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Remains of the oldest wine used in America found on a Caribbean island

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A group of researchers identified in a fragment of Spanish pottery found on the small island of Mona, in Puerto Rico, what they consider to be the oldest known evidence of the use of wine in America.

In order to study dietary habits in the Greater Antilles before and after the arrival of Europeans, the scientists used various molecular analysis techniques, including gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, to investigate 40 turn-of-the-century pottery sherds. XV found in the place.

The results of the study, published in Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, suggest that instead of relying on European-style fish stews and dairy products, early Spanish settlers on Mona Island largely used ceramic objects to process foods of origin. vegetable.

The results of the molecular study showed that the ceramic jars would have contained products derived from vegetables adapted to arid zones, such as corn or amaranth, except for two vessels of Spanish olives.

Precisely in one of those olive vessels, found in a cave, the residues of wine were detected.

“Whether consumed by Europeans or by members of the indigenous population, this is direct evidence of the importation of European wine to a small Caribbean island shortly after the arrival of Spanish settlers,” the study concludes.

The indigenous people of this area of ​​the Caribbean cooked fish and meat on raised grills, and the term ‘barbecue’ itself was a word used by the Taino people, Science Daily reported.

The researchers suggest that, somehow, the local and Spanish culinary traditions came together, creating a fusion food and drink experience hundreds of years ago.

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“Two culinary worlds collided in the Caribbean more than 500 years ago, fueled by early Spanish colonial impositions,” said study leader Lisa Briggs, a researcher at the British Museum.

“The strong culinary traditions of the Taíno people in creating barbecue remained strong despite Spanish colonialism and influenced food around the world. This continues today as we are all familiar with a barbecue. I am very happy that this research sheds light on the cultural heritage of this community,” said the scientist.

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