The Secret Ancient History of Leftovers

Leftovers are the poor abandoned step child of the family of food world. Whether people squirrel the food away or parcel it out for lunch next day with the best intents until the food have gone bad, the leftovers are the most unnoticed reality of this modern life. Still, leftovers have an ancient story to be revealed and this curious history indicates humans about the changes happened in attitudes as well as technologies both towards dinner and affluence.

Leftovers didn’t exist until icebox (also known as proto-refrigerator) turned as a standard in the most of homes at the beginning of the 20th century. because the ancient people had no way to preserve food and keep them in the form of freshly prepared meal served on the table, since the preserving remaining food was as ample part of culinary process as the preparation.

Hope those Cookbooks would often come with a brochure carrying directions of making dishes along with the instructions for salting, pickling and curing the remaining food to prolong the lifespan of all the ingredients.

Jonathan Rees, an author of the Refrigeration Nation said that, “In order to keep leftovers, you need something to keep them in. It wasn’t until 1960 that electricity and a refrigerator could be found in the majority of American homes. There’s an impulse, with all the possibility of refrigeration, to buy more, and in turn, waste more. But there’s also the opposite impulse; suddenly we can preserve things.”

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