Next time you fire up the grill and cook some beef, remember that the ancient Mycenaeans are probably looking on with pride.
Some more interesting insights on the ancient Greek way of grilling are waiting for you on today’s guest blog. The author - Kendrick C. Kotter is an outdoor cooking passionate and a part-time blogger. He loves to explore and learn new things everyday and tries to share his experiences with everyone at FuriousGrill.
Do you have a grilling passion? Well, you are not the first person to have an outdoor cooking hobby.
In fact, according to an archeologist, Jule Hruby of Dartmouth College, the Greeks are one of the first population that started practicing grilling. The first grilling signs from Greeks come from more than 3,000 years ago.
All the research findings from this archeologist helped the Archeological Institute of America's annual conference to find out exactly how ancient Greeks used their primitive tools for grilling.
Even though Hruby's research is focused more on ancient souvlaki trays and griddles from Mycenaean-era sites in Greece, a lot of other facts and new things were learned from this research.
For a long time, archaeologists couldn't solve the mystery of how ancient Greeks used their primitive cookware found at excavation sites from 1600-1100 B.C. Some of these findings included several ceramic trays for skewered meat (better known as souvlaki in Greece). After they found these trays, they didn't know if they were used to be placed over a fire to catch dripping or if they were used more like portable barbecue pits to hold the coals.
Besides the ceramic trays (souvlaki), they also found griddles which they assumed were used for making bread. The texture of these griddles was smooth on one side and the other side was textured with small perforations. The archaeologists were not sure which side went up.
So, to better find out the usage of these tools, Julie decided to investigate even further by attempting to cook a meal just like ancient Greeks, Mycenaean style.
The effort was successful because it helped uncover the ancient Greek's grilling techniques.
They tried to place the souvlaki trays on top of hot coals, but the meat didn't get enough heat and when they changed the coals directly in the pan, the meat cooked perfectly.
Also, they reach a conclusion that these souvlaki trays were designed to be portable, for a picnic or for traveling. The ancient Greek's portable cookware was made of clay and as a result, they were inconveniently heavy, So, the ancient grills weren't too different from the ones the grilling companies use today for tailgating.
As for the griddles, the research found out that the perforations were actually an ancient not sticking technology. When they covered them with a couple of cups of oil, the textured griddle made a perfect flatbread. Even though it was a pretty advanced technique for the time, the same technique is used today for a lot of grilling.
Despite the tool findings, the research found out even some of the ingredients most of the ancient Greek's used. They used a lot of beef, pork or mutton as their main protein source and for the bread, they probably noshed on wheat, barley or emmer, a type of farro.
So, after reading these findings, we find out that a lot of techniques that we use today for grilling are derived from the Ancient Greek's and the next time you fire up the grill and cook some beef, remember that the ancient Myceneans are probably looking on with pride.