GASTRONOMY IS PART OF OUR CULTURE
(List of recipes on the left column)
Gastronomy is certainly born at the moment when our ancesters discovered fire and could roast the first meat chunk on an open fire.
After having learned how to grill and roast meat, they tried cooking food on wooden spits over the open fire.
These were the rudimentary first steps in the art of cooking.
Great civilizations like the Egyptians already included fruit in their meals and excelled in stewed and roasted food, which they prepared and presented in a fancy way for the pleasure of the palate and of the eyes.
With the Greeks, the art of cooking stagnated a bit because their cultural interests were specially for literature, drama and music, and banquets were a moment for the enjoyment of the mind rather than that of the stomach.
As time passed, however, traditions changed and that change coincided with the period of Greek decadence and conquest by the Romans.
Of simple and frugal food habits in the beginning, the Romans were soon conquered by the pleasures of eating good food and their excesses in this field led to the desastrous consequences History told us about.
Following the fall of Rome and the subsequent rise of the Barbarians, gastronomy was once again betrayed, and the pleasure of eating with quality was lost in favour of eating in quantity.
During the Middle Ages, traditional ways of cooking and eating gradually appeared matching the increasing variety of ethnic and regional characteristics.
The repeated periods of famine experienced by the populations did not however allow a great development of the art of cooking,
and it is only as from the Renaissance onwards that gastronomy as well as other art expressions reached the high level it still has nowadays.
Gastronomy as any other form of art is a cultural heritage each country and people should preserve.
© Dulce Rodrigues