Monday 4 May 2009

World's Oldest Recipe ... Beer!

On the weekend, there was a beer fact on my 365 Bottles of Beer calendar which says that the oldest recorded recipe ever found was one for ... you guessed it ... beer!

I had to do some research to see if, indeed, this is true.

It seems that the recipe was recorded on a Mesopotamian clay tablet which is over 4,000 years old and was found in what is now Iraq. The recipe comes from the ancient culture of Sumeria and its descendants. According to the Beer Institute, this formula, known as "The Hymn to Ninkasi", was handed down from the god of Wisdom Enki.

From the Gods? Pretty impressive!

I could not find when the stone tablet was discovered but did find out that attempts were made to translate it in the early 1900s. It was finally properly translated by Miguel Civil of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago in 1964.

On its tenth anniversary in 1989, Anchor Brewery with the help of Professor Miguel Civil attempted to recreate the "Ninkasi Beer" recipe. The beer ended up with an alcohol content of 3.5% and had a "dry taste lacking in bitterness ... similar to hard apple cider".

Interesting fact that one day might come in handy if you're ever on Jeopardy.


Teena in Toronto said...

Happy blogoversary, Gord!

You've been doing this for a year now!

Kris said...

Stopped by to wish you a Happy Blogoversary.

Glad to know beer was one of the first recorded recipes. I'd hate to know what life would be like if that recipe had been lost! lol

Anonymous said...

Hey, a cool blog, my favourite subject, I study a lot.

I am going to link your blog over at my Things that Fizz and Stuff:
and also on Blogger's Cafe:

Only came to wish you a Happy Blogoversary, my blog
is today too.