09:53 24 August 2013
New research conducted to understand the complexity of Stone Age cuisine, has revealed that prehistoric Europeans were using spices more than 6,000 years ago to make their meat-based broths extra flavourful.
So far, garlic mustard has been identified as one of the plants used in prehistoric flavouring. Researchers are hoping they will be able to identify other herbs and spices as they dig deeper.
Dr. Hayley Saul of the University of York, the lead researcher on the project said that the new evidence found challenges the belief that plants were solely used for energy requirement rather than taste during that time.
She said, as reported by the BBC: “This is the earliest evidence, as far as I know, of spice use in this region in the Western Baltic; something that has basically no nutritional value, but has this value in a taste sense.”
Dr. Saul said, as reported by The Independent: “Our evidence suggests a much greater antiquity to the spicing of foods in this region than is evident from the macrofossil record, and challenges the view that plants were exploited by hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists solely for energy requirements, rather than taste.”