I’ve always been intrigued by food history. How and what we eat speaks a lot about us as a people, and often the food on our table has a rich history worth sharing. Here are some thought-provoking food history posts that have appeared on MNN. I rounded them up here because they just might make you think about your plate in a different way.
Wars were won by the power of food
In this interview with author Tom Standage about his book, “An Edible History of Humanity,” we learn that the switch to farming from a nomadic existence was one of the biggest changes in human history, and that wars were often won because of better food supplies. Don’t discount the power of food.
Guacamole wasn't invented for the Super Bowl
What about one of my favorite dips, guacamole? Have you ever considered the history of it? Melissa takes us through the history of guacamole here. It will take you far beyond your couch-sitting, Super Bowl-eating habits.
Some Thanksgiving side dishes have roots in Roman history
Thanksgiving is the biggest feast of the year in America. If you are at all like my family, the day is full of personal family habits mixed with national traditions. How has this day become such an important fixture in our country? Talk a walk through the history of Thanksgiving – from the pilgrims to Abraham Lincoln making it an official holiday. And don’t miss the origins of popular Thanksgiving sides – some of which dip back into Roman history.
Frugal food has helped us survive hard times
Even humble meatloaf speaks volumes about our history. While it has ancient roots, it has a special place in U.S. history because it played an important part of our frugal food culture during the Great Depression and World War II.
America has a long history of food diversity
America is rich with food from other cultures – whether it's tacos, Thai food or sushi. In light of our hybrid eating habits of today, I find it interesting that even at the founding of our country, Benjamin Franklin was introducing tofu to the U.S. Who would have thought?
Pickles helped us survive before canning was invented
You can’t eat a pickle from the pickle jar without touching a food item with a long, rich food history. The act of preserving food has been an important part of our food history for thousands of years. You can read about the history of some of those methods here, including methods that pre-dated canning.
Pizza started out as food for the poor
Our “daily bread” has been a part of many cultures for thousands of years. With such a rich history, it’s a little sad that we often take our bagels, pizza and risen-breads for granted. Read the interesting history of bread, and you'll learn why bread often had holes in the middle, where pizza comes from, and who first used sourdough.
Wine glasses say something about our values
When studying past cultures, you can tell a lot even from the wine glasses. Read here what we can find out about Athenian values as shown through their drinking cups. It makes you wonder what our cups of choice speak about our values today.
We've always liked flavorful foods
Going back even further then that, cooking pots speak to our culinary values and desires prehistorically! Our enjoyment of flavorful and delicious food — not just calories — goes a long way back.
Our food history is as rich as our general history and can help us discover the values of the past.
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