Scientists believe they have discovered the oldest curry in Southeast Asia. They unearthed eight varied spices presumed to be used in its creation, suggesting a recipe that dates back 2,000 years. This compelling find hints that people have been exchanging cooking spices for at least that long!
The find was made at an archaeological site called Oc Eo in Vietnam. The team started by studying old grinding tools used to crush spices. They used a special technique to look at tiny bits of plant material left on the tools. Of the 40 tools they studied, 12 had evidence of spices like turmeric, ginger, clove, and cinnamon. These spices are still used to make curry today!
By studying charcoal and wood samples from the site, the team found that people lived there between the 1st and 8th centuries CE. This shows that spices were being traded and used to make curry in Southeast Asia 2,000 years ago.
The interesting part is that the curry recipe in Vietnam today is almost the same as it was 2,000 years ago. The key ingredients – turmeric, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger – have stayed the same. This goes to show that a good recipe can last a really long time!
Turmeric, ginger, galangal, clove, nutmeg & cinnamon. These common curry ingredients have simmered on stoves for thousands of years. 🔥#ANUExperts have found 2,000-year-old remnants of what’s believed to be Southeast Asia’s earliest curry in Vietnam. https://t.co/gLSih6FkBR— ANU Media (@ANUmedia) July 24, 2023
The team’s next step is to study more plant remains and seeds found at the site. They hope to find out more about the spices used in the past and when they started to be traded around the world.
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