What if our cooking practices date back 70,000 years? A new study shows that our ancestors prepared complex meals from a variety of ingredients. Obviously, they didn’t practice the “paleo diet” that is practiced today.
What if our fascination with cooking and good food dates back to prehistoric times? Far from the image of man NeanderthalNeanderthal Swallowing a piece of barely cooked meat at the bottom of its burrow, it seems that our ancestors had a very early habit of seasoning and mixing ingredients in their food. This is according to a new study published in the journal Old.
For at least 70,000 years, theNeanderthal man And Homo sapiens They prepare authentic food and share it within the group. Foods that are prepared in multiple stages and contain many ingredients, some of which only aim to enhance the taste of the food.
A complex culinary practice 70,000 years ago
These results were obtained thanks to the analysis of fossil food remains found in two Paleolithic sites. One is located in Franchi Cave in Greece. The sedimentary deposits make it possible to go back to a period of 13,000 to 11,500 years ago. Another cave, Shanidar Cave, is located in the Zagros in Iraqi Kurdistan. This shelter would have welcomed the first modern humans 40,000 years ago, but also Neanderthals 70,000 years ago. Previously, the oldest food remains were only 14,400 years old. These new paleontological discoveries represent a minor revolution and have made it possible to study food in particular Early huntersBut also the way they cooked the food.
Two rock shelters revealed remains of complex plant-based products. At the Franchthi site, the remains are charred pieces of bread, flat loaves or remains of thin porridge, decorated with seeds. PulsesPulses Rough ground. On the site of Sanitar, old, it is mustard seeds and PistachioPistachio Show that it appears to be accompanied by culinary preparations. Even remains associated with Neanderthals show that these are HominidsHominids Wild grass seeds are mixed with ground legumes and heated in water to create a preparation. A previous study revealed traces of grass seeds in the tartar covering the teeth FossilsFossils Neanderthals.
Seasoning foods is an older gesture than we think
Thanks for the analysis Electronic scanning microscopeElectronic scanning microscope, the researchers were able to clearly identify the nature of these seeds. Their results also show that compounds made by prehistoric humans must have had a bitter taste. If we use the same seeds in cooking today, we are careful to soak, heat, and shell them to reduce and remove their bitterness. toxinstoxins, and quite clearly, our ancestors did the same! However, food remains show that the seed coats were not completely removed, suggesting that prehistoric humans partially preserved them to retain the bitter taste and certainly to add relief to their meals.
Our cooking practices So it must have been born thousands of years ago. This study also shows that Neanderthals prefer Homo sapiens had a very varied diet including many types of plants: seeds, herbs, roots, legumes, NutNutBerries … they are carefully prepared before mixing them with meat or FishFish. Because if our ancestors definitely fed on plants, isotopic analysis of their skeletons shows that they were their main source. ProteinProtein There was meat. Neanderthals would have been its biggest consumers. whenHomo sapiens There would have been a more varied diet.