It’s prehistoric remains week here at Trail Baboon. Yesterday we considered the ramifications of some ancient teeth uncovered near Tel Aviv that may upend our understanding of who was where, when.
Today comes news that our ancient, now extinct near cousins, the Neanderthals, were not the brutish, meat-only diners that many had assumed, but in fact, ate plants, and some of those plants were cooked. This is yet another step in countering the popular cultural image of the Neanderthals as dopey cavemen who were too backward and unimaginative to survive. The new vision of Neanderthals sometimes eating vegetables rather than always ripping apart some unfortunate ungulate (Elk again, mom? Really?) and devouring it raw gives us a more nuanced understanding of who they were.
Sophisticated eaters and engaging dinner companions whose laughing eyes were unfortunately shaded by their prominent foreheads. I’m sure in the years to come we’ll learn more about Neanderthal dining habits, including some of their favorite recipes:
Alley Oop Salad
Cave Dweller Cole Slaw
Bedrock Vegetarian Chili
And my new favorite – Neander Valley Tabouli
2 cups seed of rough grass from mouth of cave
2 cups very hot water from fire keepers
1 bundle green stuff from underside of log, chopped
2 small crunchy ground melons, chopped
1 bunch ferns, (8) sliced
1/2 cup fresh chopped rotten bark flower (NOT the red one)
2 cups fresh chopped children of vine that grows up side of rock
1 clove smelly root, minced (optional)
Dressing: 1/2 cup juice of tiny yellow sun,
3/4 cup slippery juice from tree berries,
1 tablespoon tickle nose powder (black),
2 teaspoons seawater (with water removed).
Soak the grass seed from mouth of cave in hot water until mixture cools. Squeeze like helpless enemy caught in battle.
Use sharp edged rock to attack ground melons, ferns, rotten bark flower, vine children, smelly root and green stuff. Leave no survivors. Gather remains into bowl with grass seed.
Mix sun juice, slippery juice, nose powder and no water seawater. Pour over mixture.
Defend with unchecked ferocity from all interlopers and predators.
What’s the oldest recipe in your day-to-day repetoire?