page contents




When i say "history" what words come to mind? Apart from “boring” and “long long time ago”, one word that would probably come up is “culture”! We normally associate it people living during a specific time period. It usually includes ideas such as societal norms, rites and rituals, and social behaviour of the particular people/society. However, one category that we often overlook is food and drinks!

In this post, we will not only show the different types of food and drinks eaten by the Han Dynasty Chinese, but also how the internal/external (In-N-Out) influences affect their food consumption!

When In Rome, Eat As The Romans Do.

When In Rome, Eat As The Romans Do.

When you plan to go on a travel trip and ask people for travel tips, you would definitely have heard people handing out this universal advice, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. So sometimes, you may hand out a puzzled look. And what exactly does the phrase mean? It actually expresses that when one is a visitor to a country, we have to abide by the local customs of the country. Now that you know what it means, how about this for a change? “When in Rome, eat as the Romans do”. When asked about Rome, one would commonly speak about Julius Caesar. Much as we know about Julius Caesar and Domitia(s), when it comes to how the Romans eat, we might not know much about it. Imagine digging into food with your bare hands, sweeping down remnants of unfinished food. Dining in ancient Rome is a shocking contrast from the fine dining etiquette that we know in today’s modern society. 

Washoku (Food of Japan)

Japan, a cultural Galapagos where a homogenous race emerged and has developed into an economic powerhouse in Asia. The boisterous spirit of the Japanese is especially evident amidst the bright neon lights in downtown Shinjuku. Today, Japan is known for its cuisine and many provinces have its speciality. One can form an itinerary just by sampling different food all over Japan! 

Furthermore, not many of us know Buddhism is deeply rooted in Japanese cuisine. From the ingredients of the food to its visual presentation, there is a clear influence of Buddhism element. Throughout this post, we will elaborate more about this topic.

Savor the Past!

Hi everyone! We did a tumblr post as part of our blogpost #3 assignment. The topic we have worked on is Food Preservation. But before we proceed, here is a brief introduction presented in the form of a poem. Enjoy!

Food Preservation? Yeah that's right!

From Drying through to Canning,

it has put up a good fight!

As something that evolved gradually over time,

having more than a basic understanding is prime.

Fret not, for we'll walk you through the steps

But do brace yourselves, for it may be a little complex.


The purpose of our project is for you to understand

the subject of food history that is made to your hand.

Of preservation methods that made sustenance possible,

it is not a doubt that these processes are un-stoppable.

From past to present,

people's mentality have changed,

Of intentions that we have planned

and the roads that we have paved.

From procuring food commercially to preserving at home,

It's usage evident wherever you wander, wherever you roam.

Interests on preservation have shifted from a "need" to a "want"

So, hesitate no further and join us on our food jaunt!

Here is the link for the tumblr account:



Cover photo- (CCO- Public Domain, Pixabay) (CC by 2.0, Wikimedia Commons) (CC-BY-SA-2.5, Wikimedia Commons) ( CC-PD-MARK, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)  (CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons) (CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons)  (CCO Public Domain, Pixabay) (CC-BY-SA-3.0-migrated, Wikimedia Commons) (CC0 Public Domain, Pixabay) (CCO Public Domain, Pixabay) (CCO Public Domain, Pixabay) (CCO Public Domain, Pixabay) (CCO Public Domain, Pixabay)


Make easy Strawberry jam at home, SeasonalBerries's Channel, 16 September 2011

The dried fruit factory process Cecilia'sFarmStories, 27th October 2013



Food Preservation, Science Clarified (2016)

Food Preservation - Scientific Principles, Historical Methods Of Preservation, Thermal Processes, Packaging, Chemical Additives, Irradiation (2016)


Nummer, B.A. (2002) Historical Origins of Food Preservation, National Center for Home Food Preservation

Katie, A. (2015) A Brief History of Food Drying

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States (FAO) (2015) Simple Fish-drying racks improve livelihoods and nutrition in Burundi


International Dairy Foods Association (2016), The History Of Ice Cream

Bella's Gelato (2013), The History of Gelato

History of Ice Cream in Italy, 7th April 2014

Lebovite, D., What is Gelato?, 18th July 2004


Shurtleff, W. , & Aoyagi, A., (2004) A Brief History of Fermentation, East and West, Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and Soy foods, 1100 B.C. to the 1980s


Alba-Lois, L. & Segal-Kischinevzky, C. (2010) Yeast Fermentation and the Making of Beer and Wine, Beer & Wine Makers, Nature Education 3(9):17

Wise Choice Market (2010)

Zemser, R. (2012) Fermentation- An Old Process Made New

Terebelski, D. & Ralph,N. (2003), Pickle History Timeline

The Accidental Scientist- Science of Cooking (n.d.)

Avey, T. (2014), History in a Jar: The Story of Pickles

How Products are made,  Made How, Vol.5, Jam and Jelly

Armadillo Peppers (n.d.) Jam and Jelly Guide

Glatz, J. (2010) Canning Food, from Napoleon to now,-from-napoleon-to-now.html


Hartson, W. (2013) Top 10 facts about canned foods

Ewald, J. (2014) Life Health, What is canning and what are the benefits?

Canned Food Alliance (n.d.), The Canning Process



Kennedy, C. (2009) Cold feat: choosing the right freezing technology for your production line

Mescher, V. (n.d.) In a Pickle- Types of Food Preservation in the 19th Century



Delong, D. (2006) How to Dry Foods, The Drying Process (pp.7-11)

Kalantzopoulos,G., Pintado, M., Gomes, A. (2006) Food Safety: A Practical and Case Study Approach, Exploitation of Microorganisms by the Food and Beverage Industry (pp. 153-154)


Hueston,W. & McLeod, A. (2012) Improving Food Safety Through a One Health Approach: Workshop Summary. Overview of the Global Food System: Changes over Time/Space and lessons for Future Food Safety

Breads of History


History of Bread Bread is one of the most common staple around the world and it has since the age when humankind were still hunters and gatherers. It is typically made from cooked, grinned grain and water. The interesting thing about bread is that it is so easy to make that without deliberate trade of bread and with a lack of communication between major empires in history, every empire eventually managed to discover how to make leavened bread (bread fermented with yeast) , Egypt being the earliest. Another fascinating fact is that every country or empire has their own interpretation of this cooked dough and it varies according to environment and culture. In this post, we will bring you through the history of three powerful empires in the form of their individually unique bread.

Egypt (Baladi bread)

Egyptian bread resulted from the grinding of grains and mixing it with water to create a porridge like substance.  Over time, yeast that is present in the air would come into contact with the mixture, causing the liquid to rise. Leaving this mixture out in the sun essentially bakes it, causing it to develop bread like crust. This is the earliest form of leavened bread known to mankind. Ancient Egyptians would later try to isolate yeast and would purposefully introduce it to the batter as a more effective way to make it rise.

Egyptian breads are often placed on top of a fire, or stuck to the oven walls instead of being baked inside it. Sometimes the bread can also be cooked on top of hot sand. The dough is also often rolled flat instead of the round fluffy bread shape that we often see. The process of milling the grains and cooking bread are often left for the women to do and is considered an essential life skill. This skill would later be taught to the Romans, where they would develop their own techniques of baking bread.

Rome (Miche bread)

Mount Vesuvius, a volcano located on Italy’s west coast, is well-known for its eruption in 79 CE. That historical eruption covered the entire Pompeii in volcanic ash. Below this layer of ash lies an almost fully intact Pompeii, where later in history, archeologists discovered loaves of bread.

In the very beginning, bread was baked by the housewives of Siligo. By 172 BC, these housewives were relieved the responsibility of baking breads and skilled bakers took over in bakery shops where breads were sold. In 168 BC, the Roman Baker’s Guild, called Collegium Pistorum, was formed. The Greeks first adopted the technology of bread baking from the Egyptians. Eventually, the practices were spread across the rest of Europe. As discovered from the ruins of Pompeii, mills were the main technology used for the baking of bread in Rome. Bread was a form of staple food for both the rich and poor, and even more so for the soldiers who were in war. Additionally, bread held greater importance than meat in Rome and hence, bakers of the Guild were highly respected for their skilled craft of baking.

China (Mantou)

Lastly, The very popular Mantou is a staple in China and the most common form of bread among the Chinese. It was invented way even before the start of the Chinese dynasties. During the warring states period before Emperor Qin Shi Huang conquered the different states and formed the first Chinese dynasty, the Qin dynasty.

Another well-known story of the Mantou originated from the story of Romance of the Three Kingdoms period (220-280 CE) where Chancellor Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han state went to battle to defeat the Southern barbarians. In an attempt to capture one of the barbarian warlords, Meng Huo, he was told he needed to pray to the Gods for help so as to counter the witchcraft that the barbarians were practicing. In order to gain the favour of the Gods, Zhuge Liang had to make a sacrifice of human heads. However being a witty and great leader, he used meat such as mutton and pork as fillings in buns instead to substitute as human heads and sacrificed it to the River God.

The process of making Mantou is a simple one, after allowing the dough to rise with the yeast, the dough have to be knead back and forth so as to release the gas released by the yeast. The dough is then split into smaller balls and put into the steamer. Within a short 15 to 20 minutes, the Mantou will be ready. The Mantou is made to have a simple taste of the wheat flour. The more you chew, the more you will taste the sweet taste of the fermented dough. This gives a slightly alcoholic flavour which everyone loves and is like no other bread around the world. The Book of Han states that “the greatest flavour is a simple one” and the Mantou is the perfect illustration of this idea.

All in all, it is astonishing to us that in the absence of the global village phenomenon, countries and empires were still able to create a similar form of staple food. Started from just yeast, grain and water, countries adopted their very own methods of bread baking and eventually, bread made its way into stomachs all over the world. Today, bread is made from a myriad of ingredients and it has definitely made its name in the history, all thanks to the Egyptians. KUDOS EGYPTIANS!


Here's a short how-to video to show you how each of these delicious breads are made. Give it a try if you are daring enough!


Check out our Instagram page for more interactive material on the history of bread!


Bon Appetit!

Good day to everyone. Here’s an appetizer for our blog post today. That’s right, today we’ll be discussing about food. Food is such an important part of every civilization and culture. The type of cuisine people eat are subjected to their location, tradition and even social status. Just by studying food alone, we will be able to learn about the many differences between countries and their people. Take Singapore for example. Here at home, we are a melting pot of different races and religions. Known famously as a food paradise, our food choices are, needless to say, diverse. We are all often spoilt for choices ranging from Laksa, Roti Prata and Rojak to crowd favourites like Chicken rice, Nasi Lemak and Chili Crab, all of which show off a little part of our culture and heritage.

So are you hungry for more? We sure hope you are, because we are about to bring all of you back on a gastronomical journey to the past with our specially crafted menu that combines some of the most unusual dishes in ancient civilizations.

Just a disclaimer, the food shown below can be graphic and may not be as enticing as the ones above.

Main Course 1. Cockentrice

If you love both pork and chicken, this is the dish for you! Originating in the Middle Ages (5th – 15th Century), cockentrice features the top half and front of a capon (castrated and fattened chicken) sewn to the back of a pig or vice versa so that you can enjoy the best of both worlds. After being sewn and stuffed, it will be roasted and covered with batter. A favourite of the Tudors, the Cockentrice is fit for royalty in medieval England.

2. Stuffed Dormice

A favourite of the Romans during the 6th Century, dormice were considered a delicacy. Dormice was typically filled with minced pork and pounded with pepper before being cooked in an oven. This delicacy was commonly eaten by the rich to show off one’s wealth or “conspicuous consumption”.

3. Tecuitlatl (Spirulina)

One for the vegetarians, this dish features dried algae leaves, served with maize and a sauce which is a mixture of chili and tomato sauce. A great source of nutrition for the Ancient Aztecs in the 12tht Century, it is otherwise known as Spirulina and contains up to 70% proteins in addition to being a good source of Vitamin B. It is a dietary supplement that is able to grow in alkaline conditions such as salt water. Nowadays, it comes in both powder and tablet form in a bid to remove its fishy smell and some ways of consuming it include mixing it in with smoothies to make it more palatable


Condiments Garum (Liquamen)

This savory or umami condiment is a fermented fish sauce made from salt, herbs and dried fish. After being left under the sun for up to 3 months, the stomach acid of the dried fish will break down its bodies and leave behind brown goo. High in monosodium glutamate, the Romans used garum as a sauce, dip and salt substitute in their food. The Romans fermented their sauce with much lesser salt than modern day versions and this released more proteins, making it more nutritious. Fish sauce is still popular in today’s context and an example would be in Vietnamese cuisine where it is often used to accompany the noodle dish, pho.


Dessert Ptcha (Calf Feet Jelly)

And now for dessert, something that most of us find hard to say no to. Here we have a Ashkenazic delicacy that originated in Turkey in the 14th century. Calf hooves and leg bones are boiled for hours in a broth and cooled in a pan until it is gelatinous before being served with vinegar. Essentially gelatin made out of meat, it was renowned as being very nutritious and served as a good meal for sick people.


Beverages Beer

But of course, what is a good meal without some beer? Beer brewing began in Sumeria, Southern Mesopotamina from as early as 10,000 BCE. Bippar (twice-baked barley bread) was used to brew the beer and this led to it being as thick as porridge and drunk through a straw.

There was even a God, Ninkasi, dedicated to overseeing its manufacture. In fact, the Sumerian Gods were such huge fans of beer that they were known to get drunk occasionally. 

Perhaps by now your once ravenous appetite has been slightly deterred after some of those photos or maybe you’ve worked up an even greater appetite. One thing’s for sure, we can see that different cultures indeed have varying palettes throughout history. We may not be able to appreciate the types of cuisines that other cultures term as delicacies, but as the saying goes: “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”.  The unchangeable fact is that regardless of who we are, where and when we come from, we are all united for our love for good food.

Bon Appetit !