Tag Archives: ancient cuisine

Bon Appetit Wednesday! African Nightshade

managu“Eat your greens and you’ll grow big and strong!” Since childhood we’ve been taught the importance of eating leafy green veggies, but that never seemed to persuade our minds or palates.  But times have changed, and as a surprise to our younger selves, it seems that greens are getting more and more popular. No longer do we run from kale, or hide our collards under the napkin. Today, greens are all the rage. In fact in Africa, restaurants are increasingly turning to ancient, indigenous species to invigorate their menus and bring back a taste of the past. One of the most popular veggies making a comeback is the African Nightshade. Today, we’re bringing you a recipe for Cream of Nightshade Spinach. Spoiler Alert: There’s no spinach involved. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Native American Wojapi

WojapiWojapi is a traditional Native American dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. We give you fair warning that once you’ve had your first taste of wojapi, you won’t be able to put down the spoon.

Wojapi has been made by Native American tribes for centuries, with each generation passing the recipe down through the family. It is created with a combination of wild berries that can be found growing on the Great Plains, corn flour and honey. One of the favored berries for the recipe is the chokecherry. Used extensively by the North American Native tribes, the chokeberries were ground up, including the stones, and used in soups, stews, pemmican and even with salmon or salmon eggs.[1] (Speaking of pemmican, check out our blog post and recipe for this ancient dried meat jerky.) The bark and even the roots of the chokecherry trees were used in medicines to treat a host of illnesses.[2] Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Ancient Roman Garlic Pesto (Moretum)

MoretumOur recipe this week is straight out of the pages of Roman literature. Moretum is a delicious spread similar to our pesto—and the Roman poet Virgil was apparently a big fan!

The word “moretum” is Latin and is usually translated as “salad,” but that’s not really an accurate translation.[1] It’s not a salad at all, at least not what we think of as salad in modern times. It’s a sort of spread or dip. Virgil is most often credited with the recipe. In his poem entitled “Moretum” he tells the story of Symilus, a peasant farmer, who is making his morning meal. He first makes the bread, but quickly realizes he has no meat to go along with the crusty creation. Concerned that man cannot survive on bread alone, he decides to make an accompaniment for his baked good. Virgil then describes the process by which Symilus makes his moretum. Both the bread and moretum-making are described in detail in the poem, but here is a little summary of the important moretum highlights, courtesy of Pass the Garum blog: Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Easy, No-Bake Cookies with Quinoa, the Incas’ “Mother of all Grains”

1024px-QuinuaLast week we celebrated ancient amaranth, superfood of the Aztecs. So this week we decided to explore another ancient “grain” that sustained a great civilization. Quinoa was to the Incas what amaranth was to the Aztecs: a source of strength and life. And just like amaranth, quinoa isn’t really a grain at all. It is a seed from a plant in the goosefoot family, and along with amaranth and buckwheat is often called a “pseudocereal” because it is grown for use as a grain.[1] Let’s take a trip through quinoa’s history before indulging in a delectable recipe for easy, gluten-free, dairy-free, No-Bake Quinoa Cookies. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Rosh Hashanah Around the World: Ancient Influences, Modern Recipes

rosh-hashanah-plan-hamas-4Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is upon us again and AntiquityNOW wants to wish you peace and joy in the coming year. L’Shanah Tovah!

This year the first day of the holiday falls on a Bon Appetit Wednesday, so it’s the perfect time to share some delicious recipes. For those who don’t celebrate Rosh Hashanah, it is easy to assume the food is very uniform, with all observers around the world dining on the same basic dishes year after year. While it is certainly true there are traditional foods with deep meaning and significance that are included in many Rosh Hashanah meals, there also exists a great variety among dishes (read our blog Traditional Meets Modern: Celebrating the Foods of Rosh Hashanah for more information on the traditional menu). The people of each country, region and household have been influenced by their ancient past. And so, a Rosh Hashanah cookie is not just a Rosh Hashanah cookie. It is flavored with unique and sometimes ancient ingredients, prepared and eaten by Jewish families who have planted roots all over the globe, and is passed down to future generations who will add their own twist to the recipes. A cookie becomes a wonderful fusion of past, present and future. Let’s explore two examples of how regional differences can create wonderful variations of favorite dishes. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Almond Brittle with the Ancient Anise

Koehler1887-PimpinellaAnisumA small and unassuming looking herb, anise (also called aniseed) has been treasured by many different civilizations since antiquity. While it is related to several other well-known herbs such as cumin, fennel and dill, anise has made a special place for itself. Today we’re bringing you a recipe for Anise Almond Brittle, a perfect treat to start the fall season. First, let’s find out why this little spice has been popular for millennia! Continue reading

Bon Appetit Shark Week! Eat Like the Ancient Shark Callers with Papua New Guinea’s Chicken Pot

Grey Reef Shark off Papua New Guinea. Image courtesy of Marc Tarlock.

Grey Reef Shark off Papua New Guinea. Image courtesy of Marc Tarlock.

In honor of Shark Week we’re bringing you a recipe from the island of Papua New Guinea where people continue to practice the ancient practice of shark calling. The Chicken Pot is a simple dish imbued with the flavors of the islands and reminiscent of the meals the ancient villagers would have eaten. All of the ingredients can be found on the islands and are still eaten today. Before we dig in to a delicious meal, let’s learn more about the shark callers of Papua New Guinea. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Chocolate and Wattleseed Self-Saucing Pudding

wattleseed puddingEmu, crocodile, eels and kangaroo! If you’re not from Australia you might think this is a list of animals to see at the zoo rather than an ingredient list. For thousands of years, the native Aborigines of Australia have used the foods provided by the land around them. In the past several years modern Australians have looked to this past and discovered a rich culinary history. One of these delicious native foods is the wattleseed from the acacia tree. Today we’re bringing you a unique and indulgent dessert called Chocolate and Wattleseed Self-Saucing Pudding. And don’t worry if you can’t find wattleseeds at your local grocery store. They can easily be ordered online. Continue reading

Bon Appetit Wednesday! Salmon Kilawin (Filipino Ceviche)

kilawinAs winter makes its last stand and readies itself to give way to a much needed spring, you may be in the mood for a dish that reminds you of a warmer, tropical climate. This week we’re bringing you a recipe that will make you feel as if you’re sitting on a beach, sipping a cool drink and taking in the island breezes. Kilawin is a traditional Filipino seafood dish full of healthy, light and delicious flavors. It is prepared similarly to ceviche and so is often referred to as the Filipino Ceviche. Continue reading