History of the greek flavors
Professor George Boskou
Though there is enough information about the food available in ancient, roman and byzantine times it is very difficult to approach the sense of flavors at that times. The epitomy of “Deipnosophistes” by Athenaeus as described in the works of Andrew Dalby, is p.e. a valuable resource. Replication of the recipes may lead to mis-perceptions since the materials or the conditions for the preparation may differ. This work presents a review of the concepts about taste and flavor according to ancient thinkers like Aristotle and Epicurus. It also presents the greek scholars that through their work have described flavors of their times. But the main core of this work is the investigation of the dominant flavors (salty, sweet, bitter, sour) in the food of different periods (from paleolithic until modern). A second approach investigates the dominant flavors in the traditional cuisines at different areas of Greece. The aim of this work is to examine the hypothesis that the cultural status of a nation may affect the sensory perception and in particular the flavor.
Keywords: flavor, taste, Greek, history, ancient