Food from our Ancestry

I am CONVINCED that bodies work best when fed food from their familial heritage.  Now, thousands of years ago, the food system was quite different.  We could not get food from halfway across the world because trade wasn’t as fast-paced and we did not have the kind of transportation system that we do right now.  As a result, our great-great grandfathers and grandmothers planted and cooked their own food.  The difference is that their fruits, vegetables and grains had better nutritional value (vitamins and minerals weren’t as easily destroyed as they are now with the processing effects) and there weren’t pesticides in those foods, either.

Our meats were also local.  Meat wasn’t injected with hormones or antibiotics and animals were fed grass versus grain (which made their bodies more lean, and therefore, less fatty).

I haven't yet been to Austria, but I imagine (or would like to!) that my ancestors lived in Hallstatt :)

I haven't yet been to Austria, but I imagine (or would like to!) that my ancestors lived in Hallstatt 🙂

From the countries of which I am 100% sure about my own lineage, I have found some of the traditional foods that we would have consumed.  Again, note that the “butter” and the “steak” were probably all from my ancestors’ own backyards and from much leaner animals.

Additionally, my ancestors probably didn’t stuff their faces like it was their last supper every meal… And if they did, then I guess that would explain why the 20th and 21st century clan members are all food-freaks.

Anyway, the following items are some common ingredients used in ancient and traditional cooking from Austria, Poland and Russia, some select countries of my people:

Austria – Austrian cuisine is greatly influenced by the countries surrounding it as they all used to be part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Traditional Austrian dishes tend to be meat-based and include Wiener Schnitzel (veal cutlet fried in breadcrumbs), dumplings, pasta (Nockerl), boiled beef and cured ham. Commonly consumed are leafy and root vegetables as well as different types of beans and pumpkins. In traditional cooking maize and rye are very popular.  Austrian cuisine also includes a range of desserts and pastries such as Apfelstrudel (apple strudel), Mohnkuchen (poppy seed cake) and chocolate cake.

No, this is not the layer-cake from my fam's favorite bakery... But it looks a whole lot like it, and was probably devoured by my ancestors in the same maniacal fashion as my family would eat it today.

No, this is not the layer-cake from my fam's favorite bakery... But it looks a whole lot like it, and was probably devoured by my ancestors in the same maniacal fashion as my family would eat it today.

Poland – Traditional foods and dishes are important in Polish cuisine and dietary habits. One of the national dishes is Bigos which exceptional qualities and popularity were praised by Adam Mickiewicz in his masterpiece of Polish romantic literature, Pan Tadeusz. There are various recipes for Bigos and the typical ingredients include sauerkraut, different meats, sausage and dried mushrooms and prunes. Pork is still the preferred type of meat and fried pork chop served with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut belongs to the most popular dishes. Despite  regional differences in the food habits, their common feature is high consumption of bread, kashas (grits) and other cereal-based dishes, like, for example, dumplings, and potatoes. Pickled foods such as vegetables (cucumbers), fish (herrings) and mushrooms are popular. Traditional cakes include gingerbread, poppy seed cake, faworki (crisp cakes), Easter mazurkas, doughnuts and tree cakes, to name a few.

The "strudel" is a type of sweet layered pastry with filling inside, that became well known and gained popularity in the Habsburg Empire.

The "strudel" is a type of sweet layered pastry with filling inside, that became well known and gained popularity in the Habsburg Empire.

Russia – Traditional foods include potatoes (boiled, fried, baked, potato chops, potato pancakes, potato soup, smashed potato). bread (bread, toasts, bread-crumbs), eggs (boiled, fried), meat (pork and beef – chops, stakes), butter (usually added in all meals and spread on bread).  Also popular: cabbage, milk, sour cream, curds, mushrooms, lard, cucumbers, tomatoes, apples, berries, honey, sugar, salt, garlic and onions.

MmMM.. MEAT!

MmMM.. MEAT! I am thrilled that my ancestors weren't vegetarians... That would be a shame.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by paul Hiatt on September 11, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Here is a book which might be of interest- Ancestral Appetites :

    http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/discountpromotion/?site_locale=en_US&code=GREMILLION12

    Reply

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