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Paleo Foods and Civilization

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Paleo Foods Civilization & History Free Paleo Recipes This topic is fascinating and based on civilizations & history. In the 21th Century the world in inter-connected by the internet. The reality is that the world has always been inter-connected by foods. Common foods that we eaten everyday originated somewhere else in the world. Take common Paleo Foods: pepper, spices, coconuts, olive oil, pomegranates and watermelons. Their origins are from India, the Mediterranean, Africa or Tropical Islands. Compare Paleo Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet. Not only did these Paleo foods originate in different countries but they influenced world history. Vasco de Gama in search of pepper had the first sea route from Europe to Asia. In the Middle Ages pepper was a condiment and currency. Pepper was known as, "Black Gold". The spice trade was lucrative and competitive. Christopher Columbus in search of a direct route from to Spain to India discovered a New World. Christopher Columbus was not commissioned to find a New World but to expedite a route for the spice trade. Olive Oil is ancient. Paleo food, Olive oil was used by the Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians. Olive oil used for cooking, medicinal and cosmetic purposes. An unsaturated fat with anti-bacterial and moisture qualities. The watermelon a Paleo food eaten worldwide. Moors brought watermelon seeds when they invaded Europe. The watermelon seed was introduced to America by colonist and African slaves. Another Paleo food, the coconut originated in the tropical islands. The coconut was named "monkey face" by Spanish explorers. History and civilizations are interwoven by foods. These foods compliment cuisines across the globe. Paleo Recipe Diet Gluten, Dairy & Preservative Free. Ancient Chinese Cooking cannot be overlooked in history & civilization. Chinese cooking has a high concentration of soy & tufu. Foods excluded from Paleo Diet but note Philosophy of Chinese Cooking.

 Index: Origin Pepper - Christopher Columbus & Spices - The Coconut - Olive Oil Paleo Diet vs. Mediterranean Diet - The Pomegranate - The Watermelon - Philosophy of Chinese Cooking




Watermelon


In Ancient Egypt watermelon seeds were found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamen ( noted by Zohary and Hopf).  Oddly, there are no ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic texts or painting of watermelon. Historians claim watermelon originated in the Kalahari Dessert, Africa. Watermelon seeds were sold or traded  to trade merchants along the Mediterranean trade routes. Cultivation of watermelon spread through Africa and the Mediterranean coast. Watermelon was an important fruit for its watery thirst quencher quality in the hot and dry regions of Africa and the Mediterranean.  The watermelon is 92% - 95% water and contains vitamins A and C, minerals, antioxidants and electrolytes. In the 13th century the Moors invaded Europe. The Moors brought the watermelon seed with them. This was Europe first introduction to the watermelon. In the 1600s watermelons were found in Britain, Spain and China. Presently, China is the worlds largest producer of watermelon. It is believed that the watermelon seed was brought to America by European colonists and African slaves. In the hot summer months in Southern USA watermelon proved a thirsty quencher as it had in Africa and Mediterranean. Other uses were found for the watermelon during the Civil War. Soldiers in the Confederate boiled watermelon as a source of sugar and molasses.

China has recipes for the whole watermelon. Watermelon seeds are roasted and eaten. The rinds are pickled in the USA and China used as an appetizer. Additionally, in China watermelon juices are made into wine.  In South Russia watermelon juices are made into beer.
This healthy fruit ideal for Paleo juices, shakes and desserts.

Philosophy of Chinese Cooking

Chinese cooking is not common in Paleo Diet.  Chinese diets contain high amounts of soy, wheats & grains not allowed in Paleo Diet. Never the less, the ancient art of Chinese Cooking has influences international diets and cooking methods.
 

Yin and yang dates back to ancient China. The belief that everything in the universe is consigned into two forces that are opposing but harmonious and complementary.
The yin and yang philosophy is used in Chinese cooking. The traditional symbol for the forces of yin and yang, are two fish swimming head to tail. The left half is yin and the right half is yang. Taken literally, yin and yang mean the dark side and sunny side of a hill. Yin and yang are not opposing forces. They are complementary pairs. The Chinese believe problems arise when there is an imbalance between them. Earthquakes, floods and fires and etc. all can be attributed to disharmony in the forces of yin and yang.


This concept of yin and yang relates to food. Opposites are set in balance to create harmony in food and body. If harmony is not achieved the body can be vulnerable to disease. Chinese chefs belief in the importance of following the principles of yin and yang in the diet There is always a balance in color, flavors, and textures. In China live seafood, fresh meat, and seasonal vegetables and fruits are used when preparing meals. Chinese daily meals consist of four food groups: meat, vegetable, fruit and grains. Large amounts of dairy products are not consumed. Dairy produces are substituted with soy milk and tofu. Soy milk and tofu contain large amounts of protein and calcium.

Unlike some cultures the Chinese hardly waste any part of the animal. They have found ways to cook nearly every part of an animal. Chinese culture believes that the shape and part of the animal will replenish and strengthen the same part of the human body.

Certain foods have yin properties, while others have yang properties. We think in yin and yang terms everyday hot or cold, fat or fat-free, high-calorie or low- calorie, sugar or sugar free, gluten or gluten-free, yeast and yeast-free and etc. But do not apply these trains of thought to cooking. Chinese yin properties: steaming, poaching and boiling and yang properties: stir-frying, pan frying and roasting. Balance is achieved by using both yin and yang methods. The yin and yang ingredients can be cooked separately or together.

Each province in China has its’ own cuisine. There are the Beijing, Hunan, Shanghai, Szechwan and Cantonese cuisines. The most well known are the Szechwan and Cantonese.

Yin and yang cooking methods are used in all Chinese cuisines. Few foodstuff is purely yin or yang - it's more that one characteristic tends to dominate. Some yin will have a little yang and some yang will have a little yin. Chinese cooking reinforces that it is not so much the individual ingredients, as the balance and contrast between the recipe ingredients in each dish, that is important.

Chinese food is a worldwide favorite. Chinese cooking offers artful harmony and balance beneficial to your health and well-being. The Chinese believe balanced and healthy foods brings harmony and closeness to the family and relationships.

  
     
 Most recipes can be modified and become Paleo Friendly. This Chinese Paleo Recipe is wheat, soy and dairy free. Enjoy!

              

         



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Origin of Pepper


Pepper
is the third most used recipe ingredient in the world. Third only to salt and water. Americans eat approximately ¼ pound of pepper a year. But where did pepper originate? Pepper originated in Kerala, India. The region is known for its twin monsoon. The heavy rains are important for the fragile fruits of the peppercorn plant. Other regions in the world grow pepper but Kerala reigns supreme in its quality and dominates the high end of the market. Pepper an essential in Indian food also had early medicinal value. Valued as a digestive stimulus and expectorant. Used externally to relieve skin afflictions and hives.

In classical Rome pepper was an article of commerce. After the decline of the Roman Empire Europeans still cherished pepper. The monetary allure of pepper brought the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama and his crew to Calicut, India in 1498. This was the first direct sea voyage from Europe to Asia. Shortly, there after other European trading companies followed.


Christopher Columbus Pepper & Spices

     
The spice trade and exploration was competitive. The Spaniards wanted to acquire peppercorns and other exotic spices. They sent Christopher Columbus to find a route to the Indies via the west. Instead of finding a route to India Christopher Columbus founded the Americas. Trying to convince his financial supporters that he had succeeded, he named the natives of the new world, Indians and their chiles “red” pepper. Christopher Columbus was not able to bring any peppercorn back to Spain but did discover a New World and his newly names red pepper. To this day there is an confusion about these two spices.


History has shown that the peppercorn has been used as a condiment and currency. In Europe pepper was used mainly for food. In the middle ages Europe meat was heavily salted with pepper for preservation and to kill the stench of decay. Pepper was expensive and was used in lieu of money for rent, dowry and taxes. Then pepper was referred to as, “peppercorn rent”. Because there was not enough pepper it became associated with gold. Today, poor families in Asia save pepper as a commodity. Pepper did not become affordable to the common man until the 19th century. Prior to that time only the rich could afford pepper. We never consider that the fruits of the peppercorn and other spices were a factor in shaping world history. Pepper was not only a spice but centuries ago a commodity so valuable that it was called, “Black Gold”.

Pepper, spices and or herbs compliment any all Paleo Recipes

Coconut


The coconut was called “monkey face” by early Spanish explorers.  The three eyes and the hairy shell resembles a monkey. For generations “monkey face” has been a nutritional and medicinal source around the world. A tropical and sub-tropical  plant that has gained popularity with nutritional enthusiast.  Coconut tends to have a slight sweet, nutty and vanilla taste. Coconut flour and meal is vegetable based Paleo wheat flour alternative for cooking. A versatile plant also used in Paleo Recipes as a cow’s alternative. Unlike most fruit and vegetable coconut contains saturated fats.
Coconut meat, coconut oils and coconut flours
 are used in Paleo Recipes

Olive Oil

Olive oil has an ancient history crop of the Mediterranean basin. Commonly used throughout history
for cooking, cosmetics, medicines, soaps, fuel and religious rituals.
Olive oil contains unsaturated fats and is healthy choice for many Paleo Cooks.
Olive Oil-Mayo Clinic

Ancient Greece the Greeks felt beauty, physical health, exercise and nutritious diet should all be in harmony. Hippocrates by some is considered the, "father of modern medicine". Olive oil has antibacterial and moisturizing characteristics. Olive oil was used in Greeks baths and was a skin protective for athletes. Olive oil was used to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks and anti-aging applied directly to facial wrinkles.

Ancient Egypt olive oil used in skin care and skin rejuvenation.

The Neolithic peoples
collected wild olives. Wild olive trees originated in Asia Minor.

Virgin Olive Oil: No chemical treatment produces manually.

Pomegranate







The pomegranate native to modern day Iran. Since ancient times pomegranate was grown in Caucasus. The cultivation of the pomegranate spread around the world. For centuries the juice has been a popular drink in Iranian and Indian cuisines. Popular distribution of the pomegranate in the United States began in 2002. Pomegranates high fiber fruit when eaten with the seeds. The seeds provide unsaturated oils.  Antioxidant fruit high in vitamin C, good source of B5, potassium and flavonoids.  Throughout history the pomegranate has had mystical qualities. In Ancient Egypt the pomegranate was a symbol of prosperity and ambition. Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome and ancient Persia the plant was associated with fertility. Greek myth associates the pomegranate with life, regeneration and marriage. In some ancient society it was believed drinking pomegranate juice was a cure for infertility.
This healthy fruit ideal for Paleo juices, shakes, glazes and desserts

 

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