(ORDO NEWS) — When talking about what Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons ate, we think of simple and easy-to-cook meals.
However, researchers from the University of Liverpool proved that our Paleolithic ancestors made fragrant cakes, in which not only the taste but also the smell of food was important.
Usually, when we think about the ways of eating ancient people, coarse, simple dishes like fried meat or roasted roots, seasoned with a handful of salt, come to mind.
Soups or bread already seem to be the property of a relatively developed society, and it is difficult to imagine a primitive savage baking fragrant cakes under the arch of a cave.
However, a study conducted by British scientists led by Ceren Kabukku from the University of Liverpool showed that the early Cro-Magnons and Neanderthals ate a complex and varied diet, in which plants played an important role.
This contradicts early claims of a predominantly meat-based Neanderthal diet and suggests that their diet varied with habitats and seasons.
Researchers studied charred food remains from the Shanidar Cave in Iraq, ranging in age from 40,000 years old (early Cro-Magnons) to 70,000 years old (Neanderthals).
Before that, the oldest remains of cooked plant food were finds in the Franhti cave in Greece, which were 12-13 thousand years old.
After studying the composition of food traces, scientists came to the conclusion that Paleolithic cooks knew a lot about seasonings and appreciated plants with a sharp or spicy taste, and knew how to make bitter ones more neutral.
So, for example, they soaked and ground legume seeds to partially get rid of the bitter taste of the seed coats, and to give the dish a brighter taste, they used wild mustard seeds , almonds and pistachios.
In other words, the culinary habits of the Paleolithic predecessors were not so different from ours, and the love of tasty, well-cooked food is the property of not only modern man, but also his closest relatives.
The advent of agriculture and the transition to a sedentary lifestyle only pushed the ancient people to the constant preparation of bread or porridge, but the foundations of these practices were laid thousands of years earlier.
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