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 Currying Favour..er Flavour

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Wed 30 Jan 2013, 18:20

But the original curry predates Europeans’ presence in India by about
4,000 years. Villagers living at the height of the Indus civilization
used three key curry ingredients—ginger, garlic, and turmeric—in their
cooking. This proto-curry, in fact, was eaten long before Arab, Chinese,
Indian, and European traders plied the oceans in the past thousand
years.


http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/01/indus_civilization_food_how_scientists_are_figuring_out_what_curry_was_like.single.html

The study concludes that curry could be the world's oldest continually prepared meal, and where would we be without it? But considering that human tastes have changed radically over time, is there any other dishes that we have been enjoying, if not for as long, for a fair while anyway?
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Wed 30 Jan 2013, 18:26

Porridge?

Oat porridge, traditional and common in English-speaking countries, Nordic countries, and Germany.[citation needed] Oat porridge has been found in the stomachs of 5,000 year old Neolithicbog bodies in Central Europe and Scandinavia.

I love porridge, but I hate curry.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Wed 30 Jan 2013, 18:28

Bread is reckoned to be 30,000 years or so on the go. In fact I think I have one of the original loaves in the bread-bin still.
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 11:07

I amused to think that the Indus civilisation, which indeed did at its height developed efficient urban complex house drainage systems, should also be reckoned to having introduced a curry diet at about the same time.

Chucking spices into a stew makes it curry. So for the universal nature of stew it perhaps has a greater claim to being the most ancient cooked mess. Modern curry cooking now seems to depend a great deal on 'tamata' either with tomato paste or fresh ones or in jars of mixed gunk. I had a curry leaf tree in the garden - the leaves smell suphurous and like old old railway stations - well, Liverpool Street anyway - and used in many dishes.

I note in the site ID gave that millet is favoured. I admit to never having had this cooked and wonder what it could be like? This is an ancient crop which I ought look up again. I use it in my daily birdy num num mix for the garden birds but not tempted to cook. I spent hours and hours of research on trying to deduce what the small grained plant was that Pytheas records being gathered in Scotland. This has never been quite resolved. Millett has been suggested, but seeds from 'Fat Hen' or 'Good King Henry' plants possible - or rye. I would have thought that he could have recognised rye, perhaps not.
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Fri 01 Feb 2013, 11:15


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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Sat 02 Feb 2013, 00:45

And another thing. The spiced stew served in the home in the subcontinent is never called curry but salan -in any language. I doubt my cook ever used the word except for the curry leaves culled from the garden. Daily menu discussion is about what is to go in the salan. The thick greasy stuff served in curry houses bears little resemblance to what most people eat at home..... and a tikka is a charcoal barbecued spice marinated quartered chicken. This is mainly street bought fare and eaten hands on with naan and a minted yoghurt sauce. ferv's cartoon is probably closer to the truth of early cooked food......with all that red meat and nasty charred bits little wonder they didn't live long.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Sat 02 Feb 2013, 09:46

Millet is indeed ancient P and apparently it is a bit of a wonder grain, it requires little water to grow and can be cultivated in poor soil. Millet tastes a little nutty, is gluten free and rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, vitamins A and B, amino acids, protein and fibres. Can be either ground into flour for breads etc or boiled much the same as rice, used to make porridge, popped like corn, and can be used in any number of sweet and savoury dishes. Unhulled millet can also be sprouted and used for salads and stir fries.

After reading about it I can't think why it isn't used more often, or why we would be quite so dependent on wheat.

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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Sat 02 Feb 2013, 10:02

Beer could be considered a food, I suppose. There is evidence that man has been making beer for over 7,000 yrs, almost as soon as we began cultivating grain. Beer was initially used as a preservable, easily transportable and nutritious food source, rather than for it's alcohol content as it would be today?
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Thu 07 Feb 2013, 15:42

Scientists conclude from the evidence of the first known waterpoof and fireproof pots that soup is possibly 20,000yrs old. Mmm, if correct it rather puts curry in the shade in terms of age

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/06/171104410/stone-age-stew-soup-making-may-be-older-than-wed-thought?ft=1&f=1053
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Fri 08 Feb 2013, 07:37

Does soup even need fireproof pottery - I've seen a demonstration of water contained in an animal skin being brought to the boil by dropping in very hot stones. And if the skin is slightly permeable so that the outside remains moist I believe the contents can be successfully brought to the boil by direct heat over a fire.
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Fri 08 Feb 2013, 11:12

It is possible to show this by making an origami kettle (!) holding water held over a candle flame - it soon boils. I think I first read that in a Rupert annual, tried it and it worked. Suspended skins of soup, stew and grain mush could be slowly cooked thus. And then there's slow boiling with a skin-lined hole willed with stew kept on the boil by fire-hot stones being put into it.
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Fri 08 Feb 2013, 11:38

Yes, the article explains boiling methods using skins or bark in some cases and heated stones that would have been used before water and heatproof pottery came about.

Some scientists believe that the skin method for boiling was probably used as early as the Neanderthal also.
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PostSubject: Re: Currying Favour..er Flavour   Sun 21 Apr 2013, 11:05

The oldest recipes found to date, written at Durham Priory around 1140, are to be recreated at an event later this month.

Interesting are the flavourings used for the mainly meat dishes, parsley, sage, pepper, garlic, mustard and corriander.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/04/2013/newly-discovered-12th-century-recipes-to-be-recreated
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