Image credit: Wang da Gang
A recent discovery has uncovered new, hard – or in this case, semi-soft – evidence of the history behind one of our very favorite foods. Whether the scent is described as floral or nutty or even malodorous to the nose, the smooth taste of cheese is nonetheless an enduring delight to the palate. It is believed that cheese has been enjoyed by humans since before recorded history. There are several theories as to its exact origin, but all of these theories are speculation based on evidence of cheese production, not of any cheese itself. Well, now we have some ancient cheese of our very own to study. Continue reading
Posted in Biology, Blog, Culinary, Culture, Public Life, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient cheese, ancient dairy products, ancient food, ancient history, ancient recipes, AntiquityNOW, kefir, lactose intolerance, oldest cheese, rennet
Image courtesy of Reese Lloyd on Flickr.
Eggnog is a holiday beverage with a history and a taste that can’t be beat. To really appreciate the roots of eggnog, we have to go back 7,500 years. That was a period critical to the human species—or at least to those of us who indulge in dairy. It was sometime during that period that humans in the region between the central Balkans and central Europe developed “lactase persistence.” Professor Mark Thomas of University College London (UCL) Genetics, Evolution and Environment says in a 2009 study, “Most adults worldwide do not produce the enzyme lactase and so are unable to digest the milk sugar lactose. However, most Europeans continue to produce lactase throughout their life, a characteristic known as lactase persistence. In Europe, a single genetic change (13,910*T) is strongly associated with lactase persistence and appears to have given people with it a big survival advantage.” Continue reading
Posted in Biology, Blog, Bon Appetit Wednesday, Culinary, Culture, Holidays, Public Life, Science and Technology
Tagged ancient history, AntiquityNOW, Balkans, Eggnog, genes, holidays, lactase persistence, lactose intolerance