The Food Timeline Part 1

While we know that N1 offers the best Halaal meat South Africa has to offer, have you ever wondered how food has changed over the centuries – when did we first begin cooking for instance, or when did we first discover figs? Some things are easy to imagine – a world before McDonalds, or a time when roast boar and suckling pig were par for the course, but if we were to draw a timeline, what would the evolution of our food look like? According to Wikipedia, here are a few of the highlights.


  • 2 million years ago: man moves away from eating only nuts and berries to begin eating meat
  • 250,000 years ago: hearths make their appearance suggesting man officially begins cooking his food
  • 40,000 years ago: man begins to eat Halaal fish – analysis of skeletal remains show that a modern human from eastern Asia regularly consumed freshwater fish
  • 30,000 years ago: evidence for flour appears and was most likely used to make unleavened bread.


  • 9300 – 5000 BC: man discovers and cultivates figs, squash, bananas and potatoes
  • 7000 BC: the Chinese begin brewing fermented alcoholic drinks similar in process and method to the ancient Egyptians
  • 6000 BC: grapes are first grown for wine in the Southern Caucasus – modern-day Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • 5500 BC: evidence of cheesemaking is found in Poland

4000 – 1 BC

  • 4000 BC: watermelon, originally domesticated in central Africa, becomes an important crop in northern Africa and southwestern Asia
  • 3500-3000 BC: several breeds of sheep are established in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt
  • 1900 BC: the first evidence of chocolate drinks appear in Mokaya – modern-day Mexico and parts of the Pacific coast of Guatemala
  • 300 BC: citron is brought to Greece by Alexander the Great


  • 8th century: the original sushi, known today as narezushi, is introduced to Japan after first being developed in Southeast Asia and south China
  • 9th century: the first record of cucumber cultivation occurs – in France
  • 800: Cod becomes an important economic commodity in international markets lasting more than 1,000 years and is still today an important Norwegian Halaal fishpotatoes trade
  • 997: The term pizza first appears in a Latin text which mentions giving a bishop twelve pizzas every Christmas day and another twelve every Easter Sunday


  • 1100: Wafers are introduced from France into Britain, by the Normans – not crisp as we are familiar with today, but more cake-like
  • 1100: watermelons reach the shores of China
  • 15th century: the Portuguese begin fishing for cod
  • 1450: written records of palm oil being used as food appear

Next week, in Part II of The Food Timeline, we’ll pick up from the 16th century and how the Spanish first encountered potatoes – and speaking of potatoes, remember that N1 offer not just the best Halaal meat in South Africa, but also a wide range of high-quality frozen potato products including French fries, hash browns, rostis, mashed potato and croquettes.