The first allusion to food that the Creator gives Man appears in Genesis (1: 29): “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food." But in eating the forbidden fruit, whose symbols had scholars scrambling for thousands of years, Man would have to toil from that moment forward to procure his own food from the earth. After the flood, his diet was no longer vegetarian. "Everything that lives and moves will serve as nourishment" (Genesis 9:3).
When God tells Moses to liberate the Jews from the Egyptian yoke and lead them to the Promised Land (historians identify the escape from Egypt by the Jewish people in the 12th Century BC), it is portrayed as "a land flowing with milk and honey "(Exodus 3:8), food symbolizing pleasure and abundance. Deuteronomy (8:7-9) provides an ideal menu: " For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing."
We read in the Book of Numbers (11:5) how the Jews, wandering in the desert of Sinai, recalled with nostalgia when they were in Egypt and ate "watermelons, melons, leeks, onions, garlic." In Deuteronomy and Leviticus there are also present rules for a division between clean and unclean animals, and those from which to abstain. Isaiah (66:15) predicts divine wrath on "those who eat swine's flesh, detestable things and mice." Among clean beasts was the kid and the calf, fattened especially for a festive occasions.
These foods are food staples in biblical times
According to the findings of funeral offerings in the ancient Near East, it is plausible that the most common foods were loaves of barley, flour, dairy products, fish, garlic, onions, various kinds of fruits and dates, and wine. Eating habits designed to endure over time, as evidenced once again the Bible, in the Second Book of Samuel, which lists the foods brought to King David (around 1000 BC) and his entourage in the camp: "Wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans, lentils, honey, curd, cheese from sheep's and cow's milk." Once again it is worth noting the overwhelming predominance of cereals and legumes, only lightly flavored with milk and honey. Similarly, some decades later, when he begins construction of the Temple, King Solomon, son of David, promises to King Hiram I of Tyre that he will provide building materials, twenty thousand measures of wheat (a kor is equivalent to 169 kg), as many of barley, twenty thousand pack-saddles of wine (a pack-saddle is more or less equivalent to 36 liters) and the same amount of olive oil.
The young Daniel and other scions of noble families of Israel had been taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar, who nonetheless wanted that they be treated with respect and ordered Asfenez, the eunuch of the court, that they be fed the king’s food and wine. Daniel and his companions chose "not to defile himself with the royal food and wine which the king drank" (Daniel, 1, 8) and demanded water, grains and legumes, as they were accustomed, reassuring the eunuch that with that diet he would have seen them more beautiful and strong than the king's own sons.
In the Gospels, bread is the food most commonly cited, prepared with wheat flour (Matthew, Luke) or with barley flour (John, Judith, Second Book of Kings) and the New Testament records the primitive method of using grain, plucking fresh ears and rubbing them in their hands to remove the chaff. The fertile soil produced fruit and those mentioned most are grapes, figs and olives that were eaten in brine. A sauce made of vinegar, dates, figs and raisins, called haroset, was used at Easter. Birds as food were never mentioned in the New Testament, except for vague references, however, reference is made to eggs. To add flavor to foods, they used salt, quoted from Job (6:6), whose properties are compared, inter alia, with ethical teachings in the Gospels (Matthew 5:13; Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34) and in the Epistles (Col 4:6). Other herbs and spices used to enhance food such as mint, dill, cumin and rue. They were all mentioned by Matthew (23:23), which also refers to the mustard plant, whose leaves were cut and used for flavors. With this abundance of legumes, whole grains, fruits and herbs, the Bible could still inspire a more virtuous behavior. Also at the table.
Expo Milano 2015 will be an opportunity to learn about foods of the world, sources of their traditions and the culinary history of Countries
. Retracing the past and offering a view to the future, the Pavilions offer an ideal journey through the world of gastronomy.