Ancient Foods That Need to Make a Comeback

Some of the foods that we consume and enjoy today were also a staple on the menus of our ancestors. The recipes of some of these were passed down to generations. However, there were delicious foods that were prepared and eaten in ancient times that have disappeared over the centuries for different reasons. While some of the ingredients that were used are now extinct, others are still readily available today. Here are five of the foods that should make a comeback as they would likely be welcomed by the pallets of many people today.

1. Garum

Garum was a sauce used as a condiment in the cuisine of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans. This was a fermented fish sauce and while it may not make you salivate right now, it was quite popular particularly among the wealthy. Fish intestines were marinated in brine for two days, mashed and allowed to ferment for a few weeks. It was sometimes dried to form a paste called muria. Garum was known for its savory flavor and was used as a dip for bread, and to flavor meats and vegetables. The Romans actually manufactured and exported garum.

2. Melas Zomos

Melas zomos, a black soup, was a dish enjoyed by the Spartans. They believe that it gave them stamina and endurance and was therefore particularly popular among the members of the Spartan armies as a part of a subsistent diet. While there is no recorded recipe from that time, legends and Spartan mythology indicate how melas zomos was prepared. A pig was slaughtered, vinegar was added to the blood to prevent clotting, the pig legs were added and it was boiled until cooked sufficiently.

3. Silphium

If you’re looking to have a taste of history, then using silphium would help hit that spot. Silphium was a herb used by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Minoans. It was sprinkled on foods as a tasty seasoning. It is said that silphium became rare since it was used for animals to graze and it was over-harvested. This herb was also used for medical purposes such as to treat throat infections, indigestion and warts. Julius Caesar reportedly had a silphium supply on hand at all times due to the plant’s usefulness. Silphium would certainly be welcome today.

4. Moretum

Moretum was a dish sought after by the Romans, especially those who were wealthy. Evidence shows that moretum was sold in the Colosseum in Rome in the arena of Pompeii as a light snack to savor while watching the combat among the gladiators. Fresh cheese, probably soft goat cheese, was combined with various herbs, oils, vinegars, wines and nuts before being matched with a mortar and pestle to form a paste. There are several varieties of moretum which were spread on different kinds of bread.

5. Carob

Carob is a fruit native to the Mediterranean region which was eaten by the Greeks and Romans. This edible seed which grows in a pod was eaten directly from the branch without any processing. Eating carob has tremendous health benefits. Today, carob is not eaten as a fruit but rather used in a dried, powdered form, and as carob chips or bars. Carob is also used for animal feed and as a source of a chocolate substitute. There is no reason that carob shouldn’t be picked and eaten fresh. Don’t you think that fresh is better?



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