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West Asian food – Mesopotamia and Iran

By | 2017-09-13T17:12:18+00:00 September 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 [...]

Roman food – rich and poor

By | 2017-10-13T15:30:35+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Food, Romans|

Roti bread made with millet Although the first people who came to the Mediterranean were probably following along the coast, and ate mainly fish, shellfish, seaweed, and wild figs, by the time the Roman Republic got started, there were far too many people in the Mediterranean to be able to live entirely from the ocean, and although people kept [...]

Roman restaurants – going out to eat in ancient Rome

By | 2017-08-31T22:39:33+00:00 August 31st, 2017|Economy, Food, Romans|

A carving of a fast food restaurant in northern Europe Many people in bigger towns in ancient Rome lived in just one room and didn't have kitchens in their apartments. They ate most of their meals in fast food restaurants like this one in the picture. You can see that one guy is sitting at a booth while [...]

What is Mardi Gras? Christian holidays

By | 2017-08-22T14:09:20+00:00 August 22nd, 2017|Religion, Romans|

Pieter Brueghel, Carnival on the left and Lent on the right In the later Roman Empire, around 300 AD, people began fasting for Lent, for the forty days before Easter. On the first day of Lent, people went to special church services and smeared ash on their foreheads to show they were mourning - grieving. Lent always begins on a Wednesday, so [...]

Brigham Young – Mormon religion

By | 2017-08-14T15:29:54+00:00 August 14th, 2017|History|

Brigham Young in the 1840s After a mob killed Joseph Smith, the Mormons chose a new leader, Brigham Young (BRIG-am yung) and wisely left Illinois. In 1847, Brigham Young decided that the Mormons should move way out west to Utah, where the Ute and Paiute people lived. Utah was part of Mexico at this time. In the next year, though, [...]

American food history – tacos to… tacos!

By | 2017-08-11T21:59:14+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Food, North America|

People eating in Virginia, about 1550 AD (from the British Museum) In 1500 AD, most of the people living in North America, like the Pueblo, the Cherokee, the Iroquois, and the Mississippians, ate mainly beans and corn and squash. Sometimes people ate their corn baked into tacos or tortillas; other times people boiled corn into mush or soup. To go with the beans and [...]

History of wheat – West Asia

By | 2017-06-23T03:28:38+00:00 June 23rd, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Field of wheat Ever since people left Africa for West Asia, about 70,000 BC, they have probably always eaten wheat, which tastes good and is also a good source of carbohydrates and not a bad source of protein. But for tens of thousands of years, people did not grow wheat. They just picked wheat [...]

History of beer – Where does beer come from?

By | 2017-06-20T22:19:47+00:00 June 20th, 2017|Food, West Asia|

Sumerians sipping beer through straws (ca. 2500 BC) Even before people began farming in China, West Asia and Egypt, they were already using wild grain that they gathered to make beer. When they did begin farming, around 6,000 BC, they made even more beer. You make beer out of barley, which is a [...]