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But however palatable a sizzling steak in ice-age conditions, the shrinkage that resuts from direct roasting would scarcely recommend itself to the hard-worked hunter, so that a natural next step, for tough roots...as for meat, would be slower cooking in the embers or on a flat stone by the side of the fire.A litter of Chinese piglets, some stray sparks from the fire, a dwelling reduced to ashes, and unfamiliar but interesting smell, a crisp and delectable assault on the taste buds...Taken back a few millennia and relocated in Europe this would translate into a piece of mammoth, venison or something of the sort falling in the campfire and having to be left there until the flames died down.Advances in technology eventually resulted in the ability (again, probably a matter of trial and error) to modify potentially harmful foods into consumable staples.Meat was preserved; nuts were boiled, vegetables were peeled.
Although they are not endangered species, campaigners say a lack of regulation around such traditions in the Faroe Islands could see significant reductions in whale populations.
Berries, nuts, fungus, and water sources were especially complicated and concernful.
Myths and legends perpetuated the warnings against consuming known poisonous foods.
Although the accidental discovery of roasting would have been perfectly feasible in the primitive world, boiling was a more sophisticated proposition." ---Food in History, Reay Tannahill [Three Rivers: New York] 1988 (p.
13-14) [NOTE: This book contains much more information on early cooking techniques than can be paraphrased here.