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Medieval Islamic food

By |2017-07-23T17:01:31+00:00July 23rd, 2017|Food, Islam|

Orange tree Around the Mediterranean, people continued in the Islamic period to rely on the three main foods from antiquity. Those were wheat (mostly bread), olive oil, and wine. Though technically Islam did not let you drink alcohol, still a lot of people did drink wine. People who didn't drink wine started to drink more tea. The Sogdians brought tea to the Islamic [...]

Where does sorghum come from? African food

By |2018-04-17T22:27:15+00:00June 23rd, 2017|Africa, Food|

A field of sorghum growing Sorghum, like millet, is one of the plants that African people figured out how to farm and then spread to the rest of the world. It's a kind of gluten-free grain, about five feet tall, that grows wild all across Africa, Asia, and Australia. Sorghum doesn't need very [...]

What is straw? History of straw

By |2018-10-04T06:25:57+00:00June 12th, 2017|Crafts, Economy|

History of Straw: loose straw in a pile What is straw made of? Straw is the dried stalks of tall grasses like wheat, millet or barley. After people harvested the seeds of these grasses for food, they used the straw for everything from shoes to mattresses to baskets. More about wheat Where does [...]

History of farming – the beginning of agriculture

By |2018-04-19T15:03:04+00:00June 12th, 2017|Economy, West Asia|

History of farming: A field of wheat When did people start farming? People did not farm as a major way of getting food until around 12,000 BC. About that time, there was a climate change that made more food plants grow than before. Everybody got more to eat with less work than earlier [...]

Food in ancient China – rice and tea

By |2019-01-23T20:33:31+00:00June 6th, 2017|China, Food|

Chinese food Chinese food: rice Rice was the first grain that people farmed in China, and rice is such a basic food in China that the Chinese words for "cook" and "eat" both include the word for "rice". At first people picked wild rice. But people were farming rice along the Yang-tse River [...]

Early African History: fire, farming, Egypt, and the Bantu

By |2019-02-01T18:35:36+00:00May 17th, 2017|Africa, History|

Early African history: Pyramids at Giza, Egypt The first modern humans About three and a half million years ago, primates like chimpanzees in Africa started to come down out of the trees and evolve into modern people, walking upright and maybe swimming. More about chimpanzees Early primates/humans When did people learn to swim? All our [...]