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(The Conversation)   Does booze have an African heritage? The odds are pretty sweet   (theconversation.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Africa, Alcoholic beverage, Honey bee, widespread use of honey-alcohol, Islam, Madagascar, earliest evidence of alcohol, Beer  
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401 clicks; posted to Food » on 11 Jun 2020 at 9:55 AM (18 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



21 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2020-06-11 10:39:23 AM  
Where does the African continent fit into the story of alcohol? Until now the search for early evidence of alcohol has fixated on residue analysis. But I tried a different route - I looked at the role of honey, because honey and bee-related products were being used and consumed 40,000 years ago by people living in southern Africa.

First, I conducted a fermentation experiment in which alcohol is produced by combining honey, water and moerwortel (Glia prolifera).


You could have just started in Ethiopia, where the first humans lived, and where they make booze from honey and buckthorn.  You didn't need to do any experiments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tej
 
2020-06-11 11:10:03 AM  
I'm completely unsurprised. Humans have been making booze since time immemorial.

Still, it's really cool that someone's doing the work and getting this into the historical record
 
2020-06-11 11:31:07 AM  
I haven't read it in a while so I could be remembering wrong, but Sapiens (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7ED54M​/r​ef=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&b​tkr=1) said that early human civilization grouped together over shared stories (religion) and booze.
 
2020-06-11 12:33:29 PM  
cdn.mg.co.zaView Full Size


I want to try it. Has anyone tried it?
 
2020-06-11 1:08:06 PM  
Booze makes itself. Birds and mammals get drunk off fermenting berries.
 
2020-06-11 1:23:42 PM  

This text is now purple: Booze makes itself. Birds and mammals get drunk off fermenting berries.


Yes, but humans cultivated it to make it stronger, taste better and to do so predictably. So this guy producing evidence that the San were bee farming to make honey mead 40,000 years ago is pretty neat.
 
2020-06-11 1:48:26 PM  
Ah a "just so" story.

I think a more likely "first alcohol" is palm wine.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm_wi​n​e

Fark user imageView Full Size


If you are collecting sweet sap for consumption it will start fermenting if you don't drink it fast.

Maybe after booze was made this way someone decided to make sap by diluting honey with water. I don't think that people would make batches of honey water for drinking, much less had enough left over that they discovered it would ferment.
 
2020-06-11 1:58:06 PM  
Seems reasonable. The cool part is that it suggests that they had civilizations advanced enough to create food surplus' that long ago. Unless they had enough food for everybody, that honey would be a lot more valuable as food.

Can you imagine how much it would have sucked to be a beekeeper before they invented the protective clothes?
 
2020-06-11 2:42:02 PM  
Seems highly plausible to me.
 
2020-06-11 2:54:40 PM  
Looking at the big picture, doesn't everything humans have done have African roots??
 
2020-06-11 3:33:25 PM  
Well, how else did you expect dudes to get laid?
 
2020-06-11 4:51:07 PM  

kdawg7736: [cdn.mg.co.za image 300x400]

I want to try it. Has anyone tried it?


Had it in Kenya. It was a really refreshing lager. It was available in Ontario for a few years. Haven't had one in a long time.

Also had this one

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-06-11 5:04:46 PM  

Gough: Looking at the big picture, doesn't everything humans have done have African roots??


Sort of.

There's some acceptance that Neanderthals and Denisovans split from heidelbergensis after the latter had left Africa. Humans have some of their DNA integrated back in, because we have low standards.
 
2020-06-11 6:20:52 PM  

Gough: Looking at the big picture, doesn't everything humans have done have African roots??


Mostly. I think the biggest thing that occured outside of Africa was domestication of some animals. Apparently there aren't a lot of animals that can be ridden.

Ages ago I read an arguement that sapiens moved away from being nomadic to make better booze. And I'm pretty sure there were permanent civilizations in parts of Africa since before recorded history. So, booze was probably not uncommon.
 
2020-06-11 7:16:23 PM  
Makes sense to me. People originated in Africa. People like to drink alcohol very much. Therefore, welcome to Fark.
 
2020-06-11 8:54:52 PM  

lonomoholo: kdawg7736: [cdn.mg.co.za image 300x400]

I want to try it. Has anyone tried it?

Had it in Kenya. It was a really refreshing lager. It was available in Ontario for a few years. Haven't had one in a long time.

Also had this one

[Fark user image 178x284]


So it wasn't real strong tasting or bitter?
 
2020-06-11 9:53:32 PM  
Magnanimous_J:
Can you imagine how much it would have sucked to be a beekeeper before they invented the protective clothes?

Have to be one of those bee charmers

i.pinimg.comView Full Size
 
2020-06-11 10:22:53 PM  

kdawg7736: lonomoholo: kdawg7736: [cdn.mg.co.za image 300x400]

I want to try it. Has anyone tried it?

Had it in Kenya. It was a really refreshing lager. It was available in Ontario for a few years. Haven't had one in a long time.

Also had this one

[Fark user image 178x284]

So it wasn't real strong tasting or bitter?


That'd be "My Ex-Wife" beer.
 
2020-06-11 11:14:44 PM  

GodComplex: Ages ago I read an arguement that sapiens moved away from being nomadic to make better booze. And I'm pretty sure there were permanent civilizations in parts of Africa since before recorded history. So, booze was probably not uncommon.


Fermentation invented civilization. 

Once we realized we could make stronger hooch if the stuff sat around for a couple weeks, we invented villages. 

Once we realized we could plant seeds and have the stuff that made the best wine keep coming back, we invented cities. If you've got beer/wine and bread, and a way to store (at least) grains for the winter...
 
2020-06-12 3:07:19 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


Reenactment of the first neolithic bee keeper
 
2020-06-12 6:48:14 PM  
The palm sap used to make palm wine sometimes comes out of the tree already fermented. I'm guessing it was humanity's first reliable source of booze.
 
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