Unlike many ancient foods, chocolate has its roots in the Americas. Archaeologists have found evidence of chocolate production among the ancient Olmec people in Mexico. Scientists tested the interior of pots for the chemical theobromine, which is a strong indicator of cacao. Chocolate also factored heavily into Mayan and Aztec civilizations.
With its antiseptic properties and intense sweetness, honey is popular in modern kitchens. The same was true 5,500 years ago, according to scientists. In a long-forgotten tomb in Georgia, researchers found jars that once held the world’s oldest honey.
Beef jerky packets line the aisles of supermarkets across the world, but humans have been enjoying the snack for thousands of years. In China, scientists located a sealed pot of beef jerky. Although the remnants did not resemble the dried pieces of meat we eat today, testing revealed that it was dried beef.
Noodles are a popular part of modern Chinese cuisine, a tradition that dates back 4,000 years. At the Lajia archaeological site, workers discovered a clump of perfectly preserved millet grass noodles. The noodles were intact — an unusual condition for a food item — due to a vacuum created by a bowl and the ground.