Article ID: CBB741264415

Did crops expand in tandem with culinary practices from their region of origin? Evidence from ancient DNA and material culture (2024)


Grain-cooking traditions in Neolithic China have been characterised as a ‘wet’ cuisine based on the boiling and steaming of sticky varieties of cereal. One of these, broomcorn millet, was one of the earliest Chinese crops to move westward into Central Asia and beyond, into regions where grains were typically prepared by grinding and baking. Here, the authors present the genotypes and reconstructed phenotypes of 13 desiccated broomcorn millet samples from Xinjiang (1700 BC–AD 700). The absence in this area of sticky-starch millet and vessels for boiling and steaming suggests that, as they moved west, East Asian cereal crops were decoupled from traditional cooking practices and were incorporated into local cuisines.

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Authors & Contributors
Alpers, Edward A.
Cabo-González, Ana M.
Carney, Judith
Denham, Tim
Di, Lu
Gregory, Annabel
Environment and History
Arabic Sciences and Philosophy
East Asian Science, Technology, and Medicine
Indian Journal of History of Science
Chinese Annals of History of Science and Technology
University of California Press
Cambridge University Press
Princeton University Press
Food and foods
Grain crops; Cereals; Grasses
Environmental history
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Strampelli, Nazareno
Time Periods
17th century
19th century
Bengal (India)
Rome (Italy)

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