Navigation Links
Pottery residue reveals spice use in prehistoric European cuisine
Date:8/22/2013

Plant residues in cooking pots reveal the use of spices in prehistoric cuisine in northern Europe, according to research published August 21 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Hayley Saul and colleagues from the University of York.

Blackened deposits inside the pottery shards studied contained residues of microscopic plant silica bodies, called phytoliths, which resemble those found in modern-day garlic mustard seeds, a peppery mustard-flavored spice. Garlic mustard has little nutritional value, and the shards also contained residues of fats from a range of marine and terrestrial animals, as well as starchy plant foods, suggesting the spice was used to flavor these foods. The pottery shards, which are at least 6,100 years old, were recovered from sites in Denmark and Germany and date from a period when prehistoric people transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to farming.

Although garlic mustard was present locally, it is unclear whether the practice of using it as a spice originated in the western Baltic area or was derived from the Near East and brought to the region. Regardless of the origins of the practice, the study concludes, "Plant microfossil analysis has opened a new avenue in the study of prehistoric culinary practice in northern European temperate climates. Further, it is now established that the habit of enhancing and altering the flavor of calorie rich staples was part of European cuisine as far back as the 7th millennia BC."

Saul elaborates, "Until now it has been widely accepted that the calorific content of foods was of primary importance in the decisions by hunter-gatherers about what to eat. Both the actual finding of seed phytoliths consistent with garlic mustard spice, and the method of discovery, open up a new avenue for the investigation of prehistoric cuisines."


'/>"/>

Contact: Jyoti Madhusoodanan
jmadhusoodanan@plos.org
415-568-4545
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers taste for fish
2. Gasification method turns forest residues to biofuel with less than a euro per liter
3. Gasification method turns forest residues to biofuel with less than a euro per litre
4. Quality products from rubber residues
5. Antibiotic residues in sausage meat may promote pathogen survival
6. Scientific breakthrough reveals how vitamin B12 is made
7. Global investigation reveals true scale of ocean warming
8. Study reveals potential role of love hormone oxytocin in brain function
9. Bees under threat from disease-carrying bumblebee imports, research reveals
10. First global atlas of marine plankton reveals remarkable underwater world
11. Fear factor: Missing brain enzyme leads to abnormal levels of fear in mice, reveals new research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/31/2017)... Mass. , Jan. 31, 2017  Spero ... novel therapies for the treatment of bacterial infections, ... set of antibacterial candidates from Pro Bono Bio ... increased prevalence of multi-drug resistant forms of Gram-negative ... Cantab Anti Infectives Ltd, a PBB group company. ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... , Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market ... for Biometrics and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 ... identity when increased adoption reflects a new understanding ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often ... Maxine Most , Principal of Acuity Market ...
(Date:1/24/2017)... 2017  It sounds simple and harmless—an electronic ... vital signs and alerts parents on their smart ... level drops. But pediatric experts argue that such ... no evidence of medical benefits, especially to healthy ... to parents of healthy babies, promising peace of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... and SAN FRANCISCO , Feb. ... regenerative medicine company, and Beyond Type 1, a not-for-profit ... 1 diabetes, today announced a grant from Beyond Type ... cure for type 1 and other insulin-requiring diabetes.  ... been developing innovative stem cell-derived cell replacement therapies with ...
(Date:2/22/2017)...  PrimeVax Immuno-Oncology, Inc. announced today its CEO, ... Biocom Global Life Science Partnering Conference.  The presentation will ... the Torrey Pines Lodge, in San Diego.  ... who have chosen our company, amongst numerous others, to ... and clinical researchers," said Mr. Chen. "In contrast to ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational ... is pleased to announce the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking ... This merit-based scholarship is open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... the addition of Tom Perkins as European director. Operating from Pennside’s Zurich headquarters, ... Pennside. , Perkins joins Pennside after more than a decade with leading ...
Breaking Biology Technology: