Humans have been enjoying cheese and beer since 2700 years ago

Beer and cheese is a combination that is not too strange, but on the contrary, it is also very popular in many countries around the world. However, the strange thing here is that humans have been able to enjoy them since 2,700 years ago. By analyzing human feces samples found at the center of the Hallstatt mine in the Austrian Alps, the researchers discovered that salt mine workers were familiar with these two types of food and drink.

Frank Maixner, a microbiologist at the Eurac Research Institute in Bolzano, Italy, said he was surprised to learn that salt miners were then advanced enough to 'apply purposeful fermentation'. by 'this was very complicated, which was something I didn't think was possible at the time'.

Picture 1 of Humans have been enjoying cheese and beer since 2700 years ago
Beer and cheese is a very popular combination in many parts of the world.

According to the researchers, this finding is the earliest evidence to date of cheese aging in Europe. While alcohol has existed and is well documented in ancient documents with many archaeological records, the feces of salt miners contain the first molecular evidence of beer consumption on the continent. this at that time.

Kerstin Kowarik from the Vienna Museum of Natural History said: 'There is increasing evidence that not only skill in the preparation of complex prehistoric cuisine but also fermentation technique played a prominent role in early human culinary history'.

The town of Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage site, producing salt for more than 3,000 years. According to Mr. Maixner: "This is a special place, located in the Alps, a place that is very remote and isolated from the community. The miners had to spend all day there, working, eating and even going to the bathroom. in the mine.

Thanks to the stable temperature of about 8 degrees Celsius and the high salt concentration at the mine, the miners' excrement is very well preserved. The researchers analyzed four stool samples with different dates: one from the Bronze Age, two from the Iron Age, and the last from the 18th century. One of them, dated to about 2,700 years old. were found to contain two fungi: Penicillium roqueforti and Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Both are known today for use in food processing. 'It seems that salt miners deliberately used today's technology of fermenting food with microorganisms.

Besides, research also shows that the diet of miners is very balanced, mainly protein sources are obtained from grains, fruits, beans and meat. 'Very well balanced and provides all the nutrition they need'. The main difference with today lies in the very low level of food processing in those days.