This is what the Neolithic Tasted Like. I just made the most delicious Neolithic Stew. Lamb, barley, chick peas, peas, lentils, rosemary, basil, garlic, carrots. I did cheat and add corn, lima beans, green beans, and red peppers; just because I had them on hand, even though they are of New World origin. The lima beans were a substitute for fava beans which I didn't have at the time.
Once when I was in Cyprus doing archaeology, I was honored to be invited to a wedding by some local friends. They served a delicious lamb - barley soup / stew. I think it had some sort of pulse, but I don't remember which. As soon as I tasted it, I thought, "This must have been what the Neolithic must have tasted like".
Even though I studied prehistoric diets for 30 years, I always sort of had the impression that they were probably rather bland. Perhaps this comes from my Central European heritage (Czech - German). Those countries were pretty far from the Spice Road; salt and black pepper would have been extravagant.
As I experimented more with wild foods and local cuisines my attitude began to change. At an Ethnobiology Meeting in Seattle once we had a delicious Potlatch feast prepared by local Northwest Coast Native Peoples; with salmon (prepared several ways), oolichan (candlefish), fern fiddleheads, and soapberries (a raspberry relative that froths like whip cream when you beat it). Sean Sherman; Culinary Institute graduate, James Beard Award Winner, and Lakota chef (whose book is pictures above); is working to reinvigorate and decolonize native diets. My friend Gary, has demonstrated that indigenous populations, (from O'odham to Native Australian) that have high endemic levels of diabetes, have far fewer problems when they start eating more high fiber, lower simple sugar, low salt, vitamin and mineral balanced, traditional foods.
I guess when you think about it, traditional Aztec chocolatl; with cacao, chiles, and honey; couldn't be considered bland.
"Neolithic" - "New Stone Age" - The period when humans around the world started settling down into more permanent villages, started farming, and began to make pottery. It happened independently, at different times, in different parts of the world.
https://sioux-chef.com/ - watch the video
http://www.janeskrazy.com/my-big-mixed-up-greek-wedding-soup/ lamb - pasta version
https://www.goodfood.com.au/recipes/lamb-and-barley-broth-20111018-29vmp lamb - barley
https://nationalgeographicbackissues.com/national-geographic-july-1988.html Cyprus Project
https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520267206/cumin-camels-and-caravans my friend Gary's book about the Spice Trade.
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