Food History bits

I am a self-proclaimed food-history junkie, with a joy for any book, television show, or magazine article that deals with most any component on how we ate in the past. My current consumption is a book called Food: The History of Taste, a tome that often reads like a college textbook. Each chapter deals with one era of human history, be it pre-historic man or the creation and development of restaurants.

There’s so much in this book that it nearly makes me weep with pleasure. For example – There was a bit of a mystery regarding the dissonance in the theory that Paleolithic and Mesolithic man ate seafood and the lack of archaeological sites that held any evidence suggesting this. While there were many locations that one could find bones from horses and wild cattle and even cave paintings that illustrated the importance of these creatures (most famously from Lascoux), there were little in the way of equivalent evidence for seafood locations.

That was until people realized, relatively recently, that due to the sea level rising, most of the locations that contained such evidence would likely be underwater. By 1991, the Cosquer Caves were discovered, and showed similar paintings to that of the Lascoux caves, but instead of cattle, they depicted animals such as fish, seals, and jellyfish.

I have no idea how many people get a kick out of trivial items like that, especially those of us who think about food on a daily basis, but I love them.