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Archaeologically inspired cookbook for "cavemen & Vikings"

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  • Phoenix
    Salvete Omnes, This is not Mediterranean but still very interesting. Have Fun! Valete, Demetria Research-based cookbook for cavemen and Vikings March 15, 2012
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 19, 2012
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      Salvete Omnes,

      This is not Mediterranean but still very interesting.

      Have Fun!

      Research-based cookbook for cavemen and Vikings
      March 15, 2012 - 06:05
      The first ever cookbook based on archaeological finds is now out in
      English. The recipes are based on research from numerous archaeological
      sites in central and northern Europe.
      Keywords: Archaeology
      <http://sciencenordic.com/archaeology> , Food
      <http://sciencenordic.com/food> , Nutrition
      Send <http://sciencenordic.com/printmail/799> PDF
      <http://sciencenordic.com/printpdf/799> Print
      By: Jeppe Wojcik <http://sciencenordic.com/content/jeppe-wojcik>
      [imagecache imagecache-440x] The illustrations in the book reflect the
      supply of ingredients in the various eras, as here in the Neolithic
      period. The children also took part in the cooking, for instance by
      grinding grain. (Illustration: Communicating Culture & Atelier
      bunterhund Zürich)
      Raw food. New Nordic food. Stone Age food.

      Today’s hottest culinary trends are inspired by the distant
      past, and the number of restaurants serving prehistoric food is on a
      steady rise.

      The menu consists of seasonal, local ingredients, which ideally should
      not be warmed up, and using processed ingredients is a definite no-no.

      It seems that 16,000 years of gastronomic development has brought us
      back to the beginning. But what exactly did people eat before the
      advent of fast food and fine French cuisine?

      A new cookbook, based on archaeological finds, could bring us a few
      steps closer to an answer.
      Ancient cuisine has long fascinated researchers
      To the three archaeologists behind the new cookbook, ‘A culinary
      journey through time’, ancient cuisine is not a new trend. They
      published the first edition of the cookbook back in 1995, but now
      it’s out again in a revised and expanded edition with rich
      illustrations â€" and in English.
      [imagecache imagecache-620x] The cooking methods, the kitchen
      equipment and the food culture in the illustrations are also based on
      archaeological finds. Even the clothes and the clay jars are finds from
      settlements or graves. The glass in the woman’s hand, for
      example, was found at an excavation site in Sweden. (Illustration:
      Communicating Culture & Atelier bunterhund Zürich)
      The book contains brief and easy-to-understand recipes, made from
      ingredients that according to the authors were common in the seven eras
      covered in the book.
      Recipes based on archaeological soil samples
      One of the authors, Sabine Karg, archaeologist, botanist and guest
      researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s Saxo Institute,
      explains how they managed to figure out which raw materials people used
      in ancient times.

      “Over the past 25 years I have studied and analysed plants from
      numerous prehistoric trash layers and fire rings,” she says.

      “We’ve found crusts, carbonised remnants, seeds, fruits,
      bones, fish bones and shell heaps. This variety of ingredients has
      helped us form an idea of what people ate in the old days, and
      that’s reflected in our recipes.”

      Using various scientific methods, the archaeologists can reconstruct
      the past diversity of utility plants. This knowledge can contribute to
      their understanding of ancient food habits.
      Authentic dishes from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages
      The cookbook covers recipes from the Old Stone Age up until the Middle
      Ages, from northern and central Europe. That way, the book not only
      provides clues to the food preferences of the famous Viking, Leif
      Erikson, but also those of Julius Caesar.
      It’s all based on archaeological finds. We’ve only used
      ingredients we knew they used back then.Sabine Karg
      What was on Caesar’s plate is particularly interesting because
      the recipes from the Roman era are written by the star chefs from back
      then. We know for instance that the Romans ate peaches in honey sauce
      and battered ham.

      The recipes from other eras have been reconstructed as accurately as
      possible. This was done by only using ingredients that the authors knew
      were used in the past.
      Recipes divided according to seasons
      The more than 80 recipes in the book reveal a diet that’s
      somewhat more varied than that of today’s spaghetti sauce and
      fast food lovers. Some of the fancier recipes include:

      * Wild mashed apples with sea buckthorn
      * Salted and dried sheep's rib steamed over birch branches
      * Barley-lentil pot with blubber

      The book is divided into seasons, with recipes suitable for winter,
      spring, summer, autumn or year-round use. Each recipe has a symbol next
      to it, showing which era it’s from. This could be handy if you
      should find yourself in the mood for a fancy Bronze Age dish on a
      spring day.
      Bringing the community spirit back into the kitchen
      It has long been a dream for the three authors to create a large and
      lavishly illustrated edition of their cookbook. Sabine Karg sees it as
      her duty as a researcher to communicate science to everyone.

      ”It’s a way of giving something back to the taxpayer
      â€" by giving them access to my research.”
      How the recipes were created

      The archaeologists take soil samples from sites where they find plants.

      The plants are then analysed and dated in the laboratory.

      They then create the recipes based on the ingredients they knew were
      available in the relevant period.

      But the authors also wish to shake up the modern diet.

      “In our busy lives where cooking takes the lowest priority,
      where we just eat a burger in passing while we work, watch TV or play
      computer games, a bit of prehistoric cooking could be a way of breaking
      these habits,” says Karg.

      ”The many simple dishes in the book are ideal for family
      projects, where the kids can join in. This could add a bit of extra
      quality time to the cooking experience.”

      ‘A culinary journey through time’
      <http://communicatingculture.dk/> is published by Communicating Culture
      and is available in English, German and Danish.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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