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West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:40:08+00:00September 13th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) The people of West Asia traditionally divided themselves into two groups who had very different eating and drinking habits. These two groups thought of themselves as enemies, even though they also traded with each other and married each other all the time. One group lived in [...]

Mediterranean Food in the Roman Empire

By |2018-04-19T22:46:14+00:00September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Woman baking bread Poor people who lived near the Mediterranean Sea had to eat food that would grow in very dry areas, with light and not very fertile soil. Mostly they ate what archaeologists call the "Mediterranean triad" or three things: wheat and barley (made into beer or porridge or flatbread or soup), olive oil (soaked into the bread, or on vegetables), [...]

Where did Passover come from? Jewish holidays

By |2017-08-24T14:32:07+00:00August 24th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Handmade Matzoh In its earliest beginnings, which could go back to the Stone Age, Passover was a Jewish spring festival. It celebrated the first barley harvest after the winter. All winter there had not really been enough to eat. Now in March or so there was finally some fresh new barley bread to eat! People were [...]

European food history – Renaissance to today

By |2018-04-20T00:13:50+00:00August 4th, 2017|Food, Modern Europe|

European food history: An early chocolate house Trade brings new foods During the 1500s and 1600s AD, European traders brought back all kinds of new foods from places they sailed to around the world. Rich people began to eat sugar and ginger from India. (Combining these two new foods together gave us the gingerbread man). Chocolate, coffee, and tea They [...]

Medieval food with recipes – European food in the Middle Ages

By |2018-10-06T20:22:59+00:00August 1st, 2017|Food, Medieval|

Medieval food: A man ladles porridge from a large pot over a fire Poor people's food was boring! In the Middle Ages in Europe, what people ate depended a lot on how rich they were. Poor people (which was almost everybody) ate mainly barley, or in some places oats. What's barley like? All about the history of [...]

Mehrgahr – Stone Age India

By |2018-04-23T15:17:59+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Clay figurines from Mehrgahr The first people reached India from Africa around 40,000 BC. At first they probably got most of their food from fishing and gathering shellfish, like other people around the world at this time. But around 7000 BC, some people - probably recent arrivals from West Asia who brought their seeds with them - began farming along the river of the Indus Valley [...]

Who is Demeter? Ancient Greek gods

By |2018-04-26T12:15:41+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Greek goddess Demeter: A field of wheat growing The Greek goddess Demeter is an earth goddess; her name is De, which means earth (the same word as Gaia) and meter, which means mother. Demeter is the goddess of growing things, especially of grains like wheat and barley and millet. Demeter's daughter, Persephone, is the grain [...]

How to make barley soup – Food project

By |2017-06-21T02:34:32+00:00June 21st, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Barley soup (thanks to Wikipedia) You can eat like a medieval peasant by making your own barley soup at home. Start by peeling a carrot, a turnip, a parsnip, and an onion. Chop them up into bite-size pieces. Also chop one stalk of celery and two cloves of garlic. In a large pot, [...]