Food History

Archaeologists found fruit, nuts and other snacks in the sewers beneath the Colosseum.

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Find 1,900-Year-Old Snacks in Sewers Beneath the Colosseum

Spectators at Rome’s ancient amphitheater enjoyed olives, figs, nuts and more

The French baguette has officially been given Unesco protection.

As Traditional Bakeries Disappear, the French Baguette Receives Unesco Protection

The agency adds the “artisanal know-how and culture of baguette bread” to its intangible heritage list

Rice is a major staple crop around the world.

Perennial Rice Could Raise Yields and Cut Costs

These plants that grow back year after year show promise, but they are not a silver bullet

This year's titles include Watermelon and Red Birds, To Boldly Grow, Budmo! and Diasporican.

The Best Books of 2022

The Ten Best Books About Food of 2022

From cookbooks to memoirs to food history, these ten titles will fill you up

Researchers analyzed teeth from a carp-like fish.

New Research

Early Humans May Have Cooked Fish 780,000 Years Ago

New research adds to the debate about when humans began cooking with fire

Rhea L. Combs (left) and Ava DuVernay (right) share a laugh in front of DuVernay’s portrait during the National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Gala on Saturday, November 12, 2022.

See Stunning Portraits of Ava DuVernay, José Andrés and the Williams Sisters

The National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Portrait of a Nation Award honors seven changemakers, from Anthony Fauci to Clive Davis

Dried medjool dates at a market in Al-Ain, United Arab Emirates.

The Sweet and Sticky History of the Date

Throughout the Middle East, the versatile fruit has been revered since antiquity. How will it fare in a changing world?

The 6,000-year-old watermelon seeds from Uan Muhuggiag (left) border a child eating a modern watermelon.

Why Prehistoric Herders Didn't Spit Out Their Watermelon Seeds

Thousands of years ago, Saharans ate the kernels before the fruit became sweet

Truffles have spread around the world, including to countries in South America.

How Truffles Took Root Around the World

For centuries, the wild delicacy grew only in Europe. But improved cultivation techniques have enabled the pricey fungus to be farmed in new places.

Two Hadza men in Tanzania carry bows and their catch.

Our Ancestors Ate a Paleo Diet, With Carbs

A modern hunter-gatherer group known as the Hadza has taught researchers surprising things about the highly variable menu consumed by humans past

Dehydrated carrageen looks nothing like the beautiful red fronds easily identified in coastal rocky pools.

A Brief History of Ireland's Carrageen Moss Pudding

The curious dessert—combining a seaweed found on the Emerald Isle's coast with dairy—lies in the hands of regular folks who enjoy a challenge

A vendor displays chili peppers at a local market in India. 

Why Do Some Humans Love Chili Peppers?

An anthropologist traces the origins and paths of one of his favorite kinds of plants

Breadfruit grows on trees.

Is Breadfruit the Climate Change-Proof Food of the Future?

New research suggests it will fare better than our current staple crops under warming conditions

Few arguments showcase the fraught politics of state foods than the debate over red and green chiles in New Mexico.

The Contentious History of Official State Foods

How a bill about muffins, chili, or plums becomes law—or doesn't

In Panama, sancocho is a national dish.

Panama

Panama's Sancocho Is a Soup That Can Cure It All

The cherished stew is a welcome remedy for homesickness—or even a hangover

The depiction of a young Maya maize god is consistent with other portrayals of beheaded Maya deities. 

Cool Finds

1,300-Year-Old Corn God Statue Shows How the Maya Worshipped Maize

The deity was linked to renewal and creation in Mesoamerican culture

The book included reader-supplied recommendations for clubs and baths in countries such as South Africa, Yugoslavia and Panama. Two-thirds of the 1965 edition, though, were devoted to the U.S.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Where Could Gay Men Dine in the 1960s South? This Coded Guide Held the Answers

For locals and tourists alike, the "International Guild Guide" identified places of refuge in a ruthlessly homophobic society

Haribo products are available in more than 100 countries, with 160 million Goldbears leaving factory floors around the world every day.

The Colorful History of Haribo Goldbears, the World's First Gummy Bears

2022 marks the centenary of the German candy company's flagship product

Cookbook author Grace Young set out to raise awareness of the struggle that Chinatown's business owners were facing, recording her “Coronavirus Stories”—short on-the-spot video interviews with members of the community.

Grace Young, Who Documented the Toll of Anti-Asian Hate on NYC's Chinatown, Receives Julia Child Award

A $50,000 grant is awarded to the culinary historian for her advocacy of Chinese-American culture and cuisine

Drawing of an early medieval king eating and drinking at Tintagel Castle in England

New Research

New Research Suggests England's Early Medieval Rulers Had a Veggie-Based Diet

Two papers argue that these 5th- through 11th-century kings and queens mainly ate meat during special feasts thrown by their subjects

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