A packet is a small bag or pouch, made from paper, plastic film or another type of packing material used to contain single-use quantities of foods or consumer goods such as ketchup or shampoo. Packets are opened by making a small rip or tear in part of the package, squeezing out the contents. Condiments distributed in packets include ketchup, mayonnaise, salad cream, HP sauce, tartar sauce and soy sauce, they provide a simple and low-cost way of distributing small amounts of condiment with ready-to-eat packaged food such as hot dogs, French fries, or hamburgers, are common in fast food restaurants. The packets produce less contamination and mess than available condiments dispensed into small disposable cups or other containers if the food will be in transit before dining. Potpourri fragrances are sold in sachets. Potpourri sachet envelopes are filled with scented herbs and flowers or use vermiculite containing aromatic fragrance oil; these are known as potpourri wardrobe sachets. In Argentina and Uruguay and yogurts are sold in packets.
In 1983, the Indian company Cavin Kare began selling shampoo in small plastic packets instead of large bottles in order to make it more affordable to the poor. Sale of small amounts of shampoo and detergents in plastic packets is popular throughout the Philippines and other Eastern countries. In 2011, 87% of shampoo sold in India was in sachets; some packets are made of materials with known porosity to allow vapors from the pouch to escape. These pouches called sachets, can be placed in other packages to help control the atmosphere. Uses include: volatile corrosion inhibitors, oxygen scavengers, etc. Benjamin Eisenstadt invented a machine that produced the modern sugar packet after a failed endeavor to package and sell tea bags packaging other items, including sauces; the Sanford Redmond designed. Introduced into Australia in 1990, it is used in other countries, but the design has not been licensed in the USA. In 2010, the H. J. Heinz Company designed a new ketchup packet; the new design was made with a cup and easy tear, thus making it easier to dip food without a plate along with holding three times as much ketchup.
It has not been adopted. In Collinsville, the largest ketchup packet was created by H. J. Heinz Company for a fundraiser for the Collinsville Christian Academy. People could buy a bottle of ketchup for $1 to add to the ketchup packet. After it was filled, it weighed 1,500 lbs. and it was 8 ft × 4 ft across and 9.5 in thick. Annual production of ketchup packets by Heinz alone is 11 billion. Dip & Squeeze Sugar packet Teabag Yam, K. L. "Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology", John Wiley & Sons, 2009, ISBN 978-0-470-08704-6
Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale and with a strong priority placed on "speed of service" versus other relevant factors involved in culinary science. Fast food was created as a commercial strategy to accommodate the larger numbers of busy commuters and wage workers who did not have the time to sit down at a public house or diner and wait for their meal. By making speed of service the priority, this ensured that customers with limited time were not inconvenienced by waiting for their food to be cooked on-the-spot. For those with no time to spare, fast food became a multibillion-dollar industry; the fastest form of "fast food" consists of pre-cooked meals kept in readiness for a customer's arrival, with waiting time reduced to mere seconds. Other fast food outlets the hamburger outlets use mass-produced pre-prepared ingredients but take great pains to point out to the customer that the "meat and potatoes" are always cooked fresh and assembled "to order".
Although a vast variety of food can be "cooked fast", "fast food" is a commercial term limited to food sold in a restaurant or store with frozen, preheated or precooked ingredients, served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away. Fast food restaurants are traditionally distinguished by their ability to serve food via a drive-through. Outlets may be kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, or fast food restaurants. Franchise operations that are part of restaurant chains have standardized foodstuffs shipped to each restaurant from central locations. Fast food began with chip shops in Britain in the 1860s. Drive-through restaurants were first popularized in the 1950s in the United States; the term "fast food" was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam–Webster in 1951. Eating fast food has been linked to, among other things, colorectal cancer, high cholesterol, depression. Many fast foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar and calories; the traditional family dinner is being replaced by the consumption of takeaway fast food.
As a result, the time invested on food preparation is getting lower, with an average couple in the United States spending 47 minutes and 19 seconds per day on food preparation in 2013. The concept of ready-cooked food for sale is connected with urban developments. Homes in emerging cities lacked adequate space or proper food preparation accouterments. Additionally, procuring cooking fuel could cost as much as purchased produce. Frying foods in vats of searing oil proved as dangerous as it was expensive, homeowners feared that a rogue cooking fire "might conflagrate an entire neighborhood". Thus, urbanites were encouraged to purchase pre-prepared meats or starches, such as bread or noodles, whenever possible. In Ancient Rome, cities had street stands – a large counter with a receptacle in the middle from which food or drink would have been served, it was during post-WWII American economic boom that Americans began to spend more and buy more as the economy boomed and a culture of consumerism bloomed.
As a result of this new desire to have it all, coupled with the strides made by women while the men were away, both members of the household began to work outside the home. Eating out, considered a luxury, became a common occurrence, a necessity. Workers, working families, needed quick service and inexpensive food for both lunch and dinner; this need is what drove the phenomenal success of the early fast food giants, which catered to the family on the go. Fast food became an easy option for a busy family today. In the cities of Roman antiquity, much of the urban population living in insulae, multi-story apartment blocks, depended on food vendors for much of their meal. In the mornings, bread soaked in wine was eaten as a quick snack and cooked vegetables and stews in popina, a simple type of eating establishment. In Asia, 12th century Chinese scarfed down fried dough and stuffed buns, all of which still exist as contemporary snack food, their Baghdadi contemporaries supplemented home-cooked meals with processed legumes, purchased starches, ready-to-eat meats.
During the Middle Ages, large towns and major urban areas such as London and Paris supported numerous vendors that sold dishes such as pies, flans, wafers and cooked meats. As in Roman cities during antiquity, many of these establishments catered to those who did not have means to cook their own food single households. Unlike richer town dwellers, many could not afford housing with kitchen facilities and thus relied on fast food. Travelers such as pilgrims en route to a holy site, were among the customers. In areas with access to coastal or tidal waters,'fast food' included local shellfish or seafood, such as oysters or, as in London, eels; this seafood was cooked directly on the quay or close by. The development of trawler fishing in the mid-nineteenth century led to the development of a British favourite and chips, the first shop in 1860. A blue plaque at Oldham's Tommyfield Market marks the origin of the
A take-out or takeout. A concept found in many ancient cultures, take-out food is now common worldwide, with a number of different cuisines and dishes on offer; the concept of prepared meals to be eaten elsewhere dates back to antiquity. Market and roadside stalls selling food were common in Ancient Rome. In Pompeii, archaeologists have found a number of thermopolia, service counters opening onto the street which provided food to be taken away. There is a distinct lack of formal dining and kitchen area in Pompeian homes, which may suggest that eating, or at least cooking, at home was unusual. Over 200 thermopolia have been found in the ruins of Pompeii. In the cities of medieval Europe a number of street vendors sold take-out food. In medieval London, street vendors sold hot meat pies, sheep's feet and French wine, while in Paris roasted meats, squab and flans, cheeses and eggs were available. A large strata of society would have purchased food from these vendors, but they were popular amongst the urban poor, who would have lacked kitchen facilities in which to prepare their own food.
However, these vendors had a bad reputation being in trouble with civic authorities reprimanding them for selling infected meat or reheated food. The cooks of Norwich defended themselves in court against selling such things as "pokky pies" and "stynkyng mackerelles". In 10th and 11th century China, citizens of cities such as Kaifeng and Hangzhou were able to buy pastries such as yuebing and congyoubing to take away. By the early 13th century, the two most successful such shops in Kaifeng had "upwards of fifty ovens". A traveling Florentine reported in the late 14th century that in Cairo, people carried picnic cloths made of raw hide to spread on the streets and eat their meals of lamb kebabs and fritters that they had purchased from street vendors. In Renaissance Turkey, many crossroads saw vendors selling "fragrant bites of hot meat", including chicken and lamb, spit roasted. Aztec marketplaces had vendors that sold beverages such as atolli 50 types of tamales, as well as insects and stews.
After Spanish colonization of Peru and importation of European food stocks including wheat and livestock, most commoners continued to eat their traditional diets, but did add grilled beef hearts sold by street vendors. Some of Lima's 19th century street vendors such as "Erasmo, the'negro' sango vendor" and Na Aguedita are still remembered today. During the American colonial period, street vendors sold "pepper pot soup" "oysters, roasted corn ears and sweets," with oysters being a low-priced commodity until the 1910s when overfishing caused prices to rise. In 1707, after previous restrictions that had limited their operating hours, street food vendors had been banned in New York City. Many women of African descent made their living selling street foods in America in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the 19th century, street food vendors in Transylvania sold gingerbread-nuts, cream mixed with corn, bacon and other meat fried on tops of ceramic vessels with hot coals inside; the Industrial Revolution saw an increase in the availability of take-out food.
By the early 20th Century and chips was considered an "established institution" in Britain. The hamburger was introduced to America around this time; the diets of industrial workers were poor, these meals provided an "important component" to their nutrition. In India, local businesses and cooperatives, had begun to supply workers in the city of Bombay with tiffin boxes by the end of the 19th century. Take-out food can be purchased from restaurants that provide sit-down table service or from establishments specialising in food to be taken away. Providing a take-out service saves operators the cost of cutlery and pay for servers and hosts. Although once popular in Europe and America, street food has declined in popularity. In part, this can be attributed to a combination of the proliferation of specialized takeaway restaurants and legislation relating to health and safety. Vendors selling street food are still common in parts of Asia and the Middle East, with the annual turnover of street food vendors in Bangladesh and Thailand being described as important to the local economy.
Many restaurants and take-out establishments have benefited from the invention of the car. Drive-through or drive-thru outlets allow customers to order, pay for, receive food without leaving their cars; the idea was pioneered in 1931 in a California fast food restaurant, Pig Stand Number 21. By 1988, 51% of McDonald's turnover was being generated by drive-throughs, with 31% of all US take-out turnover being generated by them by 1990; some take-out businesses offer food for delivery, which involves contacting a local business by telephone or online. In countries including Australia, India, Japan, much of the European Union and the United S
A sandwich is a food consisting of vegetables, sliced cheese or meat, placed on or between slices of bread, or more any dish wherein two or more pieces of bread serve as a container or wrapper for another food type. The sandwich began as a portable finger food in the Western world, though over time it has become prevalent worldwide. Sandwiches are a popular type of lunch food, taken to work, school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch; the bread can be either plain, or coated with condiments such as mayonnaise or mustard, to enhance its flavour and texture. As well as being homemade, sandwiches are widely sold in restaurants and can be served hot or cold. There are both savoury sandwiches, such as deli meat sandwiches, sweet sandwiches, such as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; the sandwich is named after John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich. The Wall Street Journal has described it as Britain's "biggest contribution to gastronomy"; the modern concept of a sandwich using slices of bread as found within the West can arguably be traced to 18th-century Europe.
However, the use of some kind of bread or bread-like substance to lie under some other food, or used to scoop up and enclose or wrap some other type of food, long predates the eighteenth century, is found in numerous much older cultures worldwide. The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped meat from the Paschal lamb and bitter herbs in a soft matzah—flat, unleavened bread—during Passover in the manner of a modern wrap made with flatbread. Flat breads of only varying kinds have long been used to scoop or wrap small amounts of food en route from platter to mouth throughout Western Asia and northern Africa. From Morocco to Ethiopia to India, bread is baked in flat rounds, contrasting with the European loaf tradition. During the Middle Ages in Europe, thick slabs of coarse and stale bread, called "trenchers", were used as plates. After a meal, the food-soaked trencher was fed to a dog or to beggars at the tables of the wealthy, eaten by diners in more modest circumstances.
The immediate culinary precursor with a direct connection to the English sandwich was to be found in the Netherlands of the seventeenth century, where the naturalist John Ray observed that in the taverns beef hung from the rafters "which they cut into thin slices and eat with bread and butter laying the slices upon the butter"— explanatory specifications that reveal the Dutch belegde broodje, open-faced sandwich, was as yet unfamiliar in England. Perceived as food that men shared while gaming and drinking at night, the sandwich began appearing in polite society as a late-night meal among the aristocracy; the sandwich's popularity in Spain and England increased during the nineteenth century, when the rise of industrial society and the working classes made fast and inexpensive meals essential. In London, for example, at least seventy street vendors were selling ham sandwiches by 1850. In the United States, the sandwich was first promoted as an elaborate meal at supper. By the early twentieth century, as bread became a staple of the American diet, the sandwich became the same kind of popular, quick meal as was widespread in the Mediterranean.
The first written usage of the English word appeared in Edward Gibbon's journal, in longhand, referring to "bits of cold meat" as a "Sandwich". It was named after 4th Earl of Sandwich, an eighteenth-century English aristocrat, it is said that he ordered his valet to bring him meat tucked between two pieces of bread, others began to order "the same as Sandwich!" It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards cribbage, while eating, without using a fork, without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands. The rumour in its familiar form appeared in Pierre-Jean Grosley's Londres, translated as A Tour to London in 1772; the sober alternative is provided by Sandwich's biographer, N. A. M. Rodger, who suggests Sandwich's commitments to the navy, to politics and the arts, mean the first sandwich was more to have been consumed at his desk. Before being known as sandwiches, this food combination seems to have been known as "bread and meat" or "bread and cheese".
These two phrases are found throughout English drama from the seventeenth centuries. In the United States, a court in Boston, Massachusetts ruled in 2006 that a sandwich includes at least two slices of bread and "under this definition, this court finds that the term'sandwich' is not understood to include burritos and quesadillas, which are made with a single tortilla and stuffed with a choice filling of meat and beans." The issue stemmed from the question of whether a restaurant that sold burritos could move into a shopping centre where another restaurant had a no-compete clause in its lease prohibiting other "sandwich" shops. In Spain, where the word sandwich is borrowed from the English language, it refers to a food item made with English sandwich bread, it is otherwise known as a bocadillo. Similar usage applies in other Spanish-speaking cultures, such as Mexico, where the word torta is used for a popular variety of roll-type sandwiches. In the United Kingdom and Australia, the term sandwich is more narrowly defined than in the United States: it refers only to an item which uses sliced bread from a loaf.
An item with similar fillings, but using an entire bread roll cut
Barbecue sauce is used as a flavoring sauce, a marinade, condiment, or topping for meat cooked in the barbecue cooking style, including pork or beef ribs and chicken. It is used on many other foods as well; the ingredients vary even within individual countries, but most include some variation on vinegar, tomato paste, or mayonnaise as a base, as well as liquid smoke, onion powder, spices such as mustard and black pepper, sweeteners such as sugar or molasses. Some place the origin of barbecue sauce at the formation of the first American colonies in the 17th century. References to the substance start occurring in both English and French literature over the next two hundred years. South Carolina mustard sauce, a type of barbecue sauce, can be traced to German settlers in the 18th century. Early cookbooks did not tend to include recipes for barbecue sauce; the first commercially produced barbecue sauce was made by the Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company in Atlanta, Georgia. Its sauce was advertised for sale in the Atlanta Constitution, January 31, 1909.
Heinz released its barbecue sauce in 1940. Kraft Foods started making cooking oils with bags of spice attached, supplying another market entrance of barbecue sauce. Different geographical regions have allegiances to their particular styles and variations for barbecue sauce. For example and mustard-based barbecue sauces are popular in certain areas of the southern United States, while in the northern U. S. tomato-based barbecue sauces are well-known. In Asian countries a ketchup and corn syrup-based sauce is common. Mexican salsa can be used as a base for barbecue sauces; the sauce for asado, similar to barbecue in Argentina and Uruguay, is called chimichurri – a parsley based green sauce used as a condiment on the table, a marinade, a grilling sauce. Chimichurri is used on beef, pork, fowl and root vegetables. Chilean pebre, based on chopped tomato and contains onion, parsley or coriander and sometimes chilli, can be used in a similar manner, or served as an accompaniment to asado. In Brazil, the typical barbecue sauce is called "vinagrete".
In Australia, "barbecue sauce" principally refers to a condiment in the same regard as ketchup. It is a caramelized tomato-based sauce, dark brown in color, replicating the smoky flavors of barbecue grilling. Australian barbecue sauce made at home is sometimes a blend of tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Commercially, the various brands in the market range from a fruity flavor to a sauce similar to brown sauce; this type of BBQ sauce is commonly used in New Zealand. It is most applied to meats, either after being cooked or applied before for marination; the U. S. has a wide variety of differing barbecue sauce tastes. Some are based in regional tradition. East Carolina Sauce – Most American barbecue sauces can trace their roots to two sauces common in North Carolina and South Carolina; the simplest and the earliest were popularized by African slaves who advanced the development of American barbecue. They were made with vinegar, ground black pepper, hot chili pepper flakes, it is used as a "mopping" sauce to baste the meat while it was cooking and as a dipping sauce when it is served.
Thin and sharp, it cuts the fats in the mouth. There is little or no sugar in this sauce, which in turn has a noticeably more sour flavor than most other barbecue sauces. Lexington Dip – In Lexington and in the "Piedmont" hilly areas of western North Carolina, the sauce is called a dip, it is tomato sauce, or ketchup added. Kansas City – Thick, reddish-brown, tomato or ketchup-based with sugars and spices. Evolved from the Lexington Dip, it is different in that it is thick and sweet and does not penetrate the meat as much as sit on the surface; this is the most common and popular sauce in the US and all other tomato based sauces are variations on the theme using more or less of the main ingredients. Memphis – Similar to the Kansas City style having the same ingredients, but tending to have a larger percentage of vinegar and use molasses as a sweetener. Florida – Similar to the Memphis style because it has a higher percentage of vinegar than Kansas City style. Florida style is characterized by the tropical fruit flavors such as orange, guava, papaya and tamarind as well as peppers with some heat such as chipotle and habanero.
Because of its fruity flavor, it is served with pork, beef and seafood. South Carolina Mustard Sauce – Part of South Carolina is known for its yellow barbecue sauces made of yellow mustard, vinegar and spices; this sauce is most common in a belt from Columbia to an area settled by many Germans. Vinegar-based sauces with black pepper are common in the coastal plains region as in North Carolina, thin tomato- and vinegar-based sauces are common in the hilly regions as in North Carolina. Texas – In some of the older, more traditional restaurants the sauces are seasoned with cumin, chili peppers, bell peppers, chili powder or ancho powder, lots of black pepper, fresh onion, only a touch of tomato, little or no sugar, they contain meat drippings and smoke flavor because meats are dipped into them, they are medium thick and resemble a thin tomato soup. They penetrate the meat rather than sit on top. Bottled barbecue sauces from Texas are often
Apicius is a collection of Roman cookery recipes thought to have been compiled in the 1st century AD and written in a language, in many ways closer to Vulgar than to Classical Latin. The name "Apicius" had long been associated with excessively refined love of food, from the habits of an early bearer of the name, Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gourmet and lover of refined luxury, who lived sometime in the 1st century AD during the reign of Tiberius, he is sometimes erroneously asserted to be the author of the book, pseudepigraphically attributed to him. Apicius is a text to be used in the kitchen. In the earliest printed editions, it was called De re coquinaria, attributed to an otherwise unknown Caelius Apicius, an invention based on the fact that one of the two manuscripts is headed with the words "API CAE" or rather because there are a few recipes attributed to Apicius in the text: Patinam Apicianam sic facies Ofellas Apicianas, it is known as De re culinaria. The Latin text is organized in ten books with Greek titles, in an arrangement similar to that of a modern cookbook: Epimeles — The Careful Housekeeper Sarcoptes — The Meat Mincer, Ground-beef Cepuros — The Gardener, Vegetables Pandecter — Many Ingredients Ospreon — Pulse, Legumes Aeropetes — Birds, Poultry Polyteles — The Gourmet Tetrapus — The Quadruped, Four-legged animals Thalassa — The Sea, Sea-food Halieus — The Fisherman The foods described in the book are useful for reconstructing the dietary habits of the ancient world around the Mediterranean Basin.
But the recipes are geared for the wealthiest classes, a few contain what were exotic ingredients at that time. A sample recipe from Apicius follows: Aliter haedinam sive agninam excaldatam: mittes in caccabum copadia. Cepam, coriandrum minutatim succides, teres piper, cuminum, oleum, vinum. Coques, exinanies in patina, amulo obligas. <agnina> a crudo trituram mortario accipere debet, caprina autem cum coquitur accipit trituram. Hot kid or lamb stew. Put the pieces of meat into a pan. Finely chop an onion and coriander, pound pepper, cumin, garum and wine. Cook, turn out into a shallow pan, thicken with wheat starch. If you take lamb you should add the contents of the mortar while the meat is still raw, if kid, add it while it is cooking. In a different manuscript, there is a abbreviated epitome entitled Apici excerpta a Vinidario, a "pocket Apicius" by "an illustrious man" named Vinidarius, made as late as the Carolingian era; the Vinidarius of this book may have been a Goth, in which case his Gothic name may have been Vinithaharjis, but this is only conjecture.
Despite being called "illustrious," nothing about him is known. Apici excerpta a Vinidario survives in a single 8th-century uncial manuscript. Despite the title, this booklet is not an excerpt purely from the Apicius text we have today, as it contains material, not in the longer Apicius manuscripts. Either some text was lost between the time the excerpt was made and the time the manuscripts were written, or there never was a "standard Apicius" text because the contents changed over time as it was adapted by readers. Once manuscripts surfaced, there were two early printed editions of Apicius, in Venice. Four more editions in the next four decades reflect the appeal of Apicius. In the long-standard edition of C. T. Schuch, the editor added some recipes from the Vinidarius manuscript. Between 1498 and 1936, there were 14 editions of the Latin text; the work was not translated, however. The French translation by Bertrand Guégan was awarded the 1934 Prix Langlois by the Académie française. Vehling made the first translation of the book into English under the title Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome.
It is still in print, having been reprinted in 1977 by Dover Publications. It is now of historical interest only, since Vehling's knowledge of Latin was not always adequate for the difficult task of translation, several and more reliable translations now exist. Medieval cuisine Le Viandier – a recipe collection credited to Guillaume Tirel, c 1300 Liber de Coquina – is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks; the Forme of Cury – is an extensive collection of medieval English recipes of the 14th century. Apicii decem libri qui dicuntur De re coquinaria ed. Mary Ella Milham. Leipzig: Teubner, 1969; the Roman Cookery Book: A Critical Translation of the Art of Cooking By Apicius for Use in the Study and the Kitchen. Trans. Barbara Flower and Elisabeth Rosenbaum. London: Harrap, 1958. Apicius: A Critical Edition with an Introduction and an English Translation. Ed. and trans. Christopher Grocock and Sally Grainger. Totnes:Prospect Books, 2006. ISBN 1-903018-13-7 Apicius. L'art culinaire. Ed. and trans. Jacques André.
Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1974. Apicius. Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome. Trans. Joseph Dommers Vehling. 1936. The Roman Cookery of Apicius. Trans. John Edwards. Vancouver: Hartley & Marks, 1984. Nicole van der Auwera & Ad Meskens, Apicius. De re
History of India
Anatomically modern humans are thought to have arrived on the Indian subcontinent between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago. Settled life, which involves the transition from foraging to farming and pastoralism, began in South Asia around 7,000 BCE. By 4,500 BCE, settled life had become more prevalent, evolved into the Indus Valley Civilization. Considered a cradle of civilisation, the Indus Valley civilisation, which spread and flourished in the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent from 3300 to 1300 BCE, was the first major civilisation in South Asia. A sophisticated and technologically advanced urban culture developed in the Mature Harappan period, from 2600 to 1900 BCE. Indus Valley Civilisation was noted for developing new techniques in handicraft, carnelian products, seal carving, urban planning, baked brick houses, efficient drainage systems, water supply systems and clusters of large non-residential buildings; this civilisation collapsed at the start of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Iron Age Vedic Civilisation.
In the beginning of the second millennium BCE climate change, with persistent drought, led to the abandonment of the urban centers of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Its population resettled in smaller villages, and, in the north-west, mixed with Indo-Aryan tribes, who moved into the area in several waves of Aryan migration driven by the effects of this climate change; the Vedic period was marked by the composition of the Vedas, large collections of hymns of some of the Aryan tribes, whose postulated religious culture, through synthesis with the preexisting religious cultures of the subcontinent, gave rise to Hinduism. The era saw the eventual emergence of Janapadas, social stratification based on caste, which created a hierarchy of priests, warriors and laborers; the Later Vedic Civilisation extended over the Indo-Gangetic plain and much of the Indian subcontinent, as well as witnessed the rise of major polities known as the Mahajanapadas. In one of these kingdoms, Gautama Buddha and Mahavira propagated their Śramaṇic philosophies during the fifth and sixth centuries BCE.
Most of the Indian subcontinent was conquered by the Maurya Empire during the 4th and 3rd centuries BCE. From the 3rd century BCE onwards Prakrit and Pali literature in the north and the Tamil Sangam literature in southern India started to flourish. Wootz steel originated in south India in the 3rd century was exported to foreign countries. During the Classical period, various parts of India were ruled by numerous dynasties for the next 1,500 years, among which the Gupta Empire stands out; this period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilisation, administration and religion spread to much of Asia, while kingdoms in southern India had maritime business links with the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia, which led to the establishment of Indianised kingdoms in Southeast Asia; the most significant event between the 7th and 11th century was the Tripartite struggle centred on Kannauj that lasted for more than two centuries between the Pala Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Gurjara-Pratihara Empire.
Southern India saw the rise of multiple imperial powers from the middle of the fifth century, most notably the Chalukya, Pallava, Chera and Western Chalukya Empires. The Chola dynasty conquered southern India and invaded parts of Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bengal in the 11th century. In the early medieval period Indian mathematics, including Hindu numerals, influenced the development of mathematics and astronomy in the Arab world. Islamic conquests made limited inroads into modern Afghanistan and Sindh as early as the 8th century, the Delhi Sultanate was founded in 1206 CE by Central Asian Turks who ruled a major part of the northern Indian subcontinent in the early 14th century, but declined in the late 14th century; this period saw the emergence of several powerful Hindu states, notably Vijayanagara and Ahom, as well as Rajput states, such as Mewar. The 15th century saw the advent of Sikhism; the early modern period began in the 16th century, when the Mughal Empire conquered most of the Indian subcontinent, becoming the biggest global economy and manufacturing power, with a nominal GDP that valued a quarter of world GDP, superior than the combination of Europe's GDP.
The Mughals suffered a gradual decline in the early 18th century, which provided opportunities for the Marathas, Sikhs and Nawabs of Bengal to exercise control over large regions of the Indian subcontinent. From the late 18th century to the mid-19th century, large areas of India were annexed by the British East India Company of the British Empire. Dissatisfaction with Company rule led to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, after which the British provinces of India were directly administered by the British Crown and witnessed a period of rapid development of infrastructure, economic decline and major famines. During the first half of the 20th century, a nationwide struggle for independence was launched, led by the Indian National Congress, joined by other organisations; the Indian subcontinent gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1947, after the British provinces were partitioned into the dominions of India and Pakistan and the princely states all acceded to one of the new states. Hominins expansion from Africa