Ancient Foods Everybody Is Going Crazy For

Friday, April 28, 2017

The Guardian newspaper has been trying to make us feel guilty about our obsession with ancient foods. But despite all the negativity, the world is onto a good thing. Foods like quinoa which were practically unheard of a decade ago now adorn practically every pantry in the land (even if they’re not eaten all that regularly).

But as with all things, the world moves on, and now everybody is getting obsessed with a whole bunch more ancient foods, realizing that quinoa isn’t the only game in town. Check out some of these ingredients people can’t get enough of.

Shad

Shad was once a food eaten by humans all over the Americas. George Washington is known to have fed it to the revolutionary troops during the War of Independence to keep them healthy, and it was a favorite of King Henry III of England back in the 13th century. The reason we don’t see all that much shad today is because of how popular it was in the past. The fish practically died out, thanks to overfishing, but modern protections and farming mean that it’s back in business.

To prepare shad, you’ll need a good set of knives from a company like Kamikoto. It’s a freshwater fish that is similar to herring and good at breakfast.

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Halva

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Halva is a food that has been around for millennia. There’s evidence that the stuff was being made in the Middle East more than 3,000 years ago. Halva is essentially a mixture of flour and nuts made into a block. It’s sweet and can be carved up a little bit like meatloaf. Plain halva is a great backing for lots of meals, but usually, it comes topped with various toppings to give it a little extra flavor. Even though you might not have heard of it, halva is popular among hip restaurateurs in New York. Chefs love the fact that it can be used in practically any dish.

Skirret

Skirret is a root vegetable that was popular in Roman times as well as among European peasants during feudalism. But the vegetable was soon ousted with the arrival of the potato from the new world. All of a sudden, cleaning up all of its spines was seen as too much of a chore, and people shifted their diets.

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It is, however, beginning to make a comeback, especially in places like the UK. You can find skirret at farmer’s markets up and down the country.

Ancient Bread

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Bread isn’t something that you usually think of as being particularly ancient, especially when it’s white and comes ready-sliced in a plastic packet. But bread is one of humanity’s most ancient foods, and there’s evidence that people have been baking it in kilns for more than 10,000 years. Ancient artisan breads are usually made from exotic, ancient grains, like spelt and kamut. They’re very good for you, high in fiber and make a great accompaniment to practically any meal. Ancient grains have a nuttier, richer flavor than modern wheat.

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