Humanity has a rich history. We’ve seen civilizations do some amazing things and create wonderful progress since way before Jesus was born, but we usually look through our history with a very specific point of view. We either discuss the geography, the technology or maybe the science and religion of these ancient civilizations, but we keep forgetting to look at something even more important than all of those: food.
Ancient civilizations had some dishes that are still commonly eaten today and might actually be worth trying if you haven’t already. You’ll have heard of at least a few of these and maybe even tried a couple, but there’s also some more obscure and region-bound dishes that can take you back to ancient times.
While the ancient Greeks didn’t exactly have feta cheese, they did have Touloumotiri, which is usually seen as the precursor to what we now know as feta cheese. Considering how sheep and goats were more common in that area in the ancient Greek times, it makes sense that they’d be the first to turn sheep’s milk into cheese.
Yes, popcorn is also an ancient dish. Where it’s currently mostly used to help us pass the time until the movie starts in the theaters, it was an actual meal in ancient Inca civilization. I’m sure they probably didn’t add so much sugar (or salt, if that’s your thing) to it back in those days, but the general concept of the dish hasn’t changed in all those centuries.
Currently especially popular in the Asian cuisine, krupuk dates back as far as 900 AD. It originated in what is now know as Indonesia, and has barely changed in terms of how this cracker is produced. It’s always been made of rice flour – which was very common in Asia – and is still considered to be the oriental version of our western crisps or chips.
While hummus is still widely sold and eaten today, the first mentioning of hummus actually goes back as far as the 13th century, where it was mentioned in a cooking book found in Egypt. Chickpeas were commonly grown in Egypt, so one day they turned them into a dip. I think that’s how these thinks work, anyway.
The first written mentioning of Börek goes back to the 14th century, where it was found written down in a Persian poem. There’s reason to believe Börek is a lot older than that, but there’s no written evidence of it. This dish made of filled pastries is currently a very popular dish within Turkish communities.
This dairy product is currently common in healthy diets, but its existence predates the time of Instagram dieting by quite a few centuries. Yoghurt was first documented to exist in about 300 BC in India, making it officially older than Jesus!
Not only is beer delicious, it’s also one of the oldest (if not the oldest) drinks we had that required preparation before consumption. So the first thing we invented when it came to beverages, was how to get drunk. That’s human ingenuity at its finest!