Sort of on the main topic. From reading the thread, I think others will be interested in this book. I found it interesting:
“Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Birth of Agriculture” by Bruce Pascoe.
I think it shows that people and other living things will adapt to what is around them.
From the Amazon . com description of the book:
Contradicts the conventional wisdom that native peoples were primitive hunter-gatherers
History has portrayed Australia’s First Peoples, the Aboriginals, as hunter-gatherers who lived on an empty, uncultivated land. History is wrong.
In this seminal book, Bruce Pascoe uncovers evidence that long before the arrival of white men, Aboriginal people across the continent were building dams and wells; planting, irrigating, and harvesting seeds, and then preserving the surplus and storing it in houses, sheds, or secure vessels; and creating elaborate cemeteries and manipulating the landscape. All of these behaviors were inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag, which turns out have been a convenient lie that worked to justify dispossession.
I’m totally with you on how delicious fermented food is! While I am a picky eater (Mushrooms, yuck! Zucchini, eww.) I also eat plenty of things other people won’t (Liver, yum. Olive juice, sure). I especially like pickles and sauerkraut. Kimchi smells great but is way too spicy for me. And unlike most people, even the ones who like pickles, I drink the pickle and sauerkraut juice as well.
I know this isn’t really on topic, but I wanted to share my love of pickles
One of the articles linked to by @earthknight contains the statement “Each person’s sense of flavor is like a snowflake or a fingerprint, in this way, shaped by partly by genes, but largely by experience. And always changing as more meals are eaten.” This is a pretty good summary of how it works.
All children develop a sense what’s good by sampling their options, whether they be the dirt in the garden or prime rib. When I was 6 months old my mother decided to teach me a lesson by allowing me to keep the dill pickle slice I grabbed from her plate and letting me eat it, expecting me to spit it out because it was sour. Instead, I have loved dill pickles ever since.
Yes fermentation is a matter of necessity. It permits storage of foods that would otherwise rot during times of plenty for consumption during times of scarcity. Not everybody likes the products of fermentation right away. I’ve watched visitors to Russia try kvass and turn up their noses. Russians who grow up drinking it like it a lot. For whatever reason (probably from drinking sorghum and millet homebrews in Africa) I really like it.
Fermentation of animal protein is not uncommon. That’s what makes cheese. As noted by @dianastuder not everybody likes every kind of cheese. Not everybody likes fermented (or aged) elasmobranchs but a fair number of Icelanders do. It may not be normal food to you but it is to them.
Not every animal protein is suitable for the process. Greenlanders ferment whole auks (beaks included). A while back somebody substituted eiders for auks and a bunch of people got botulism.
After deadly Kopalhen stories I doubt any nation would choose to live on such foods if they had a choice, it’s taking long time to be used to it and it’s certainly not better than fresh meat, they just don’t have access to it on a regular basis and when they can they do eat meat/blood right from the freshly killed body. Early humans did eat partially rotten meat too, there’re some benefits. Going far North meat is pretty much everything you have to eat and storing it in all possible ways is completely logical. Now when those meals exist you certainly will find people who find them delicious, but they wouldn’t even exist without need. While you don’t need blue cheese for example, it’s something that exists of accident and just tastes good for many people.
At the same time you can’t die from fermented cabbage or kvass, yes those products exist to conservate food too, but don’t take it to such extremes. And you can see they originate from more colder climates anyway, you find less and less of them going South. So, those articles are right (authors are), I don’t see any contradictions with what I said.
Thank you for going off topic. :) My thing really is that I’m a sour junky and if it’s sour, it’s going in my face! I love pickles too. Pickled anything - cukes, carrots, jalapeños, onions, cauliflower…even bad pickles are still kind of good.
I plant beets in my small garden every year so I can make pickled beets. They last all winter and are YUM (I had some at lunch today)! I also discovered pickled green tomatoes this year, and it is great way to use them come fall. I have made sauerkraut in the past, but don’t bother with dill pickles - the cucumbers are not worth the effort. I also love pickled herring, though I don’t make it myself.
You’d probably like the traditional Herero kefir, then. African languages in that region have words that mean “sour milk,” but they don’t mean it as spoiled milk, but rather, kefir type beverages.
And that brings us back to what @pmeisenheimer said, about people’s tastes developing over time. Throughout my childhood and youth, I thought I hated beets, because my only exposure to them was those disgusting pickled beets my mom liked. But then, in adult life, it occurred to me: fresh cucumbers taste very different from pickled ones; maybe the same thing applies to beets. So I gave fresh beets a try. Those, I like.
Who could’ve though pickles beets are worse than raw once, usually it does the opposite! Never had a chance to taste it that way.
Pickled onions are the best! Nothing like raw ones.
How much Herero kefir is different from a regular one? I like bifidokefir much more than a regular one, it’s more sour.
Гарум (продукт ферменатции рыб) играл очень важную роль в Средиземноморье, по сути был одним из основных продуктов питания благодаря которым сформировались централизованные цивилизации Карфагена и Рима. И даже сейчас похожие продукты являются важнейшим источником белка для некоторых районов Индокитая.
Ну так это по сути соус. Никто же не говорит, что на юге вообще не заготавливали пищу впрок, это не так. Но те же маринованные/солёные овощи и культура их заготовки не так популярны к югу, а грибы так и подавно, плюс многие из них более ядовиты на юге Европы. В любом случае, градиент виден и в наше время, может, он не идёт строго в одном направлении, что для человеческой культуры ожидаемо, но он есть. Индусы могут позволить себе вегетарианскую диету, а жители крайнего севера нет.