Grilling Tips from the Ancient Greeks

Here’s something to induce mouth-watering in a hungry historian: the history of food! I saw this charming article on the Recipe Reminiscing blog, and it goes to show you how much you can learn from the past if you roll up your sleeves and actually try a practical test. In 2014 an archaeologist tested out some kitchen hardware used by the ancient Greeks, and in doing so solved some riddles as well as cooked up some tasty vittles. History you can eat…doesn’t get much better than that!

Article by Stephanie Butler posted on history.com in 2014.

Love to grill? Well, you’re not the first. In fact, the Greeks beat us all to it by more than 3,000 years. Recently, archeologist Julie Hruby of Dartmouth College presented her research findings about how exactly the ancient Greeks used their grills at the Archeological Institute of America’s annual conference in Chicago. Hruby’s research centered on her work with ancient souvlaki trays and griddles from Mycenaean-era sites in Greece.

In years past, everyday objects like cooking pots were often thrown away at architectural sites, in favor of more glamorous items like vases or jewelry. But Hruby decided to take a second look at the trays and griddles to help solve some long-standing archeological mysteries. For starters, scientists knew the souvlaki trays would have somehow held skewers of roasting meat. But they didn’t know if cooks rested the meat directly on the trays over the fire, or if the trays were meant for hot coals with the meat placed on top. And the griddles, presumably for bread baking, had one smooth side and one side pocked with small holes. What would be best for baking?…

Full Article: Grilling Tips from the Ancient Greeks

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