Prehistoric Cookery

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Book Details

Author  Jane Renfrew
Publisher  English Heritage
Publication Date   December 31, 1985
ISBN  1850749345
Pages  96

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Description

Many people might imagine that the task of reconstructing the diet of our prehistoric ancestors would be completely impossible. In some ways they are right, but when archaeologists recover the remains of our distant forebears and their tools they also look for clues about their food. The evidence may survive in a variety of different forms: mounds of discarded seashells, for example, or the bones of wild and domestic animals and the remains of plants. So whether the evidence concerns the hunters of the Palaeolithic or the first farmers of the Neolithic or the Celtic chieftains of the late Iron Age, we do have quite a number of clues to help us reconstruct their diet. This book provides a fascinating insight into the foods which were eaten by our prehistoric ancestors and attempts to recreate recipes which are authentic and palatable. There are practical restraints of course - some of the ingredients, like mammoth steaks or rhinoceros joints, are difficult to find in the modern supermarket. There are also other staples that we take for granted today which were not available to our prehistoric forebears - sugar, yeast, spices, vinegar, onions, sugar, yeast, spices, vinegar, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges and lemons to name a few. They did, however, use much more of our wild vegetation than we do now and this is reflected in recipes such as Nettle Puree, Easter Ledge Pudding (using dandelion leaves) and boiled Sea Urchins. Beautifully illustrated with full colour photography throughout, the book provides a unique insight into our culinary prehistory.

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