Snacks - History and Recipes

Humans graze... we have not evolved to eat distinct large meals at set times in the day. Our ancestors grabbed food whenever it was available. Our even more distant primate ancestors grabbed the fruit from the trees as soot as it appeared near hand. Our biology means that we are programmed to eat a small amount of food at regular intervals during the day.

Because of its scarcity in our ancestors' diets we are also programmed to eat high-fat, high salt and high-sugar foods whenever they become available to us. That's why we eat snacks throughout the day. This is why snack manufacturers also ensure that fats are laden with fats, salt and sugars. Just think of typical snacks... candies, chips and nuts.

But, snacking is not just a modern phenomenon and throughout human history people have been creating snacks foods specifically designed to be eaten between designated meals. The Romans called these foods cenulae and below are recipes for two classic snacks.

The first of these snacks is a classic Roman dish of honey-sweetened cheese:

Honey-sweetened Cheese (Mel et Caseum)

225g ewes' milk cheese (Feta cheese works well because of its high salt content)
6 tbsp clear honey
1 tbsp good virgin olive oil
Garum (or Nam Pla) to taste
Pinch of Ground Coriander Seeds
Twist of black pepper and salt to taste

Cut the cheese into 1cm cubes then heat the honey in a pan until it is very runny. Add the honey to the cheese and toss them together before allowing the mixture to stand for at least an hour.

Lift the cheese from the excess honey and dress with the coriander, salt and pepper, olive oil and Garum

The next recipe is for a classic modern snack dish:

Tabasco Chicken Wings

60ml Tabasco sauce
15 chicken wings
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried oregano
120g butter, melted

Split the wings at each joint and discard the tips. Deep fry at 200°C for about 12 minutes or until completely cooked and crispy.

While the wings are cooking combine the Tabasco, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme and oregano with the melted butter and simmer for a few minutes. Dip the fried wings in the sauce so that they are completely covered. Serve with a blue cheese dip.

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About The Author,
Dyfed Lloyd Evans is the creator of the Celtnet Recipes free recipe website where you can find hundreds of recipes for classic snacks from all across the globe. You will also find hundreds more classic chicken reicpes on this site.