, India Cost For Two: INR 1,000/- Opening Hours: 11:30 AM 11:30 PM TripAdvisor Rating: 4/5 Reviews Suggested Read: 8 Beautiful Resorts Near Chandigarh For A Rejuvenating Retreat 3. Vintage Terrace Lounge Bar Its a great place to unwind with your friends or after work owing to its cozy ambiance, comfortable seating, variety of delicious mocktails and cocktails, and the fact that no one shall disturb or intrude in your privacy here. Lying unnoticed in a remote corner of Chandigarh, it doesnt get a lot of visitors. But those who do visit absolutely fall in love with this place and keep coming back to it. This bar cum pub is a great place to host parties with DJ at reasonable charges. Guests also love the terrace seating where they can get a great view of the hotels pool and lawns while sipping on a delicious cocktail and enjoying the blissful weather. Location: Hotel Mountview, Sector 10 D, Chandigarh 160011, India Cost For Two: INR 1,200/- TripAdvisor Rating: 4/5 Reviews How To Reach Rock Garden In Chandigarh Image Source Sprawled over an area of over 40 acres, the Rock Garden is a renowned sculpture garden and among the most visited tourist attractions in Chandigarh. Located in Sector 1 lying in North Chandigarh near Sukhna Lake, this place is pretty easy to get to from anywhere in the city via a bus or car/cab. How To Reach Chandigarh Image Source Chandigarh is easily accessible and well connected to other cities in India by various means of transport. By Air Chandigarh manages a daily Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flight traffic to and fro Delhi and a bi-weekly one to and fro Amritsar. There is also a weekly flight to and fro Leh from this city. By air, it takes hardly 50 minutes to get to Chandigarh from Delhi. The airport is located just 11 km away from the main city, and upon checking out, one can easily hail a cab or auto-rickshaw to anywhere they wish to go in the city. By Rail Located just 7 km away from the city center, the Chandigarh Railway Station is well connected to the major cities of India like Delhi, Jaipur, Bikaner, and Jodhpur. By Road With a well-maintained and smooth road network, Chandigarh is connected to almost all small and big towns in northern India. You will surely enjoy a road trip to Chandigarh via the pretty fields of Punjab! If youre looking for a more economical means of road transport to Chandigarh, you can board any of the frequent AC buses plying to Chandigarh from Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Jammu, Rajasthan, and other cities of Punjab. Further Read: 7 Wedding Venues In Chandigarh For A Beautiful Wedding In The City Beautiful If youve never been to the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, weve just given you some awesome reasons to visit it right away! So, plan your getaway to Chandigarh and explore this artsy avenue along with many others with your travel companions, and we bet youll love every bit of it! Dont forget to tell us all about your trip experience once youre back! Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer. People Also Read: Places To Visit In Punjab Places To Visit in Amritsar Places To Visit In Jalandhar Looking To Book An International Holiday?

The set of inter-connected waterfalls inside the garden are unlike any you may have ever seen. And theyll be easy to locate in the premises since a great many people will be huddled over them to try and capture their beauty in their cameras. Reflecting the refreshing environment of the Green City Chandigarh, these waterfalls were installed long after the Rock Garden was opened to the public to add an extra dose of beauty to the park. However, one needs to be careful while checking these out, since visitors are not allowed to step inside and pollute these waters in any way.

Other than the waterfalls, these massive aquariums were also added long after the Rock Garden in Chandigarh had become a popular tourist attraction. Housing bizarre fish like stingrays, parrots, starfish, sharks, and many more, these aquariums act as a respite from the static sculptures and figurines the park is otherwise famous for. And they are a great attraction for kids and youngsters visiting the park, who like to watch these beings of different shapes, sizes and colors simply swim by inside these large septic tanks.

As you keep walking through this gigantic maze, door after door, youll finally be rewarded with the best kind of remedy to your fatigue and patience various huge swings! Located at the very end of this maze-like garden, there are plenty of swings hanging from the high aqueducts. All you have to do is wait for your turn, grab a swing, and fell the cool breeze of Punjab ruffle your hair as you sway back and forth.

The amphitheater at the Rock Garden is known to host many events from time to time and is one of the best attractions in the Rock Garden in Chandigarh. Stay tuned and you may just get lucky enough to witness a gig or two here during your visit to Chandigarh. The theatre is essentially a vast pavilion with a center stage that blends art and culture perfectly with the rustic and natural environs of the garden. Here, you can also be part of the Teej Festival that is celebrated by women in this very garden with a lot of enthusiasm and pride.

There are various food stalls and vendors selling street-side knick knacks at the very end of the garden where the swings are located. You can grab a quick bite or a water bottle at nominal rates to beat the heat while watching your kids play and swing nearby. Its the perfect place for a family picnic and to relax after roaming around tirelessly in this huge park.

After having a great time exploring this giant maze, youll definitely come out feeling all tired and hungry. So, we took the liberty to enlist some nice restaurants near this place that you can head to for some hearty Punjabi cuisine.

This is a vegetarian-friendly cafe that serves excellent vegan food options as well as an extensive gluten-free menu. Some of the best dishes on their menu include Mushroom Toast, Club Sandwiches, Ceasers Salad, Pancakes with whipped cream. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, brunch, and dinner to its visitors and also features takeout and table service. Its a great option to grab a quick bite and an economical meal. The staff is quick on their feet and the service is super fast.

This place needs no introduction. Yo! China food chain is famous all over India for serving their guests with the best of Chinese and Asian cuisine. They serve dinner and lunch and also have an extensive vegetarian-friendly menu. The prices are between low to moderate, so its perfect for a hearty family meal where you can satiate your Chinese food cravings in a comfortable environment. The staff is quick, attentive, and always ready to serve the best food to their customers.

Its a great place to unwind with your friends or after work owing to its cozy ambiance, comfortable seating, variety of delicious mocktails and cocktails, and the fact that no one shall disturb or intrude in your privacy here. Lying unnoticed in a remote corner of Chandigarh, it doesnt get a lot of visitors. But those who do visit absolutely fall in love with this place and keep coming back to it. This bar cum pub is a great place to host parties with DJ at reasonable charges. Guests also love the terrace seating where they can get a great view of the hotels pool and lawns while sipping on a delicious cocktail and enjoying the blissful weather.

Sprawled over an area of over 40 acres, the Rock Garden is a renowned sculpture garden and among the most visited tourist attractions in Chandigarh. Located in Sector 1 lying in North Chandigarh near Sukhna Lake, this place is pretty easy to get to from anywhere in the city via a bus or car/cab.

By Air Chandigarh manages a daily Indian Airlines and Jet Airways flight traffic to and fro Delhi and a bi-weekly one to and fro Amritsar. There is also a weekly flight to and fro Leh from this city. By air, it takes hardly 50 minutes to get to Chandigarh from Delhi. The airport is located just 11 km away from the main city, and upon checking out, one can easily hail a cab or auto-rickshaw to anywhere they wish to go in the city.

By Road With a well-maintained and smooth road network, Chandigarh is connected to almost all small and big towns in northern India. You will surely enjoy a road trip to Chandigarh via the pretty fields of Punjab! If youre looking for a more economical means of road transport to Chandigarh, you can board any of the frequent AC buses plying to Chandigarh from Delhi, Haryana, Himachal, Jammu, Rajasthan, and other cities of Punjab.

If youve never been to the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, weve just given you some awesome reasons to visit it right away! So, plan your getaway to Chandigarh and explore this artsy avenue along with many others with your travel companions, and we bet youll love every bit of it! Dont forget to tell us all about your trip experience once youre back! Disclaimer: TravelTriangle claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own rights to any of the images and do not wish them to appear on TravelTriangle, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

Kanika SaxenaKanika has 4 years of experience in writing blogs and marketing content for travel. And when shes not writing, shes either exploring new terrains in a different corner of the world, or out in the city freezing urban scenarios in her camera. Comments comments PREVIOUS POSTNEXT POST Category: Guides, Punjab Follow Us On: Recent Posts A Complete Post-Covid Travel Guide To Himachal: Heres How To Enjoy On The Mountains With Your Mask On A Detailed Post-Covid Travel Guide To Ladakh: Where Social Distancing Is Done Right 32 Best Street Food In Delhi You Must Try In 2021 That Is Worth Every Calorie An Absolute Post-Covid Travel Guide To Delhi: Exploring The Capital City With All The Calm A Post-Covid Travel Guide To Dubai: Know Latest Dubai Tourism Guidelines A Thorough Post-Covid Travel Guide To Madhya Pradesh: Sojourning The Land Of Temples And Wildlife Trending Blogs 20 Mysterious Places In India To Visit In 2021 More Bizarre Than The Bermuda Triangle Social Score 10 Scariest Roads In India That Are A Drivers Nightmare Social Score 101 Places To Visit In India Before You Turn 30 in 2021 Social Score 35 Exotic Places To Visit In India In December 2021 To Enjoy A Surreal Vacation! Social Score 60 Best Honeymoon Destinations In India In 2021! Social Score 95 Best Honeymoon Destinations In The World In 2021 For A Romantic Escape! Social Score Best Places To Visit In India By Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Best Places To Visit Outside India By Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Packages By ThemeTour PackagesHoneymoon PackagesFamily PackagesBudget Tour PackagesLuxury Tour PackagesAdventure Tour PackagesGroup Tour PackagesDomestic Tour PackagesKerala Tour PackagesGoa Tour PackagesAndaman Tour PackagesSikkim Tour PackagesHimachal Tour PackagesUttarakhand Tour PackagesRajasthan Tour PackagesPackages From Top CitiesTour Packages From DelhiTour Packages From MumbaiTour Packages From BangaloreTour Packages From ChennaiTour Packages From KolkataTour Packages From HyderabadTour Packages From AhmedabadDomestic Tourism GuideKerala TourismGoa TourismSikkim TourismAndaman TourismHimachal TourismUttarakhand TourismRajasthan TourismTop Domestic HotelsHotels in KeralaHotels in GoaHotels in SikkimHotels in AndamanHotels in HimachalHotels in UttarakhandHotels in Rajasthan Our Story About us Team We are hiring! Get Inspired Testimonials Blog Travelogues Policies Terms and Conditions Privacy Policy More FAQs Contact Us RSS Feeds Corporate Office Holiday Triangle Travel Private Limited Address: Plot No -29 , 3rd & 4th Floor, Dynamic House, Maruti Industrial Complex, Sector 18, Gurugram - 122015, Haryana Landline: 1800 123 5555 1800 123 5555 [email protected] All rights reserved 2021 tour_packages#index europe

Kanika has 4 years of experience in writing blogs and marketing content for travel. And when shes not writing, shes either exploring new terrains in a different corner of the world, or out in the city freezing urban scenarios in her camera.

flour | origin and meaning of flour by online etymology dictionary

flour | origin and meaning of flour by online etymology dictionary

"finer portion of ground grain," mid-13c., from flower (n.), and maintaining its older spelling, on the notion of flour as the "finest part" of meal, perhaps as the flower is the finest part of the plant or the fairest plant of the field (compare French fleur de farine), as distinguished from the coarser parts (meal (n.2)). Old French flor also meant both "a flower, blossom" and "meal, fine flour." The English word also was spelled flower until flour became the accepted form c. 1830 to end confusion. Flour-knave "miller's helper" is from c. 1300.

how ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs

how ancient people fell in love with bread, beer and other carbs

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

On a clear day, the view from the ruins of Gbekli Tepe stretches across southern Turkey all the way to the Syrian border some 50 kilometres away. At 11,600 years old, this mountaintop archaeological site has been described as the worlds oldest temple so ancient, in fact, that its T-shaped pillars and circular enclosures pre-date pottery in the Middle East.

The people who built these monumental structures were living just before a major transition in human history: the Neolithic revolution, when humans began farming and domesticating crops and animals. But there are no signs of domesticated grain at Gbekli Tepe, suggesting that its residents hadnt yet made the leap to farming. The ample animal bones found in the ruins prove that the people living there were accomplished hunters, and there are signs of massive feasts. Archaeologists have suggested that mobile bands of hunter-gatherers from all across the region came together at times for huge barbecues, and that these meaty feasts led them to build the impressive stone structures.

Now that view is changing, thanks to researchers such as Laura Dietrich at the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin. Over the past four years, Dietrich has discovered that the people who built these ancient structures were fuelled by vat-fulls of porridge and stew, made from grain that the ancient residents had ground and processed on an almost industrial scale1. The clues from Gbekli Tepe reveal that ancient humans relied on grains much earlier than was previously thought even before there is evidence that these plants were domesticated. And Dietrichs work is part of a growing movement to take a closer look at the role that grains and other starches had in the diet of people in the past.

The researchers are using a wide range of techniques from examining microscopic marks on ancient tools to analysing DNA residues inside pots. Some investigators are even experimentally recreating 12,000-year-old meals using methods from that time. Looking even further back, evidence suggests that some people ate starchy plants more than 100,000 years ago. Taken together, these discoveries shred the long-standing idea that early people subsisted mainly on meat a view that has fuelled support for the palaeo diet, popular in the United States and elsewhere, which recommends avoiding grains and other starches.

The new work fills a big hole in the understanding of the types of food that made up ancient diets. Were reaching a critical mass of material to realize theres a new category weve been missing, says Dorian Fuller, an archaeobotanist at University College London.

Dietrichs discoveries about the feasts at Gbekli Tepe started in the sites rock garden. Thats the name archaeologists dismissively gave a nearby field where they dumped basalt grinding stones, limestone troughs and other large pieces of worked stone found amid the rubble.

As excavations continued over the past two decades, the collection of grinding stones quietly grew, says Dietrich. Nobody thought about them. When she started cataloguing them in 2016, she was stunned at the sheer numbers. The garden covered an area the size of a football field, and contained more than 10,000 grinding stones and nearly 650 carved stone platters and vessels, some big enough to hold up to 200 litres of liquid.

Amaia Arranz-Otaegui (right) examines grain growing in northeastern Jordan, near the Shubayqa 1 archaeological site where she and her colleagues found evidence that bread had been baked there some 14,000 years ago, several millennia before domestication of grains.Credit: Joe Roe

No other settlement in the Near East has so many grinding stones, even in the late Neolithic, when agriculture was already well-established, Dietrich says. And they have a whole spectrum of stone pots, in every thinkable size. Why so many stone vessels? She suspected that they were for grinding grain to produce porridge and beer. Archaeologists had long argued that stone vats at the site were evidence of occasional ceremonial beer consumption at Gbekli Tepe, but thought of it as a rare treat.

Teasing answers from the stones there and at other sites is not a simple process. In archaeology, it is much easier to spot evidence of meat meals than ones based on grains or other plants. Thats because the bones of butchered animals fossilize much more readily than do the remains of a vegetarian feast. The fragile nature of ancient plant remains makes archaeobotany the study of how ancient people used plants tricky, time-consuming work. Researchers use sieves, fine mesh and buckets to wash and separate debris from archaeological sites. Tiny bits of organic material such as seeds, charred wood and burnt food float to the top, while heavier dirt and rocks sink.

The vast majority of what emerges amounts to the raw ingredients, the bits that never made it into a pot. By identifying and counting grass seeds, grain kernels and grape pips mixed into the soil, archaeobotanists can tell what was growing in the area around the settlement. Unusual amounts of any given species offer circumstantial evidence that those plants might have been used, and perhaps cultivated, by people in the past.

Some of the earliest evidence for plant domestication, for example, comes from einkorn wheat grains recovered from a site near Gbekli Tepe that are subtly different in shape and genetics from wild varieties2. At Gbekli Tepe itself, the grains look wild, suggesting that domestication hadnt taken place or was in its earliest stages. (Archaeologists suspect that it might have taken centuries for domestication to alter the shape of grains.)

Direct proof that plants landed in cooking pots is harder to come by. To work out what people were eating, archaeologists are turning to previously ignored sources of evidence, such as charred bits of food. Theyre the mistakes of the past: stews and porridge left on the fire for too long, or bits of bread dropped in the hearth or burnt in the oven. Anyone whos cooked a meal knows sometimes it burns, says Lucy Kubiak-Martens, an archaeobotanist working for BIAX Consult Biological Archaeology & Environmental Reconstruction in Zaandam, the Netherlands.

Until the past few years, these hard-to-analyse remnants of ruined meals were rarely given a second look. Its just a difficult material. Its fragile, ugly stuff, says Andreas Heiss, an archaeobotanist at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna. Most researchers just shied away. Pottery sherds encrusted with food remains were cleaned off or discarded as crud ware, and charred bits of food were dismissed as unanalysable probable food and shelved or thrown out.

The first step towards changing that perception was to go back to the kitchen. That was the inspiration of Soultana Valamoti, an archaeobotanist at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece who, not coincidentally, is also a passionate home cook. Valamoti spent the early years of her career toting buckets and sieves from one excavation site to another across Greece, all while combing museum storerooms for ancient plant remains to analyse. The work convinced her there was an untapped wealth of evidence in burnt food remains if she could find a way to identify what she was looking at.

More than 20 years ago, Valamoti decided to turn her lab into an experimental kitchen. She ground and boiled wheat to make bulgur, and then charred it in an oven to simulate a long-ago cooking accident (see Fast food of the Bronze Age). By comparing the burnt remains to 4,000-year-old samples from a site in northern Greece, she was able to show that the ancient and modern versions matched, and that this way of preparing grain had its roots in the Bronze Age3.

Over the decade that followed, she continued experimenting. Beginning in 2016, a European Research Council grant allowed her to create a crusty, charred reference collection of more than 300 types of ancient and experimental samples. After making bread dough, baked bread, porridge, bulgur and a traditional food called trachana from heirloom wheat and barley, Valamoti chars each sample in an oven under controlled conditions.

She than magnifies the crispy results by 750 to 1,000 times to identify the tell-tale changes in cell structure caused by different cooking processes. Whether boiled or fresh, ground or whole, dried or soaked, the grains all look different at high magnification. Baking bread leaves tell-tale bubbles behind, for example, whereas boiling grain before charring it gelatinizes the starch, Valamoti says. And we can see all that under the scanning electron microscope.

Comparing the ancient samples with her modern experiments, Valamoti has been able to go beyond identifying plant species to reconstruct the cooking methods and dishes of ancient Greece. There is evidence that people in the region have been eating bulgur for at least 4,000 years4. By boiling barley or wheat and then drying it for storage and quick rehydration later, you could process the harvest in bulk and take advantage of the hot sun, Valamoti says. Then you can use it throughout the year. It was the fast food of the past.

Other researchers are also pursuing ancient cooking mistakes. Charred food remains are providing us with direct evidence of food, says Amaia Arranz-Otaegui, an archaeobotanist at the Paris Museum of Natural History. Thats revolutionary. Its an unprecedented source of information.

In the past, it has been difficult for researchers to find hard evidence that our distant ancestors ate plants. Weve always suspected starch was in the diet of early hominins and early Homo sapiens, but we didnt have the evidence, says Kubiak-Martens.

Genetic data support the idea that people were eating starch. In 2016, for example, geneticists reported5 that humans have more copies of the gene that produces enzymes to digest starch than do any of our primate relatives. Humans have up to 20 copies, and chimpanzees have 2, says Cynthia Larbey, an archaeobotanist at the University of Cambridge, UK. That genetic change in the human lineage helped to shape the diet of our ancestors, and now us. That suggests theres a selective advantage to higher-starch diets for Homo sapiens.

To find supporting evidence in the archaeological record, Larbey turned to cooking hearths at sites in South Africa dating back 120,000 years, picking out chunks of charred plant material some the size of a peanut. Under the scanning electron microscope, she identified cellular tissue from starchy plants6 the earliest evidence of ancient people cooking starch. Right through from 120,000 to 65,000 years ago, theyre cooking roots and tubers, Larbey says. The evidence is remarkably consistent, she adds, particularly compared with animal remains from the same site. Over time they change hunting techniques and strategies, but still continue to cook and eat plants.

Early humans probably ate a balanced diet, leaning on starchy plants for calories when game was scarce or hard to hunt. And being able to find carbohydrates as they moved into new ecologies would have provided important staple foods, Larbey adds.

Evidence suggests that plants were popular among Neanderthals, too. In 2011, Amanda Henry, a palaeoanthropologist now at Leiden University in the Netherlands, published her findings from dental plaque picked from the teeth of Neanderthals who were buried in Iran and Belgium between 46,000 and 40,000 years ago. Plant microfossils trapped and preserved in the hardened plaque showed that they were cooking and eating starchy foods including tubers, grains and dates7. Plants are ubiquitous in our environment, Henry says, and its no surprise we put them to use.

In May, Christina Warinner, a palaeogeneticist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and her colleagues reported the extraction of bacterial DNA from the dental plaque of Neanderthals, including a 100,000-year-old individual from what is now Serbia. The species they found included some that specialized in breaking down starch into sugars, supporting the idea that Neanderthals had already adapted to a plant-rich diet8. Plaque on the teeth of early modern humans shared a similar bacterial profile, providing more evidence to suggest that they were eating starchy plants.

The finds push back against the idea that our ancestors spent their time sitting around campfires mostly chewing on mammoth steaks. Its an idea that has penetrated popular culture, with proponents of the palaeo diet arguing that grains, potatoes and other starchy foods have no place on our plates because our hunter-gatherer ancestors didnt evolve to eat them.

But it has become clear that early humans were cooking and eating carbs almost as soon as they could light fires. The old-fashioned idea that hunter-gatherers didnt eat starch is nonsense, says Fuller.

The push to better understand how people were cooking in the past also means paying more attention to the cooks themselves. Its part of a larger trend in archaeology to look at household activities and daily lives. Essentially, were trying to figure out what kind of information you can find out about people who have never had histories written about them, says Sarah Graff, an archaeologist at Arizona State University in Tempe.

In the past, when researchers found plant remains at archaeological sites, they often considered them as accidental ecofacts natural objects, such as seeds, pollen and burnt wood, that offer evidence for what kind of plants grew in a region. But there has been a shift towards treating food remains as evidence of an activity that required craft, intent and skill. Prepared food needs to be looked at as an artefact first and a species second, Fuller says. Heated, fermented, soaked making food is akin to making a ceramic vessel.

And, as researchers increasingly collaborate to compare ancient remains, theyre finding remarkable similarities across time and cultures. At Neolithic sites in Austria dating back more than 5,000 years, for example, archaeologists found unusually shaped charred crusts. It was as though the contents of a large jar or pot had been heated until the liquid burned off, and the dried crust inside began to burn. The teams first guess was that the crusts were from grain storage jars destroyed in a fire. But under the scanning electron microscope, the cell walls of individual grains looked unusually thin a sign, Heiss says, that something else was going on.

After comparing the Austrian finds to similar crusts found in Egyptian breweries from around the same time, Heiss and Valamoti concluded that the thin cell walls were the result of germination, or malting, a crucial step in the brewing process. These early Austrian farmers were brewing beer9. We ended up with something completely different from the earlier hypotheses, Heiss says. Several lines of evidence really interlocked and fell into place.

Bread, it seems, goes even further back. Arranz-Otaegui was working at a 14,500-year-old site in Jordan when she found charred bits of probable food in the hearths of long-ago hunter-gatherers. When she showed scanning electron microscope images of the stuff to Lara Gonzlez Carretero, an archaeobotanist at the Museum of London Archaeology who works on evidence of bread baking at a Neolithic site in Turkey called atalhyk, both researchers were shocked. The charred crusts from Jordan had tell-tale bubbles, showing they were burnt pieces of bread10.

Most archaeologists have assumed that bread didnt appear on the menu until after grain had been domesticated 5,000 years after the cooking accident in question. So it seems that the early bakers in Jordan used wild wheat.

The evidence provides crucial clues to the origins of the Neolithic revolution, when people began to settle down and domesticate grain and animals, which happened at different times in various parts of the world. Before farming began, a loaf of bread would have been a luxury product that required time-consuming and tedious work gathering the wild grain needed for baking. That hurdle could have helped to spur crucial changes.

Arranz-Otaeguis research suggests that at least in the Near East demand for bread might have been a factor in driving people to attempt to domesticate wheat, as they looked for ways to ensure a steady supply of baked goods. What we are seeing in Jordan has implications for bigger processes. What drove the transition to agriculture is one of the fundamental questions in archaeology, Arranz-Otaegui says. This shows hunter-gatherers were using cereals.

The next frontier for archaeobotanists is prehistoric salad bars. Researchers are working on ways to look for the remains of food that wasnt cooked, such as leafy greens, another overlooked part of the ancient diet. Because raw greens and vegetables are even harder to find in the archaeological record than cooked seeds and grains, Kubiak-Martens calls them the missing link in knowledge about ancient diets. Theres no way to prove green leaves were eaten from charred remains, Kubiak-Martens says. But you would be surprised at how much green vegetables are in human coprolites, or preserved faeces. Kubiak-Martens got a grant in 2019 to look at 6,300-year-old palaeofaeces preserved at wetland sites in the Netherlands, which she hopes will reveal everything prehistoric farmers there had on their dinner tables.

The quest to understand ancient diets has led some researchers to take extreme measures. Thats the case with Gbekli Tepe, which has yielded very few organic remains that could provide clues to the prehistoric plant-based meals there. So Dietrich has tried innovative thinking and a lot of elbow grease. Her approach has been to recreate the tools people used to make food, not the dishes themselves.

In her airy lab on a tree-lined street in Berlin, Dietrich explains her time-consuming and physically demanding process. Starting with a replica grindstone a block of black basalt the size of a bread roll that fits neatly in the palm of her hand she photographs it from 144 different angles.

After spending eight hours grinding four kilograms of heirloom einkorn wheat kernels, Dietrich photographs the stone again. A software program then produces 3D models from the two sets of pictures. Her experiments have shown that grinding fine flour for baking bread leaves a different finish on the stones from producing coarsely ground grain that is ideal for boiling as porridge or brewing beer.

And after handling thousands of grindstones, she is often able to identify what they were used for by touch. I touch the stones to feel for flattening, she says. Fingers can feel changes at the nano level. By comparing the wear patterns on her modern replicas to the stones piled in Gbekli Tepes rock garden, Dietrich could show that fine-ground bread flour was the exception. In a 2020 study11, she argues people there were mostly grinding grain coarsely, just enough to break up its tough outer layer of bran and make it easy to boil and eat as porridge or ferment into beer.

To test the theory, Dietrich commissioned a stonemason to carve a replica of a 30-litre stone vat from Gbekli Tepe. In 2019, she and her team successfully cooked porridge using heated stones, carefully recording and timing each step of the process. They also brewed a Neolithic beer from hand-ground germinated grain, or malt, in the open vessel. The results were a bit bitter, but drinkable, Dietrich says. If youre thirsty in the Neolithic.

From the grind stones and other plant-processing tools at Gbekli Tepe, a picture is now emerging for what was going on there 12,000 years ago. Rather than just starting to experiment with wild grains, the monument builders were apparently proto-farmers, already familiar with the cooking possibilities grain offered despite having no domesticated crops. These are the best grinding tools ever, and Ive seen a lot of grindstones, Dietrich says. People at Gbekli Tepe knew what they were doing, and what could be done with cereals. Theyre beyond the experimentation phase.

Her experiments are shifting the way archaeologists understand the site and the period when it was built. Their initial interpretations made the site sound a bit like a US college fraternity house: lots of male hunters on a hilltop, washing down barbecued antelope with vats of lukewarm beer at occasional celebrations. Nobody really thought of the possibility of plant consumption on a large scale, Dietrich says.

In a study late last year12, Dietrich argues the barbecue and beer interpretation is way off. The sheer number of grain-processing tools at Gbekli Tepe suggest that even before farming took hold, cereals were a daily staple, not just part of an occasional fermented treat.

Related Equipments