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(The Conversation)   Does booze have an African heritage? The odds are pretty sweet   ( 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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403 clicks; posted to Food » on 11 Jun 2020 at 9:55 AM (25 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook

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2020-06-11 2:54:40 PM  
5 votes:
Looking at the big picture, doesn't everything humans have done have African roots??
2020-06-11 1:08:06 PM  
5 votes:
Booze makes itself. Birds and mammals get drunk off fermenting berries.
2020-06-11 10:39:23 AM  
5 votes:
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.
2020-06-11 7:16:23 PM  
3 votes:
Makes sense to me. People originated in Africa. People like to drink alcohol very much. Therefore, welcome to Fark.
2020-06-11 11:10:03 AM  
3 votes:
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 1:48:26 PM  
2 votes:
Ah a "just so" story.

I think a more likely "first alcohol" is palm wine.​n​e

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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 1:23:42 PM  
2 votes:

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.
2020-06-12 6:48:14 PM  
1 vote:
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.
2020-06-11 6:20:52 PM  
1 vote:

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 1:58:06 PM  
1 vote:
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?
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