Sunday, March 28, 2010

Every wonder about just how food came about??

Every wonder about just how food came about??

One of the earliest foods was insects. Ten thousand years ago hunters and gatherers ate bugs to survive. And the ancient Romans and Greeks dined on insects. Sound good? Nope, but if you wanted to survive, you ate what was available. Glad we have come beyond the bug eating stage in the food timeline.

And fruits, nuts and grains were some of the earliest foods consumed by man.

The earliest reference to beer was a Chinese brewed beer called ‘Kui' some 5,000 years ago. And wine, my favorite, dates back to around 6,000 to 7,000 years ago.

Here is a good site for find information about The Food Timeline.

It is estimated that herbs and spices have been used by humans since around 50,000 B.C.

And if you are confused about the difference between an herb and a spice, maybe the following will answer your question.

Herb vs. spice or soft tissue vs. woody tissue (Herbs: Plants that do not develop persistent woody tissue; Spices: derive from the roots, barks, unopened flowers and seedpods of woody shrubs and trees; various aromatic vegetable products); sometimes can be both i.e. cilantro. Spices are defined as "any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes". Included are tropical aromatics (pepper, cinnamon, cloves, etc.), leafy herbs (basil, oregano, marjoram, etc.), spice seeds (sesame, poppy, mustard, etc.) and dehydrated vegetables (onions, garlic, etc.). Blends such as curry, chili powders, poultry seasoning, etc. are also spices. The FDA defines spices similarly, except that they do not include the dehydrated vegetables in the label definition of "spices". Any form of dehydrated vegetable product must be labeled separately. Such color contributing spices as paprika, turmeric and saffron must either be labeled separately or as "spice coloring". The Department of Agriculture (meat and poultry products labeling) has nearly the same requirements as the FDA, except that colorant spices and mustard must always be listed separately while onion powder and garlic powder may be listed as "flavors". All other forms of dehydrated vegetables must be listed separately by name. Historically, "spices" referred to the tropical aromatics only, while "herbs" meant specifically the leaves and seeds of certain temperate-zone plants. While those distinctions are still used, "spice" has come also to mean the whole family of dried plant seasonings, including spices, herbs, blends and dehydrated vegetables.

Photo by Linda Turner Collins

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