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But there is an alternative and even more likely theory-that on some occasion ale instead of water was used to mix the dough.
The rise would be more spectacular than from a few errant spores and the effect would be easy to explain and equally easy to reproduce." ---Food in History, Tannahill (p.
Ovens which worked on this principle, but were constructed of bricks or small stones, may still be seen in the ruined city of Pompeii.There is no question that fermentation takes place accidentally (as it must have done countless times before humans learned something about controlling the process), and most investigators believe that barley was first cultivated in the Fertile Crescent region of lower Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.Grain is heavy to transport relative to the beer made from it, so it is not surprising that there may be evidence of ale in these outposts and not unreasonable to suspect that accidental fermentation did occur at some point in the ancient Mesopotamian region, leading to beer making." ---Cambridge World History of Food, Kenneth F.This was a beehive- or barrel-shaped container of baked clay, usually divided into two by a central horizontal partition.The lower section formed the fire-box in which were burned pieces of dried wood, foten taken from the Nile, or even dried animal dung.