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A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate

The Ancient History of Chocolate, Gift of the Gods

In today’s society, chocolate is a popular treat, and comes in many forms, including blocks, paste and powder. Several centuries ago, however, chocolate was considered a luxury item, and came only in...
Black Donkey’s Underworld Ale.

An Ancient Irish Cave Gives Birth to a Fine Brew

In an ancient cave known locally as the “gateway to the underworld,” located near the village of Tulsk, Co. Roscommon, where legends tell of the birth of Queen Medb of Connacht, a team of scientists...
Roman fresco with banquet scene from the Casa dei Casti Amanti

Savoring the Danger: ‘Sugar of Lead’ Was Used to Flavor Roman Food and Wine with Toxic Consequences

How far did ancient people go to enhance the flavor of their food and drinks? Would they consume toxic substances if it made things a little more appetizing? The Romans did, by adding a sweet version...
Detail of ‘Monk tasting wine’ by Josef Wagner-Höhenberg.

Feeling Guilty About Drinking? Well, Ask the Saints

Michael Foley / The Conversation Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing...
Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Little Known Links Between Spirits You Drink and the Holy Spirit

Beer may have been invented by the ancient Egyptians, but it was perfected in medieval monasteries, which gave us modern brewing as we know it. They also pioneered and improved several methods of...
A photo inside the Sunland Big Baobab.

Fancy Sipping a Pint in a 1700-Year-Old Tree? You Can at The Baobab Tree Bar

The Sunland Big Baobab is a bar nestled inside the hollow of a baobab tree. This bar is located on the Sunland Farm in South Africa. As baobabs begin to hollow on the inside as they age, empty...
Booker T. Washington dining with Teddy Roosevelt.

A Deadly Passion for Coffee: How Did this Addictive Drink Fuel the History of the World?

If you cannot imagine a day without a warm cup or mug of coffee, you are not alone. Many of the most famous stories of the world are related to people who loved coffee. Did you know that Benjamin...
Phryne on the Poseidon's celebration in Eleusis by Nikolay Pavlenko, 1894

The Ancient Greek Symposium: Just an Excuse for Debauchery?

It’s no secret that the ancient Greeks loved to have parties, dance and drink for every occasion. It could be celebrating a birth, the arrival of a loved person or a marriage. Indeed, in many cases...
The French Brews Brothers: Benedictine Monks Bring a Traditional Brewing Practice Back to Life

The French Brews Brothers: Benedictine Monks Bring a Traditional Brewing Practice Back to Life

Between prayer, Gregorian chants, and spiritual contemplation, Benedictine monks of Saint-Wandrille monastery in northern France are now dedicating their spare time to producing France's only...
Mexico Sees Resurgence of Pulque, Ancient Alcoholic Beverage of Mesoamerica

Mexico Sees Resurgence of Pulque, Ancient Alcoholic Beverage of Mesoamerica

Mexico is seeing a renewed interest in the traditional alcoholic beverage known as pulque, a milky drink made from the sap of the agave, whose origins go back thousands of years. Although the ancient...
Alcohol for the Ancients: The Oldest Drinks in the World

Alcohol for the Ancients: The Oldest Drinks in the World

Archaeological records related to ancient drinks are quite rare, but they take us to realms of ancient life which were hidden for a long time. With new technologies and chemical analysis, scientists...
An Iron Brew: 2,500-Year-Old Drink Recreated by Archaeologists and Brewers

An Iron Brew: 2,500-Year-Old Drink Recreated by Archaeologists and Brewers

In some of the latest news in archaeology, a bronze cauldron was discovered inside a burial plot from 400 or 450 BC in Germany. The walls of the vessel contained precious remnants of an old drink...
A Drink Fit for Goddesses: Beer and Mankind in Ancient Mythology

A Drink Fit for Goddesses: Beer and Mankind in Ancient Mythology

It is widely known these days that beer is one of the oldest beverages human beings have ever produced. Beer-related items and activities familiar to us today can be traced back to the ancient world...
Examples of variegated maize ears and a figurine from the Casas Grandes culture c. 1200 - 1450.

Drinking in the Past: Centuries Old Evidence for Consumption of Corn Beer Found in Mexico

By analyzing calculus on the teeth of the remains of people who died in an influential Mexican city hundreds of years ago, researchers are getting clues about their diet. One finding was that the...
An Elegant Party (detail), painting of a small Chinese banquet hosted by the emperor for scholar-officials from the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Leaf Buds Discovered in Tomb of Early Chinese Emperor May Be the Oldest Example of Fine Tea

Archaeologists have identified the oldest known tea in the tomb of Jing Di, a Han Dynasty Chinese emperor who went into the afterlife well-provisioned with food, weapons, a ceramic-animal army and...
Chief Saturiwa prepares his men for battle during a ceremony involving the black drink.

People in the Southwestern United States drank caffeinated drinks in 750 AD

The sparse population inhabiting the area that is now the Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico during the eighth century AD regularly consumed drinks made from cacao—the plant that is...

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