7 of the Oldest Foods in the World (Plus 2 Bonus Drinks)

There are plants and animals in the world that humans have eaten regularly for thousands of years. As humans began to learn about optimal diets for better survival, foods that required ingredients and preparation were developed. What are the 7 oldest foods in the world? Read on to find out!

Human diet has had an indelible impact on the development of civilization. Homo erectus was the first archaic man to deliberately cook. More than 750,000 years ago, Israel made fire to cook freshly caught fish. Additionally, Neanderthals and Homo sapiens had culinary roots in South Africa about 170,000 years ago.

Meal preparation existed long before the development of reading and writing. However, when cooking became commonplace, humans had not mastered written communication, so the earliest human recipes were not recorded.

7 of the world’s oldest foods (and 2 drinks)

These are some of the oldest foods in the world (plus two bonus drinks):

  1. Pan: 14,000 years old
  2. Tamales: 10,000 years old
  3. Fermented alcohol in China: 9,000 years old
  4. Chicha: 7000 years old
  5. Popcorn: 6,500 years old
  6. Garlic Mustard Seed Spice: 6,000 years old
  7. Bogbutter: 5,000 years old
  8. Mesopotamian stew: 3750 years old
  9. Honey: 3,000 years old

The oldest edible food still found today: honey


The oldest edible food in the world is honey found in ancient Egyptian tombs. It is about 3,000 years old and has not decayed due to honey’s antibacterial properties. Honey is high in sugar, low in water, and contains traces of hydrogen peroxide, so bacteria and other microbes cannot grow.

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Honey can be eaten for a long time, but it changes. If the moisture content exceeds 18%, it can spoil. Honey mixed with liquids was used in early fermentation processes.

The oldest written stew recipe: Mesopotamian stew

The oldest stew recipe comes from a Sumerian cuneiform tablet from around 3750 BC. It’s for a mutton stew called Tuh’u that calls for a specific flavor, chunks of meat, fat, and vegetables.

The concept of stew predates tuhu by thousands of years, and boiling meat in water over a fire was common across cultures. I was eating stews of anything that fit in.

Oldest Chilled Dairy: Bog Butter

The oldest bog butter ever found was about 5,000 years old. For reasons unknown, this butter was hidden in the swamps by ancient peoples. Since the swamps of Ireland are anaerobic, ancient barrels filled with butter could be preserved because there is no oxygen to cause spoilage.

Some of the found bog butter was eaten by those who found it. The first written report of a modern marsh butter tasting is his in 1859.

Oldest Spice: Garlic Mustard Seed

Garlic mustard seeds, used as a seasoning for chili peppers in prehistoric European cookware, are about 6,000 years old. This is the first true evidence of the deliberate use of spices in food.

The discovery of garlic-mustard seed residues indicates that Danish and German hunter-gatherers flavored their food before the development of agriculture. Garlic mustard seeds cooked in a pan with fish and meat.

The Oldest Snack Food: Popcorn

Popping Popcorn originated in Peru more than 6,500 years ago. It was created by wrapping a proper popcorn cob in a husk and placing it over smoldering coals.

Corn was first domesticated in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Currently, there are six types of corn: popcorn, dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, sweet corn and flour corn.

Oldest Fast Food: Tamales

Tamales date back about 10,000 years and originated in Mesoamerica. The Olmecs and Toltecs used tamales because they were easier to carry. Since then, they have spread all over the world, with different cultures and regions making specific preparations.

Tamales are a great way to feed a lot of people for just a few bucks. If you put meat, vegetables, sauces, etc. in the Masa pocket, it will stretch easily. They were a common portable food for the military.

Corn husks or banana leaves are wrapped around masa dough filled with meat, beans, fruit or other fillings. It is then steamed in a wrapper as a fully wrapped packaged food.

The oldest processed food: Bread

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Early bakers probably made flatbreads from crab rush tubers and wild ichon, processed by peeling, grinding and kneading before baking.


The origins of bread are very ancient, probably beginning some 30,000 years ago, but the story is never fully elucidated. When Neolithic farmers began cultivating cereals, grain-based products like bread became a staple food. The earliest evidence of bread making came from the Natuf hunter-gatherers who lived in the Levant more than 14,000 years ago.

Natufian hunter-gatherers represent a shift from a hunter-and-gatherer-focused culture to a more sedentary lifestyle. This is a remarkable moment in cultural evolution, as Neolithic agriculture did not develop for another 4000 years.

Early bakers probably made flatbreads from crab rush tubers and wild ichon, processed by peeling, grinding and kneading before baking. It is not yet known whether the development of bread products influenced grain cultivation. .

In 1991, pancakes made of einkorn, red deer and ibex meat were found in the stomach of the Iceman Otzi. Otzi the Iceman is the oldest mummy discovered in Europe. He was found in the Italian Alps and his corpse dates to around 3,300 BC.

Bonus: Oldest Liquor #1: Chinese Fermented Liquor

People have found a way to make drinking water safer by fermenting it into alcohol. The world’s first known fermented beverage was discovered in China, dating back to around 7,000 BC.

This makes human-produced alcohol consumption at least 9,000 years old. Beverages included honey, rice, grapes and hawthorn berries.

Bonus: Oldest Drink #2: Chicha

Chicha is about 7,000 years old and is usually made from corn flour, but can also be made from fruits, cacti, cassava, potatoes, peanuts, and other fermented products. Due to its undocumented early popularity, it played a major role in Inca culture.

Today most Latin American cultures have distinctive forms of chicha influenced by local crops and flavors. is.


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