This is an issue that will satisfy both foodies and history-lovers!
Food has shaped human evolution and we have shaped our environment and food. We transformed food from diet to cuisine, tied it to our cultural identities and heritage, and made it integral to our rituals, holidays, and traditions. By studying the history of food, our ancestors’ eating habits, and ancient cookbooks we discover more than just what people were eating – we also gain glimpses into life beyond the kitchen.
In this issue Robyn E. Cutright, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Centre College, discusses her research on the ancient Andes to explain how past food choices influenced human evolution and traditional food practices. She also shares her perspectives on the Paleo diet, the difference between diet and cuisine, why recreating ancient recipes is cool, the most uncomfortable traditional food practice she’s experienced, and why everyone was baking bread last year.
This issue also contains a recipe for a seasonal favorite – spiced wine. The Medieval version of this beverage was known as Hippocras. While you may not be familiar with the name of this warming, spiced drink, it’s likely that you have enjoyed something like it, usually as the days get colder and the nights longer. We also provide you with a list of 10 cookbooks for you to examine, and maybe try your hand at cooking some more ancient recipes.
At this time of year many of us gather with friends and family and reflect on our past and the future. Whether you decide to make a traditional spiced wine, go wassailing (the orchard or caroling version), or maybe share a New Years’ pizza with family and friends, pause a moment to reflect on the importance food has in keeping our holidays and traditions alive and the joy of sharing meals and connecting with our loved ones.