For those of you who haven’t heard of einkorn wheat, you’re at least 9,500 years behind the curve. Einkorn is the world’s oldest cereal and “nature’s original wheat.”1
The Fertile Crescent in the Middle East is aptly known as the Cradle of Civilization, an area recognized for such innovations as glass manufacturing, writing and the wheel. It’s also where agriculture first began, and the first written recording in 7,500 BCE of einkorn being planted as a domesticated crop.
Einkorn flourished as a staple crop for centuries. It was hardy and could grow in poor soil, similar to other ancient grains such as smelt and emmer. Research shows that einkorn cultivation spread across the Middle East, Europe and into Russia. In fact, agriculture where grain production was central was one of the propelling forces that caused cities to form and great civilizations to grow as people became less nomadic. Over time einkorn evolved into a popular and versatile food that knew no social class. Even the pharaohs ate einkorn. However, during the Bronze Age einkorn production declined in favor of grains that were more prolific and easier to harvest. But a surprising twentieth century discovery revived interest in the wheat and put the grain at the center of a 5,300 year old cold case (to employ modern crime nomenclature and, as you will see, a shameless pun). Continue reading
We love Egyptian recipes! There are so many delicious ancient Egyptian foods, ingredients and dishes to explore and today we’re bringing you one more. Um Ali, also called Om Ali, is a sweet and creamy bread pudding dessert that has become a traditional modern Egyptian dessert. It brings so much joy to the palate, but it has a surprisingly dark history. It was actually created in the 13th century to celebrate the murder of Shajar al-Durr, a sultana. Click here to read the entire sordid affair.
Thankfully, you don’t have to be celebrating something so dark and dismal in order to enjoy this traditional sweet. It can be served cold or warm depending on the season and it’s made with ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen right now. For a fancier and more complex version, visit click here. Enjoy some Um Ali this holiday season!
p.s. Click here for a list of our other Egyptian recipe posts.
- 1 package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided
- 4 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish.
- Place the pastry sheets in the baking dish and place the dish in the oven. Watch it closely. When the top layer turns crunchy and golden, remove it from the oven. Continue until all the sheets are cooked.
- Preheat the oven’s broiler.
- In a bowl, combine walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, raisins, coconut and 1/4 cup sugar. Break cooked pastry into pieces and stir into nut mixture. Spread mixture evenly in 9×13-inch dish.
- Bring milk and 1/2 cup sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Pour over nut mixture.
- Beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread evenly over nut mixture in dish.
- Place dessert under oven broiler until top is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Serve hot.
Posted in Blog, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture
Tagged Ancient Egypt, ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, AntiquityNOW, Bon Appetit Wednesday, bread pudding, Egyptian dessert, Om Ali, Recipes with a Past, Um Ali, Umm Ali
It’s National Beer Lover’s Day! Did you know we’ve been enjoying this beverage since ancient times? The ancient Egyptians enjoyed a good beer, the ancient Sumerians knew how to chill out with a cold one, even the Chinese enjoyed a version of this libation. So, on this most festive of days, we’re bringing you a story about a 5,000 year old Chinese beer as well as some of our best beer-related blog posts and recipes. Cheers!
Posted in Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Recipes With a Past
Tagged ancient beer, ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, AntiquityNOW, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Chinese beer, Sumerian beer
It may seem crazy to most people, but when true Floridians see a tropical storm or hurricane coming, they break out the chips and dip and throw a Hurricane Party! Of course, you don’t have to live in Florida to throw a good old fashioned Hurricane Party and we’re going to help you put an ancient spin on it. First, read our post about ancient storms and then check out the Recipes With a Past below to create your first Hurricane Party With a Past!
Posted in Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Meteorology, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient food, ancient history, ancient hurricane party, ancient recipes, ancient storms, ancient weather, AntiquityNOW, Bon Appetit Wednesday
The Olympics is in full swing and in the midst of cheering on your favorite athletes and countries, you’re probably also learning a bit about Brazilian culture. Did you know this isn’t Brazil’s first time hosting a major international sporting event? Just two years ago, Brazil was the stage for the biggest futbol/soccer competition, the World Cup. In honor of that event, we brought you a traditional Brazilian dish to celebrate the culture while you’re celebrating the sport. Check out the post below to learn about the dish and the history of Brazil.
Or skip straight to the recipe and start cooking! Continue reading
Posted in Blog, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Recipes With a Past
Tagged ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, ancient stew, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Brazil, Brazilian food, Brazilian recipes, Olympics, shrimp stew, stew, Vatapa
It’s National Hot Dog Month and we can’t wait to celebrate! Hot dogs seem like such a modern invention, but of course, AntiquityNOW is here to bring you the history. And while we’re at it, we’re going to educate you on the sport that elevates the hot dog to a whole new level: the eating contest.
We don’t want to leave you with a whole new appreciation for the hot dog and no new way to enjoy it, so you’ll find a fabulous hot dog recipe at the end of the post.
Check out Bon Appetit Wednesday! A Roman Pig, Hot Dogs, Eating Contests and Four Patriots: Happy July 4th and start celebrating!
What would you do if you were just going about your business, doing your job and suddenly you discovered a piece of history? Recently, a man in Ireland was faced with that very situation. As he was cutting turf from a bog, to be burned for warmth, he happened upon a 22-pound chunk of bog butter that is estimated to be over 2,000 years old! Of course, if he had read our blog post about ancient butter, he would have known that finding ancient “bog butter” really isn’t that unusual. This 22-pounder joins other finds, including 3,000-year-old and even 5,000-year-old samples. Click here to read the entire article. Continue reading
Posted in Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Recipes With a Past
Tagged ancient butter, ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, bog butter, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Irish butter, Recipes with a Past
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, a month of prayer and fasting, began last week and ends on July 5th. If you are observing Ramadan, you know that planning the Iftar and Suhur meals is key. While Ramadan has ancient roots, today many households are mixing their modern habits into the month. Health is a top priority for many families. Perhaps this year you’re trying to be a bit healthier in your observance and plan meals that are delicious and nutritious. It is important for these meals to provide all of the nutrition you need for the long days of fasting. For a list of healthy ideas, check out Nestle Family’s Healthy Ramadan Recipes.
And for a history of Ramadan as well as some ancient ingredients and recipes, look no further than our AntiquityNOW Ramadan posts below. Don’t miss the bonus post about the ways in which professional athletes observe Ramadan.
Posted in Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Holidays, Public Life, Recipes With a Past, Religion
Tagged ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, AntiquityNOW, Bon Appetit Wednesday, healthy Ramadan, Ramadan, Ramadan recipes
Fish and vegetables hanging up in a cupboard, still-life. Mosaic, Roman artwork, 2nd century CE. From a villa at Tor Marancia, near the Catacombs of Domitilla.
Humans are culinary explorers, gastronomical adventurers, seekers of the perfect palate-pleasing feast. However, throughout our long and storied history, we have occasionally strayed down paths that some may say we never should have reconnoitered. A recent Mental Floss article delves into our more interesting foodie moments, some of which will not necessarily make you want to run straight to the kitchen. But before you check out the less-than-appetizing side of our dietary past, try a few of AntiquityNOWs wackier Recipes With a Past listed below. They are sure to please your sense of taste AND your thirst for adventure! Continue reading
It’s National Salad Month! Time to break out those salad spinners, dicers, choppers, mincers and shredders and fix up a delicious ancient salad. With all of the focus on health and nutrition these days, you might assume that salads are a fairly modern creation, but you would be so wrong. Those wild and crazy ancient Romans were noshing on this chilled dish long ago. And so many of today’s delicious and nutritious salads are built on ancient ingredients. So, check out our compilation of ancient salads below, beginning with the granddaddy of them all, Columella, created in the first century CE!