Food History

Archaeologists found saffron, as well as peppercorns, almonds, raspberries and other foods.

Medieval Pantry Stocked With Spices Found in 500-Year-Old Shipwreck

The vessel, called "Gribshunden," sank off the coast of Sweden in 1495

The cabbage soup diet of the 1950s allowed the indulgence in as much cabbage soup as one could consume.

The Seesawing History of Fad Diets

Since dieting began in the 1830s, the ever-changing nutritional advice has skimped on science

The findings suggest Neanderthals made deep cut marks on the foot bones of straight-tusked elephants to access the rich deposits of fat in the animals' foot pads.

Neanderthals Hunted and Butchered Massive Elephants 125,000 Years Ago

Meat from the gigantic animals could have fed hundreds of hominids, according to a new analysis of bones found in central Germany

Researchers discovered an ancient tavern at Lagash in southern Iraq.

5,000-Year-Old Tavern With Food Still Inside Discovered in Iraq

Archaeologists found benches, an oven and food remnants dating back to 2700 B.C.E.

Soup joumou is a savory, orange-tinted soup that typically consists of calabaza squash, beef, noodles, carrots, cabbage, various other vegetables and fresh herbs and spices.

Haiti's Beloved Soup Joumou Serves Up 'Freedom in Every Bowl'

Every year, Haitians around the globe eat the pumpkin dish on January 1 to commemorate the liberation of the world’s first free Black republic

The elusive yeast strain had been lurking in the soil at the University College Dublin in Ireland.

Elusive Yeast That Gave Rise to Lagers Found in Europe for the First Time

Students in Ireland discovered the ancestral fungus in the soil on their university's campus

After 30 years of research, a Greek archaeologist can tell today’s fishery biologists how bountiful the Mediterranean Sea once was.

Unearthing the Original Mediterranean Diet

An archaeologist works to find out how much fish ancient Greeks ate

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

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 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.

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

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