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Over the years, the culinary art has undergone a transformation, an evolution in both technique and ingredients. Everywhere in the world there is a culinary tradition that has been influenced by this evolution.
About 500,000 years ago, Neanderthal man ‘cooked’ food that would otherwise not be edible; the methods used were very different to those we know today, first using an open flame, then embers and finally a technique similar to what we know today as steaming, the food was wrapped in leaves and cooked in pits.
Already in ancient times, each population ate differently: in Egypt, where leavened bread was born, poultry meat (duck, magpie, quail) was widely used for food, cooked in the form of a stew or eaten raw in brine; freshwater fish was also widely used.
In the Roman Empire, there was a clear change from the Republican period in the imperial age: from a very simple to a very sophisticated cuisine, with a predilection for the exotic and the rare (e.g. flamingo tongues, pheasant and peacock brains), all artificially seasoned with wine, honey, spices, vinegar and a sauce called garum (typical of that time and made from fermented fish).
In the 18th century, in France, there was a new radical change coming from the bourgeois culture and concerning both the ingredients and the way of structuring the meal: the nouvelle cuisine was born, characterised by the use of vegetables, fresh food, very delicate sauces and the differentiation of flavours, as opposed to their homologation in the Renaissance period.
In the 20th century there were various innovations in all fields that led to the transformation of society: regional cuisine began to gain importance, the first “Michelin” guide for restaurateurs was born, in which the best Italian restaurants were mentioned.