Monday, April 22 2024

Ancient snacks are those simple and genuine preparations that our grandparents consumed when they were children, to break hunger between meals or to refresh themselves after a day of work.

These are poor recipes, born out of the need to take advantage of available ingredients and not to waste anything, but they hide an authentic flavor and a fascinating history.


Let’s see what some of the most popular ancient snacks are and how they have been transformed over time.

 

 

THE BREAD BUTTER AND SUGAR

Butter and sugar bread is one of the sweetest and most mouth-watering ancient snacks, consisting of spreading a layer of butter on a slice of toast on which it melted, and sprinkling it with granulated or powdered sugar.

Butter and sugar bread can be enjoyed as is, or accompanied with fresh or dried fruit.

It was a typical snack for middle-class families who could afford butter, which was considered a valuable and expensive food.

The cheaper version was with oil and sugar, which were available at more affordable prices.

 

THE FRIED BREAD.

Fried bread is one of the simplest and tastiest of ancient snacks, consisting of tossing pieces of stale bread, thus making use of leftover bread, in beaten egg and then frying them in boiling oil until crispy and golden: a kind of French toast in a homemade sauce.

Once drained it was topped with sugar, but also with honey, chocolate or jam.

Fried bread has very ancient origins; it is said that it was already known to the ancient Romans, who called it “panis fritus.”

Besides being mouth-watering, it was also very satiating and nutritious, thanks to the presence of the egg.

 

BREAD AND MILK SOUP

This is one of the most nutritious and comforting ancient snacks, consisting of cooking stale bread in hot milk until it becomes thick and fragrant.

Bread and milk soup can be flavored with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa powder. It was a typical snack for peasant families, who had fresh milk from their cows and homemade bread, but it was also a way to give energy to children and the elderly, especially in the winter months.

Today, bread and milk soup is still a comforting and gentle snack as well as an alternative breakfast or light dinner.

 

BEATEN EGG

The beaten egg is one of the most protein-packed and flavorful ancient snacks, consisting of beating a raw yolk with sugar or honey until it forms a thick, sweet froth-a popular snack among children and young people, who consumed it to replenish their energy and vitality.

It was also a natural remedy for fatigue, anemia and colds.

Today, beaten egg is less commonly used as a snack because of the risk of salmonella.

 

THE SWEET POLENTA

Yet another recycling recipe that involves using leftover polenta from the day before, which is cut into slices and seared in a pan or on the grill or fried.

Then it can be topped with sugar, honey, butter, cheese or dried fruit.

It was a typical snack in mountain or rural areas, where polenta was the staple of the diet.

Sweet polenta was also a way to take advantage of cornmeal, which was cheaper and more readily available than wheat flour.

 

BREAD AND GRAPES.

Bread and fruit pairing is one of the oldest and most popular food combinations, which is based on the principle of contrasting sweet and savory, hot and cold, hard and soft.

However, not all types of fruits are suitable to together with bread, as they can create digestive problems or alter nutrient absorption.

Among those recommended was bread and grapes, a seasonal snack eaten in the fall when grapes were ripe and plentiful.

It was also a way to appreciate the fruits of the earth and the labor of the farmers.

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