Friday, October 23, 2015

Mesolithic Snack Food

Hazelnuts (image from Wikimedia Commons)
From the BBC News website comes this article about a recent find of a large quantity of charred hazelnut shells on the Isle of Skye near Staffin Bay. This is interesting because the find is approximately 8,000 years old. 

The article is headlined "Hazelnut Shells Found at Skye Mesolithic Site," and the write-up characterizes hazelnuts as the "snack food" of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. The dig was conducted by the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) along with the Staffin Community Trust, and school children and volunteers also worked on the dig. The UHI team found so much material in the dig that they cannot analyze it all on their budget, but are hoping to find additional funds to complete the job. 

What I love about archaeology is its ability to show us what foods were eaten thousands of years ago. Hazelnuts are not commonly eaten here in the US, but I need to shop for some now that I know that they were commonly eaten, at least in Britain, during the Stone Age.


  1. Cathy - I would suspect you are aware of various hazelnut butters mixed with cocoa powder and skimmed milk. ("Nutella" is probably the most famous brand.) Given your and Eric's enjoyment of good dark chocolates, you may want to experiment along those lines to see if you get a sandwich spread / fruit dip / etc. to your liking.

    1. I'm very aware of Nutella. (it's great in plain yogurt.) Eric isn't fond of yogurt and doesn't eat that many nut-butter sandwiches, but I often buy a jar of Nutella or a local brand equivalent for similar purposes.

    2. We had a go at making Nutella, and to be frank you could eat it by the spoonful, it's so good. Well, I could anyway... It was so good my daughter and I are planning to make Nutella truffles for Christmas presents. (It came out naturally very thick, enough to scoop and roll).