Australian Aboriginals Have Been Baking Bread for 34,000+ Years!

Australian Aboriginals Have Been Baking Bread for 34,000+ Years!

Australian Aboriginals Have Been Baking Bread for 34,000+ Years!

Long held as the inventors of bread, the Egyptians, credited with this culinary innovation around 8000 BC, have been surpassed by Australian Aboriginals in historical precedence. Remarkably, Aboriginal Australians were baking bread tens of thousands of years earlier, with evidence pointing to a practice dating back at least 34,000 years. This is based on the discovery of ancient grindstones in New South Wales, which were used to turn seeds into flours for baking, predating Egyptian baking by a significant margin.



Advanced Agriculture and Culinary Skills

Contrary to the image of Aboriginals as mere hunter-gatherers, early white settlers noted fields cultivated for crops such as the ‘murrnong’ yam, indicating a sophisticated approach to agriculture.

Aboriginal women played the primary role in this early form of baking, collecting various seeds depending on the season and region. These included native millet and spinifex, and even seeds collected from harvester ants’ nests, where they had gathered around the opening of the nests. The ants had effectively collected and husked the seed for them.

The process of making flour was labor-intensive, involving winnowing with tools like the coolamon and grinding with millstones, some of which are as old as 50,000 years. This flour was then mixed with water to create dough, which was baked into nutritious bread high in protein and carbohydrates, forming an essential part of the traditional Aboriginal diet.

From Pigwig to Prickly Wattle

The Aboriginal method of bread-making also incorporated seeds from a range of plants, like pigwig and prickly wattle, showcasing their extensive knowledge of local flora.

This bread, sometimes cooked directly on hot coals or in a type of oven, was a cornerstone of Aboriginal cuisine and remains an integral part of their cultural heritage. Unfortunately, with the arrival of Europeans and the introduction of white flour, these traditional bread-making practices began to fade, although they were still practiced in some areas into the 1970s. Today, there’s a resurgence in interest in these ancient techniques, with a focus on reviving and celebrating the rich culinary history of Aboriginal Australians.

Source: ancient-origins

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Australian Aboriginals Have Been Baking Bread for 34,000+ Years!

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