We have rows upon rows of shelves in the supermarket filled to the brim with a wide variety of processed food items. And more often than not, we take them for granted. Our ancient ancestors never had the liberty to enjoy yogurts or even sliced bread. It is difficult for us to imagine just what the ancient Greeks and Egyptians would have eaten. But with the help of archeological excavations and findings, we come to know what had been served as dinner to the great kings and his subjects. Food is more than just a source of nutrients. It is full of the rich colors of people’s cultures, religions, history, and even literature. Let us look at five such ancient foods that are still around in this age.
Tamales (made since 100 AD)
Soft parcels made from masa or corn-based dough, which is regularly steamed in banana leaves or corn husks, are known as tamales. Tamales are a popular Mesoamerican dish with crucial ingredients such as corn and meats. Cheese, fruits, meats, vegetables, fruits, chilies, eggs, fish, flamingo, rabbit, beans, and so on were various fillings used, and both the stuffing and the cooking liquids can be seasoned as per your taste. They used these back when soldiers and travelers were looking to have well-preserved food lasting long durations.
Pancakes (made since 3300 BC)
All across the world, we see pancakes as a delicious, quintessential breakfast food commonly consumed with fruits, whipped cream, chocolate, types of preferred syrups, and a wide variety of other toppings. A pancake is a round cake, generally prepared from starch-batter on a griddle or a frying pan. Despite the state it is designed and consumed, pancakes are universally beloved and consumed. The origin of pancakes can be traced back to Otzi the Iceman, whose last meal comprised wheat pancakes.
Curry (made since 2600 – 2200 BC)
Originating in the Indian subcontinent, this aromatic dish defines bold colors, spices, and herbs. Curry uses a combination of these spices, and herbs namely turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, fresh/dry chilies, garam masala, and many more. Turmeric is the main spice used to make curry, giving off a warm, bitter taste. The word ‘curry’ originates from the Kari, meaning sauce or gravy in the Tamil language. They found traces of the ingredients used to make curry from excavations dating back to 2600 – 2200 BC.
Kheer (made since 400 BC)
Kheer is a decadent, thick, milk-based creamy dessert that is a pretty beloved sweet prepared in most Indian households for generations. It is prepared by boiling milk, sugar, and rich, with a few substitutes available for rice. You can add in a ton of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron, along with flavorings/toppings such as almonds, raisins, coconuts, and many more. Kheer is often served in temples, festivals, and weddings to sign good and holy omen.
Cheesecake (made since 230 AD)
Dessert enthusiasts like us often openly indulge in the luxury that is cheesecake. Originating from ancient Greece, this delicious dessert comprises a thick, luscious mid-layer of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar along with a buttery biscuit base. Ancient Greece made use of a plain mixture of flour, honey, and soft cheese to prepare fluffy cakes to serve in weddings and festivals. Cheesecakes, usually sweetened with sugar, can be flavored in multiple ways using ingredients such as lemon, vanilla, spices, chocolate and so in the main cheese layer. We add flavoring and topping to make the cheesecake look impossibly appealing.