Have you ever wondered how humans used to live thousands of years ago and how food shaped their lives? The National Museum in Delhi recently hosted an exhibition on India’s ancient food history. The event was named “Historical Gastronomica - The Indus Dining Experience” that goes back to more than 5000 years ago.
The ‘Indus Dining Experience’ was curated jointly by the National Museum and One Station Million Stories (OSMS). One Station Million Stories is a Delhi-based team that specializes in the craft of storytelling through extensive technical research.
The exhibition demonstrated how the first humans evolved due to food habits, learnt to distinguish edible from non-edible substance, food processing techniques and related architecture of the Harappans. It showed how Climate Change defined and continues to define Food Security. The exhibition resonated with anyone working towards the future of food.
The exhibition in the National Museum features an illustrative story of man’s food history since his evolution and continues to conclude at the Indus-Saraswati Civilization. It also had Gallery Walk, which demonstrated the use of Harrapan pottery and artefacts. However, the Food Tasting involved finger-food samplers and dinners.
One of the main draws of this exhibition was tasting the food of the Indus-Saraswati Civilization, which was recreated by National Award-winning Chef Saby (Sabyasachi Gorai). Chef Saby, who has a cult following in the culinary world, is the President - Young Chefs’ Forum of the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA).
Genomic data from diverse present-day South Asians reveal that there is continuity in our ancestral lineage linking us to the Iranian agriculturalists and South Asian hunter-gathers. Combined with the traditional knowledge of cooking styles and methods still practiced in present day villages of Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, Sindh and Baloch, it is possible that our basic diet bear more similarities to present day consumption than differences.