Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the flowers, stems, leaves and seeds; the alternate definition of the term vegetable is applied somewhat arbitrarily by culinary and cultural tradition. It may exclude foods derived from some plants that are fruits and cereal grains, but include fruits from others such as tomatoes and courgettes and seeds such as pulses. Vegetables were collected from the wild by hunter-gatherers and entered cultivation in several parts of the world during the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC, when a new agricultural way of life developed. At first, plants which grew locally would have been cultivated, but as time went on, trade brought exotic crops from elsewhere to add to domestic types. Nowadays, most vegetables are grown all over the world as climate permits, crops may be cultivated in protected environments in less suitable locations.
China is the largest producer of vegetables and global trade in agricultural products allows consumers to purchase vegetables grown in faraway countries. The scale of production varies from subsistence farmers supplying the needs of their family for food, to agribusinesses with vast acreages of single-product crops. Depending on the type of vegetable concerned, harvesting the crop is followed by grading, storing and marketing. Vegetables can be eaten either raw or cooked and play an important role in human nutrition, being low in fat and carbohydrates, but high in vitamins and dietary fiber. Many nutritionists encourage people to consume plenty of fruit and vegetables, five or more portions a day being recommended; the word vegetable was first recorded in English in the early 15th century. It comes from Old French, was applied to all plants, it derives from Medieval Latin vegetabilis "growing, flourishing", a semantic change from a Late Latin meaning "to be enlivening, quickening". The meaning of "vegetable" as a "plant grown for food" was not established until the 18th century.
In 1767, the word was used to mean a "plant cultivated for food, an edible herb or root". The year 1955 saw the first use of the shortened, slang term "veggie"; as an adjective, the word vegetable is used in scientific and technical contexts with a different and much broader meaning, namely of "related to plants" in general, edible or not—as in vegetable matter, vegetable kingdom, vegetable origin, etc. The exact definition of "vegetable" may vary because of the many parts of a plant consumed as food worldwide—roots, leaves, flowers and seeds; the broadest definition is the word's use adjectivally to mean "matter of plant origin". More a vegetable may be defined as "any plant, part of, used for food", a secondary meaning being "the edible part of such a plant". A more precise definition is "any plant part consumed for food, not a fruit or seed, but including mature fruits that are eaten as part of a main meal". Falling outside these definitions are edible fungi and edible seaweed which, although not parts of plants, are treated as vegetables.
In the latter-mentioned definition of "vegetable", used in everyday language, the words "fruit" and "vegetable" are mutually exclusive. "Fruit" has a precise botanical meaning, being a part that developed from the ovary of a flowering plant. This is different from the word's culinary meaning. While peaches and oranges are "fruit" in both senses, many items called "vegetables", such as eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, are botanically fruits; the question of whether the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable found its way into the United States Supreme Court in 1893. The court ruled unanimously in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is identified as, thus taxed as, a vegetable, for the purposes of the Tariff of 1883 on imported produce; the court did acknowledge, that, botanically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. Before the advent of agriculture, humans were hunter-gatherers, they foraged for edible fruit, stems, leaves and tubers, scavenged for dead animals and hunted living ones for food. Forest gardening in a tropical jungle clearing is thought to be the first example of agriculture.
Plant breeding through the selection of strains with desirable traits such as large fruit and vigorous growth soon followed. While the first evidence for the domestication of grasses such as wheat and barley has been found in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, it is that various peoples around the world started growing crops in the period 10,000 BC to 7,000 BC. Subsistence agriculture continues to this day, with many rural farmers in Africa, South America, elsewhere using their plots of land to produce enough food for their families, while any surplus produce is used for exchange for other goods. Throughout recorded history, the rich have been able to afford a varied diet including meat and fruit, but for poor people, meat was a luxury and the food they ate was dull comprising some staple product made from rice, barley, millet or maize; the addition of vegetable matter provided some variety to the diet. The staple diet of the Aztecs in Central America was maize and they cultivated tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, squashes and amaranth seeds to supplement their tortillas and porridge.
In Peru, the Incas subsisted on maize in the lowla
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection
The lemon, Citrus limon Osbeck, is a species of small evergreen tree in the flowering plant family Rutaceae, native to South Asia North eastern India. The tree's ellipsoidal yellow fruit is used for culinary and non-culinary purposes throughout the world for its juice, which has both culinary and cleaning uses; the pulp and rind are used in cooking and baking. The juice of the lemon is about 5% to 6% citric acid, with a pH of around 2.2, giving it a sour taste. The distinctive sour taste of lemon juice makes it a key ingredient in drinks and foods such as lemonade and lemon meringue pie; the origin of the lemon is unknown, though lemons are thought to have first grown in Assam, northern Burma or China. A genomic study of the lemon indicated it was a hybrid between bitter citron. Lemons entered Europe near southern Italy no than the second century AD, during the time of Ancient Rome. However, they were not cultivated, they were introduced to Persia and to Iraq and Egypt around 700 AD. The lemon was first recorded in literature in a 10th-century Arabic treatise on farming, was used as an ornamental plant in early Islamic gardens.
It was distributed throughout the Arab world and the Mediterranean region between 1000 and 1150. The first substantial cultivation of lemons in Europe began in Genoa in the middle of the 15th century; the lemon was introduced to the Americas in 1493 when Christopher Columbus brought lemon seeds to Hispaniola on his voyages. Spanish conquest throughout the New World helped spread lemon seeds, it was used as an ornamental plant and for medicine. In the 19th century, lemons were planted in Florida and California. In 1747, James Lind's experiments on seamen suffering from scurvy involved adding lemon juice to their diets, though vitamin C was not yet known as an important dietary ingredient; the origin of the word lemon may be Middle Eastern. The word draws from the Old French limon Italian limone, from the Arabic laymūn or līmūn, from the Persian līmūn, a generic term for citrus fruit, a cognate of Sanskrit. The'Bonnie Brae' is oblong, thin-skinned and seedless; these are grown in San Diego County, USA.
The'Eureka' grows year-round and abundantly. This is the common supermarket lemon known as'Four Seasons' because of its ability to produce fruit and flowers together throughout the year; this variety is available as a plant to domestic customers. There is a pink-fleshed Eureka lemon, with a green and yellow variegated outer skin. The'Femminello St. Teresa', or'Sorrento' is native to Italy; this fruit's zest is high in lemon oils. It is the variety traditionally used in the making of limoncello. The'Yen Ben' is an Australasian cultivar. Lemons are a rich source of vitamin C, providing 64% of the Daily Value in a 100 g serving. Other essential nutrients, have insignificant content. Lemons contain numerous phytochemicals, including polyphenols and tannins. Lemon juice contains more citric acid than lime juice, nearly twice the citric acid of grapefruit juice, about five times the amount of citric acid found in orange juice. Lemon juice and peel are used in a wide variety of foods and drinks; the whole lemon is used to make lemon curd and lemon liqueur.
Lemon slices and lemon rind are used as a garnish for food and drinks. Lemon zest, the grated outer rind of the fruit, is used to add flavor to baked goods, puddings and other dishes. Lemon juice is used to make lemonade, soft drinks, cocktails, it is used in marinades for fish, where its acid neutralizes amines in fish by converting them into nonvolatile ammonium salts. In meat, the acid hydrolyzes tough collagen fibers, tenderizing the meat, but the low pH denatures the proteins, causing them to dry out when cooked. In the United Kingdom, lemon juice is added to pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. Lemon juice is used as a short-term preservative on certain foods that tend to oxidize and turn brown after being sliced, such as apples and avocados, where its acid denatures the enzymes. In Morocco, lemons are preserved in barrels of salt; the salt penetrates the peel and rind, softening them, curing them so that they last indefinitely. The preserved lemon is used in a wide variety of dishes. Preserved lemons can be found in Sicilian, Italian and French dishes.
The leaves of the lemon tree are used to make a tea and for preparing cooked seafoods. Lemons were the primary commercial source of citric acid before the development of fermentation-based processes; the juice of the lemon may be used for cleaning. A halved lemon dipped in salt or baking powder is used to brighten copper cookware; the acid dissolves the tarnish, the abrasives assist the cleaning. As a kitchen cleaning agent the juice can deodorize, remove grease, bleach stains, disinfect; the oil of the lemon's peel has various uses. It is used as a wood cleaner and polish, where its solvent property is employed to dissolve old wax and grime. Lemon oil and orange oil are used as a nontoxic insecticide treatment. Lemon oil may be used in aromatherapy. Lemon oil aroma may contribute to relaxation. One educational science experiment involves attaching electrodes to a lemon and using it as a battery to produce electricity. Although low power, several lemon batteries can power a small digital watch; these experiments work with other fruits and vegetables.
Lemon juice may
A croissant is a buttery, viennoiserie pastry of Austrian origin, named for its historical crescent shape. Croissants and other viennoiserie are made of a layered yeast-leavened dough; the dough is layered with butter and folded several times in succession rolled into a sheet, in a technique called laminating. The process results in a layered, flaky texture, similar to a puff pastry. Crescent-shaped breads have been made since the Renaissance, crescent-shaped cakes since antiquity. Croissants have long been a staple of Austrian and French bakeries and pâtisseries. In the late 1970s, the development of factory-made, pre-formed but unbaked dough made them into a fast food which can be freshly baked by unskilled labor; the croissanterie was explicitly a French response to American-style fast food, as of 2008 30–40% of the croissants sold in French bakeries and patisseries were baked from frozen dough. Croissants are a common part of a continental breakfast in France; the kipferl, the ancestor of the croissant, has been documented in Austria going back at least as far as the 13th century, in various shapes.
The kipferl can be made plain or with nuts or other fillings. Some Egyptians claim, that the kipferl may have been based on the feteer meshaltet pastry known to the Egyptians; the birth of the croissant itself—that is, its adaptation from the plainer form of kipferl, before the invention of viennoiseries—can be dated to at least 1839 when an Austrian artillery officer, August Zang, founded a Viennese bakery at 92, rue de Richelieu in Paris. This bakery, which served Viennese specialties including the kipferl and the Vienna loaf became popular and inspired French imitators; the French version of the kipferl was named for its crescent shape and has become an identifiable shape across the world. Alan Davidson, editor of the Oxford Companion to Food, found no printed recipe for the present-day croissant in any French recipe book before the early 20th century. However, early recipes for non-laminated croissants can be found in the 19th century and at least one reference to croissants as an established French bread appeared as early as 1850.
Zang himself returned to Austria in 1848 to become a press magnate, but the bakery remained popular for some time afterwards, was mentioned in several works of the time: "This same M. Zank...founded around 1830, in Paris, the famous Boulangerie viennoise". Several sources praise this bakery's products: "Paris is of exquisite delicacy. By 1869, the croissant was well established enough to be mentioned as a breakfast staple, in 1872, Charles Dickens wrote of "the workman's pain de ménage and the soldier's pain de munition, to the dainty croissant on the boudoir table"The puff pastry technique which now characterizes the croissant was mentioned in the late 17th century, when La Varenne's Le Cuisinier françois gave a recipe for it in the 1680 and earlier, editions, it was used not on its own but for shells holding other ingredients. It does not appear to be mentioned in relation to the croissant until the 20th century. Stories of how the Kipferl — and so the croissant — was created are widespread and persistent culinary legends, going back to the 19th century.
However, there are no contemporary sources for any of these stories, an aristocratic writer, writing in 1799, does not mention the Kipferl in a long and extensive list of breakfast foods. The legends include tales that it was invented in Europe to celebrate the defeat of the Umayyad forces by the Franks at the Battle of Tours in 732, with the shape representing the Islamic crescent; the above-mentioned Alan Davidson proposed that the Islamic origin story originated with 20th-century writer Alfred Gottschalk, who gave two versions, one in the Larousse Gastronomique and the other in his History of Food and Gastronomy: According to one of a group of similar legends, which vary only in detail, a baker of the 17th century, working through the night at a time when his city was under siege by the Turks, heard faint underground rumbling sounds which, on investigation, proved to be caused by a Turkish attempt to invade the city by tunneling under the walls. The tunnel was blown up; the baker asked no reward other than the exclusive right to bake crescent-shaped pastries commemorating the incident, the crescent being the symbol of Islam.
He was duly rewarded in this way, the croissant was born. The story seems to owe its origin, or at least its wide diffusion, to Alfred Gottschalk, who wrote about the croissant for the first edition of the Larousse Gastronomique and there gave the legend in the Turkish attack on Budapest in 1686 version; this has led to croissants being banned by some Islamic fundamentalists. However, many in the Arab world ho
Poultry are domesticated birds kept by humans for their eggs, their meat or their feathers. These birds are most members of the superorder Galloanserae the order Galliformes. Poultry includes other birds that are killed for their meat, such as the young of pigeons but does not include similar wild birds hunted for sport or food and known as game; the word "poultry" comes from the French/Norman word poule, itself derived from the Latin word pullus, which means small animal. The domestication of poultry took place several thousand years ago; this may have been as a result of people hatching and rearing young birds from eggs collected from the wild, but involved keeping the birds permanently in captivity. Domesticated chickens may have been used for cockfighting at first and quail kept for their songs, but soon it was realised how useful it was having a captive-bred source of food. Selective breeding for fast growth, egg-laying ability, conformation and docility took place over the centuries, modern breeds look different from their wild ancestors.
Although some birds are still kept in small flocks in extensive systems, most birds available in the market today are reared in intensive commercial enterprises. Together with pig meat, poultry is one of the two most eaten types of meat globally, with over 70% of the meat supply in 2012 between them. All poultry meat should be properly handled and sufficiently cooked in order to reduce the risk of food poisoning; the word "poultry" comes from the West & English "pultrie", from Old French pouletrie, from pouletier, poultry dealer, from poulet, pullet. The word "pullet" itself comes from Middle English pulet, from Old French polet, both from Latin pullus, a young fowl, young animal or chicken; the word "fowl" is of Germanic origin. "Poultry" is a term used for any kind of domesticated bird, captive-raised for its utility, traditionally the word has been used to refer to wildfowl and waterfowl but not to cagebirds such as songbirds and parrots. "Poultry" can be defined as domestic fowls, including chickens, turkeys and ducks, raised for the production of meat or eggs and the word is used for the flesh of these birds used as food.
The Encyclopædia Britannica lists the same bird groups but includes guinea fowl and squabs. In R. D. Crawford's Poultry breeding and genetics, squabs are omitted but Japanese quail and common pheasant are added to the list, the latter being bred in captivity and released into the wild. In his 1848 classic book on poultry and Domestic Poultry: Their History, Management, Edmund Dixon included chapters on the peafowl, guinea fowl, mute swan, various types of geese, the muscovy duck, other ducks and all types of chickens including bantams. In colloquial speech, the term "fowl" is used near-synonymously with "domesticated chicken", or with "poultry" or just "bird", many languages do not distinguish between "poultry" and "fowl". Both words are used for the flesh of these birds. Poultry can be distinguished from "game", defined as wild birds or mammals hunted for food or sport, a word used to describe the flesh of these when eaten. Chickens are medium-sized, chunky birds with an upright stance and characterised by fleshy red combs and wattles on their heads.
Males, known as cocks, are larger, more boldly coloured, have more exaggerated plumage than females. Chickens are gregarious, ground-dwelling birds that in their natural surroundings search among the leaf litter for seeds and other small animals, they fly except as a result of perceived danger, preferring to run into the undergrowth if approached. Today's domestic chicken is descended from the wild red junglefowl of Asia, with some additional input from grey junglefowl. Domestication is believed to have taken place between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, what are thought to be fossilized chicken bones have been found in northeastern China dated to around 5,400 BC. Archaeologists believe domestication was for the purpose of cockfighting, the male bird being a doughty fighter. By 4,000 years ago, chickens seem to have reached the Indus Valley and 250 years they arrived in Egypt, they were regarded as symbols of fertility. The Romans used them in divination, the Egyptians made a breakthrough when they learned the difficult technique of artificial incubation.
Since the keeping of chickens has spread around the world for the production of food with the domestic fowl being a valuable source of both eggs and meat. Since their domestication, a large number of breeds of chickens have been established, but with the exception of the white Leghorn, most commercial birds are of hybrid origin. In about 1800, chickens began to be kept on a larger scale, modern high-output poultry farms were present in the United Kingdom from around 1920 and became established in the United States soon after the Second World War. By the mid-20th century, the poultry meat-producing industry was of greater importance than the egg-laying industry. Poultry breeding has produced strains to fulfil different needs. Male birds are unwanted in the egg-laying industry and can b
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans. Seafood prominently includes shellfish. Shellfish include various species of molluscs and echinoderms. Sea mammals such as whales and dolphins have been consumed as food, though that happens to a lesser extent in modern times. Edible sea plants, such as some seaweeds and microalgae, are eaten as seafood around the world in Asia. In North America, although not in the United Kingdom, the term "seafood" is extended to fresh water organisms eaten by humans, so all edible aquatic life may be referred to as seafood. For the sake of completeness, this article includes all edible aquatic life; the harvesting of wild seafood is known as fishing or hunting, the cultivation and farming of seafood is known as aquaculture, or fish farming in the case of fish. Seafood is distinguished from meat, although it is still animal and is excluded in a vegetarian diet. Seafood is an important source of protein in many diets around the world in coastal areas.
Most of the seafood harvest is consumed by humans, but a significant proportion is used as fish food to farm other fish or rear farm animals. Some seafoods are used as food for other plants. In these ways, seafoods are indirectly used to produce further food for human consumption. Products, such as oil and spirulina tablets, are extracted from seafoods; some seafood is used to feed domestic pets, such as cats. A small proportion is used industrially for non-food purposes; the harvesting and consuming of seafoods are ancient practices with archaeological evidence dating back well into the Paleolithic. Findings in a sea cave at Pinnacle Point in South Africa indicate Homo sapiens harvested marine life as early as 165,000 years ago, while the Neanderthals, an extinct human species contemporary with early Homo sapiens, appear to have been eating seafood at sites along the Mediterranean coast beginning around the same time. Isotopic analysis of the skeletal remains of Tianyuan man, a 40,000-year-old anatomically modern human from eastern Asia, has shown that he consumed freshwater fish.
Archaeology features such as shell middens, discarded fish bones and cave paintings show that sea foods were important for survival and consumed in significant quantities. During this period, most people lived a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and were, of necessity on the move. However, where there are early examples of permanent settlements such as those at Lepenski Vir, they are always associated with fishing as a major source of food; the ancient river Nile was full of fish. The Egyptians had implements and methods for fishing and these are illustrated in tomb scenes and papyrus documents; some representations hint at fishing being pursued as a pastime. Fishing scenes are represented in ancient Greek culture, a reflection of the low social status of fishing. However, Oppian of Corycus, a Greek author wrote a major treatise on sea fishing, the Halieulica or Halieutika, composed between 177 and 180; this is the earliest such work. The consumption of fish varied in accordance with the location of the household.
In the Greek islands and on the coast, fresh fish and seafood were common. They were eaten locally but more transported inland. Sardines and anchovies were regular fare for the citizens of Athens, they were sometimes sold fresh, but more salted. A stele of the late 3rd century BCE from the small Boeotian city of Akraiphia, on Lake Copais, provides us with a list of fish prices; the cheapest was skaren. Common salt water fish were yellowfin tuna, red mullet, swordfish or sturgeon, a delicacy, eaten salted. Lake Copais itself was famous in all Greece for its eels, celebrated by the hero of The Acharnians. Other fresh water fish were pike-fish and the less appreciated catfish. Pictorial evidence of Roman fishing comes from mosaics. At a certain time the goatfish was considered the epitome of luxury, above all because its scales exhibit a bright red color when it dies out of water. For this reason these fish were allowed to die at the table. There was a recipe where this would take place in garo, in the sauce.
At the beginning of the Imperial era, this custom came to an end, why mullus in the feast of Trimalchio could be shown as a characteristic of the parvenu, who bores his guests with an unfashionable display of dying fish. In medieval times, seafood was less prestigious than other animal meats, seen as an alternative to meat on fast days. Still, seafood was the mainstay of many coastal populations. Kippers made from herring caught in the North Sea could be found in markets as far away as Constantinople. While large quantities of fish were eaten fresh, a large proportion was salted, and, to a lesser extent, smoked. Stockfish, cod, split down the middle, fixed to a pole and dried, was common, though preparation could be time-consuming, meant beating the dried fish with a mallet before soaking it in water. A wide range of mollusks including oysters and scallops were eaten by coastal and river-dwelling populations, freshwater crayfish were seen as a desirable alternative to meat during fish days. Compared to meat, fish was much more expensive for inland populations in Central Europe, therefo