We humans can’t stop playing with our food. Just think of all the different ways of serving potatoes – entire books have been written about potato recipes alone. The restaurant industry was born from our love of flavouring food in new and interesting ways.
My team’s analysis of the oldest charred food remains ever found show that jazzing up your dinner is a human habit dating back at least 70,000 years.
Imagine ancient people sharing a meal. You would be forgiven for picturing people tearing into raw ingredients or maybe roasting meat over a fire as that is the stereotype. But our new study showed both Neanderthals and Homo sapienshad complex diets involving several steps of preparation, and took effort with seasoning and using plants with bitter and sharp flavours.
This degree of culinary complexity has never been documented before for Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers.
Read the full story at The Conversation