Bosnia and Herzegovina cuisine
Bosnia and Herzegovina cuisine is balanced between Western and Eastern influences. The food is related to former Yugoslav, Middle Eastern and other Balkan cuisines. Bosnian cuisine uses many spices, but in moderate quantities. Most dishes are light. Typical ingredients include tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, courgette and fresh beans, milk and cream called pavlaka and kajmak. Typical meat dishes include beef and lamb due to Islamic dietary laws, although the Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs can consume pork; some local specialties are ćevapi, dolma, pilav, gulaš, ajvar and a whole range of Eastern sweets. The best local wines come from Herzegovina. Plum or apple rakija, is produced in Bosnia. Đuveč – vegetable stew, similar to the Romanian ghiveci and Bulgarian gjuvec Grašak – pea stew Kačamak – a traditional Bosnian dish made of cornmeal and potatoes Kljukuša – grated potatoes mixed with flour and water and baked in an oven. Can be cooked with meat and sometimes served with kajmak.
Bamija Meze - an assortment of meats, vegetables, or other small dishes served before a meal Livno cheese - a dry yellow cheese from the west Bosnian town of Livno and surrounding villages Tešanjski– made from the nettle and milk, originates in the Tešanj district in northern central Bosnia and Herzegovina Travnički – a white feta-like cheese from the Travnik district in central Bosnia and Herzegovina Vlašićki – a highland cheese similar in its salty taste to Travnički, originates in the villages on Vlašić Mountain in central Bosnia and Herzegovina Suhi sir – a smoked cheese derived from posni sir Kajmak - a Turkish creamy dairy product, similar to clotted cream Pavlaka - a soured cream product like crème fraîche Baklava Halva Bombica Hurmašica – date-shaped pastry drenched in a sweet syrup Jabukovača – pastry made of filo dough stuffed with apples Kadaif Krofna - filled doughnut Krempita Oblatna Orašnica Palačinka Pekmez Rahatlokum Ružica – similar to baklava, but baked in a small roll with raisins Ruske Kape Šampita - a whipped marshmallow-type dessert with fillo dough crust Sutlijaš Tufahija – whole stewed apple stuffed with a walnut filling Tulumba - deep-fried dough sweetened with syrup Ajvar Ramadan pita Vegeta Somun and Ramadan somun.
Pogača Djevrek Lepinja Uštipci Wines are produced in Herzegovina, in the regions of Mostar, Čitluk, Ljubuški, Domanovići, Međugorje. Medovina Kruškovac Pelinkovac Rakija Blatina Žilavka Local spirits are distilled from plums, pears, or grapes, with alcohol content of 45% and higher. Šljivovica Boza Salep Ajran Bosnian coffee Šerbe Elder juice Sač Tim Clancy, Bosnia & Herzegovina, The Bradt Travel Guide, 2004, pp. 93–97, ISBN 1-84162-094-7 Darra Goldstein. Culinary cultures of Europe: identity and dialogue. Council of Europe. Pp. 87–94. ISBN 92-871-5744-8
Lokma, Loukoumades, or Bāmiyeh are pastries made of leavened and deep fried dough, soaked in syrup or honey, sometimes coated with cinnamon or other ingredients. The dish was described as early as the 13th century by al-Baghdadi as luqmat al-qādi, "judge's morsels". Lokma means "mouthful" or "morsel", from Arabic لقمة luqma; the recipe for Luqmat al-Qadi, yeast-leavened dough boiled in oil and doused in honey or sugar syrup with rosewater, dates back to at least the early medieval period and the 13th-century Abbasid Caliphate, where it is mentioned in several of the existent cookery books of the time. It is mentioned in the One Thousand and One Nights, in the story The Porter and the Three Ladies of Baghdad. Today, in Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, sometimes spiced with cardomom or saffron, are little changed. In the Levant, they are called zalabieh; the explorer and scholar Ibn Battuta in the 14th century encountered the dish he knew as Luqaymat al-Qadi at a dinner in Multan part of India, where his hosts called it al-Hashimi.
Boortsog, called pişi or tuzlu lokma in Turkish, Lokma without any sweet syrup or honey, is a staple food for Turkic and Mongolian cuisines. Lokma in the form of a dessert is made with flour, sugar and salt, fried in oil and bathed in syrup or honey. Lokma is first described as part of Turkish cuisine in the 9th century Kara-Khanid Khanate, it was cooked by palace cooks in the Ottoman Empire for centuries and spread to the cuisines of the former countries of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans, Middle East and the Caucasus. While in the former Ottoman countries such as Iraq and Greece it is an ordinary dessert, it has a ceremonial meaning in Turkey and is not consumed as an everyday dessert. Traditionally, forty days after someone passes away, close relatives and friends of the deceased cook Lokma in large quantities and serve to neighbours and passersby. People form queues to get a plate and recite a prayer for the soul of the deceased in return after eating the Lokma. Lokma in Greece and Cyprus, called Loukoumades, are spiced with cinnamon in a honey syrup and can be sprinkled with powdered sugar.
The exact recipe for Lokma has evolved over many centuries. The ancient recipes were inherited via the Byzantine empire and passed on to the occupied countries of the Ottoman Empire, corresponding to where Lokma are found today; the candidate most mentioned as being prepared with hot oil is enkrides, described above along with other postulated ancestral honey-cakes. Lokum is called sfingi by the Greek Jews; the tradition is claimed to have been originated by the Romaniotes. Various other kinds of fried dough with syrup are found in the Mediterranean, the Middle East, South Asia, from the Italian struffoli and zeppole to the Indian jalebi and gulab jamun; the oldest documentation of a related but not identical dish is in the tomb of Ramses IV, where something more like jalebi is shown being prepared. The Ancient Greek enchytoi consisted of a cheese-and-flour dough squeezed into hot fat covered with honey. A dish similar to lokma is described by Archestratus, a Greek poet from Sicily, was enkris —a dough-ball fried in olive oil, which he details in his Gastronomy.
The most complete description of it in the Deipnosophists is a passage that reads: πεμμάτιον ἑψόμενον ἐν ἐλαίῳ καὶ μετὰ τοῦτο μελιτούμενον, μνημονεύει αὐτῶν Στησίχορος διὰ τούτων χόνδρον τε καὶ ἐγκρίδας ἄλλα τε πέμματα καὶ μέλι χλωρόν. There are cakes called ἐγκρίδες; these are cakes boiled in oil, after that seasoned with honey. It is mentioned in preserved fragments of Aristophanes's Danaids and Pherecrates's Crapataloi and AntiphonThis word is used in the Greek Septuagint to describe the manna eaten by the Israelites in the Book of Exodus καὶ ἐπωνόμασαν οἱ υἱοὶ Ισραηλ τὸ ὄνομα αὐτοῦ Μαν ἦν δὲ ὡς σπέρμα κορίου λευκόν τὸ δὲ γεῦμα αὐτοῦ ὡς ἐγκρὶς ἐν μέλιτι And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white, and in the Book of Numbers, «καὶ διεπορεύετο ὁ λαὸς καὶ συνέλεγον καὶ ἤληθον αὐτὸ ἐν τῷ μύλῳ καὶ ἔτριβον ἐν τῇ θυΐᾳ καὶ ἥψουν αὐτὸ ἐν τῇ χύτρᾳ καὶ ἐποίουν αὐτὸ ἐγκρυφίας, καὶ ἦν ἡ ἡδονὴ αὐτοῦ ὡσεὶ γεῦμα ἐγκρὶς ἐξ ἐλαίου» And the people went about, gathered it, ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, baked it in pans, made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.
There may be a connection to the ritual feeding of the victors at ancient Olympia. Aristotle and other ancient writers refer to kharisioi plakoi or plakonta, translated as " cakes or " cakes"; these were offered to the victorious athletes in a ritualized ceremony along with the kotinos wreath. No recipe survives. A fragment from Callimachus has been used to argue the supposed antiquity of lokum and a connection to the ancient Olympics by, among others, The Washington Post
The Albanian cuisine is a representative of the cuisine of the Mediterranean. It is an example of the Mediterranean diet based on the importance of olive oil, fruits and fish; the cooking traditions of the Albanian people are diverse in consequence of the environmental factors that are more suitable for the cultivation of nearly all kinds of herbs and fruits. Olive oil is the most ancient and used vegetable fat in Albanian cooking, produced since antiquity throughout the country along the coasts. Hospitality is a fundamental custom of Albanian society and serving food is integral to the hosting of guests and visitors, it is not infrequent for visitors to be invited to drink with locals. The medieval Albanian code of honour, called besa, resulted to look after guests and strangers as an act of recognition and gratitude. Albanian cuisine can be divided into three major regional cuisines; the cuisine of the northern region has a rural and mountainous origin. Meat and vegetables are central to the cuisine of the northern region.
The people there use many kinds of ingredients, which grow in the region including potatoes, maizes, cabbages but cherries and almonds. Garlic and onions are as well important components to the local cuisine and added to every dish; the cuisine of the central region is threefold of rural and coastal. The central region is the flattest and rich in vegetation and biodiversity as well as culinary specialties, it has Mediterranean characteristics due to its proximity to the sea, rich in fish. Dishes here include several meat desserts of all kinds. In the south, the cuisine is composed of two components: the rural products of the field including dairy products, citrus fruits and olive oil, coastal products, i.e. seafood. Those regions are conducive to raising animals, as pastures and feed resources are abundant. Besides garlic, onions are arguably the country's most used ingredient. Albania is ranked second in the world in terms of onion consumption per capita. In his 17th-century work Seyahatnâme the Ottoman writer Evliya Çelebi described several foods that he ate in the "vicinity of Ohrid" at the "green mountain pasture of Istok": We went from fold to fold, staying in tents, eating the yoghurt and cheeses and beestings and curds and cream with honey and omelets with honey, drinking the buttermilk and whey, savoring the kebabs of roasted lamb and trout, quaffing water from the ice-cold streams and various kinds of honey sherbets, snacking on a thousand kinds of herbs and tendrils and sorrel and wild strawberries and sour cherries, having a good time.
The strategic location of Albania in the western Balkan Peninsula with a direct proximity to the Mediterranean Sea has a large influence on Albanian cuisine. Many foods that are common in the Mediterranean Basin, such as olives, chickpeas, dairy products, fish and vegetables, are prominent in the Albanian cooking tradition. Albania has a distinctly Mediterranean climate. Across the country's territory, there are a wide range of microclimates due to differing soil types and topography that allow a variety of products to be grown. Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons and olives thrive in the country; every region has its own typical breakfast. Breakfast consists of a light meal. Fresh bread is eaten and served with butter, cheese and yogurt, accompanied with olives, milk, tea or raki, it is common to have a cup of coffee or tea for breakfast. Coffee and tea is enjoyed both in homes or at the many cafés that feature in towns and cities throughout the country. Lunch is traditionally the biggest meal of the day for Albanians.
Everyone in Albania enjoys this lunch break, from school children to shop workers and government officials. Traditionally, people go back to their houses to have lunch with their families, but it is now common to have lunch with groups of friends at restaurants or cafeterias. Lunch sometimes consists of gjellë, a main dish of cooked meat with various vegetables, accompanied by a salad of fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, green peppers and olives. Salads are served with meat dishes and are dressed with salt, virgin olive oil, white vinegar or lemon juice. Grilled or fried vegetables and sausages and various forms of omelettes are eaten during lunch, accompanied by coffee, fruit juices and milk. Dinner in Albania is a smaller meal consisting only of a variety of breads, fresh fish or seafood, cheese and various kind of vegetables, similar to breakfast, or sandwiches. Located in Southern Europe with a direct proximity to the Mediterranean Sea, the Albanian cuisine features a wide range of fresh fruits, growing in the fertile Albanian soil and under the warm sun.
In consideration of being an agricultural country, Albania is a significant fruit importer and exporter. Besides citrus fruits, strawberries and raspberries are among the most cultivated fruits. A lot of Albanians keep various fruit trees in their yards across the fertile country's territory. Fresh and dried fruits are eaten as desserts. Fruits that are traditionally associated with Albanian cuisine include apple, olive, nectarine, cherry, pomegranate, watermelon, lemon, plum, raspberry and carnelian cherry. A wide variety of vegetables are always used in Albanian cooking. Due to the different climate and soil conditions across Albania, cultivars of cabbages, beetroots, beans
The Middle East is a transcontinental region centered on Western Asia and Egypt. Saudi Arabia is geographically the largest Middle Eastern nation; the corresponding adjective is Middle Eastern and the derived noun is Middle Easterner. The term has come into wider usage as a replacement of the term Near East beginning in the early 20th century. Arabs, Persians and Azeris constitute the largest ethnic groups in the region by population. Arabs constitute the largest ethnic group in the region by a clear margin. Indigenous minorities of the Middle East include Jews, Assyrians, Copts, Lurs, Samaritans, Shabaks and Zazas. European ethnic groups that form a diaspora in the region include Albanians, Circassians, Crimean Tatars, Franco-Levantines, Italo-Levantines. Among other migrant populations are Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Pashtuns and sub-Saharan Africans; the history of the Middle East dates back to ancient times, with the importance of the region being recognized for millennia. Several major religions have their origins in the Middle East, including Judaism and Islam.
The Middle East has a hot, arid climate, with several major rivers providing irrigation to support agriculture in limited areas such as the Nile Delta in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates watersheds of Mesopotamia, most of what is known as the Fertile Crescent. Most of the countries that border the Persian Gulf have vast reserves of crude oil, with monarchs of the Arabian Peninsula in particular benefiting economically from petroleum exports; the term "Middle East" may have originated in the 1850s in the British India Office. However, it became more known when American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan used the term in 1902 to "designate the area between Arabia and India". During this time the British and Russian Empires were vying for influence in Central Asia, a rivalry which would become known as The Great Game. Mahan realized not only the strategic importance of the region, but of its center, the Persian Gulf, he labeled the area surrounding the Persian Gulf as the Middle East, said that after Egypt's Suez Canal, it was the most important passage for Britain to control in order to keep the Russians from advancing towards British India.
Mahan first used the term in his article "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September 1902 in the National Review, a British journal. The Middle East, if I may adopt a term which I have not seen, will some day need its Malta, as well as its Gibraltar. Naval force has the quality of mobility; the British Navy should have the facility to concentrate in force if occasion arise, about Aden and the Persian Gulf. Mahan's article was reprinted in The Times and followed in October by a 20-article series entitled "The Middle Eastern Question," written by Sir Ignatius Valentine Chirol. During this series, Sir Ignatius expanded the definition of Middle East to include "those regions of Asia which extend to the borders of India or command the approaches to India." After the series ended in 1903, The Times removed quotation marks from subsequent uses of the term. Until World War II, it was customary to refer to areas centered around Turkey and the eastern shore of the Mediterranean as the "Near East", while the "Far East" centered on China, the Middle East meant the area from Mesopotamia to Burma, namely the area between the Near East and the Far East.
In the late 1930s, the British established the Middle East Command, based in Cairo, for its military forces in the region. After that time, the term "Middle East" gained broader usage in Europe and the United States, with the Middle East Institute founded in Washington, D. C. in 1946, among other usage. The description Middle has led to some confusion over changing definitions. Before the First World War, "Near East" was used in English to refer to the Balkans and the Ottoman Empire, while "Middle East" referred to Iran, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Turkestan. In contrast, "Far East" referred to the countries of East Asia With the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire in 1918, "Near East" fell out of common use in English, while "Middle East" came to be applied to the re-emerging countries of the Islamic world. However, the usage "Near East" was retained by a variety of academic disciplines, including archaeology and ancient history, where it describes an area identical to the term Middle East, not used by these disciplines.
The first official use of the term "Middle East" by the United States government was in the 1957 Eisenhower Doctrine, which pertained to the Suez Crisis. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles defined the Middle East as "the area lying between and including Libya on the west and Pakistan on the east and Iraq on the North and the Arabian peninsula to the south, plus the Sudan and Ethiopia." In 1958, the State Department explained that the terms "Near East" and "Middle East" were interchangeable, defined the region as including only Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. The Associated Press Styleboo
Butter is a dairy product with high butterfat content, solid when chilled and at room temperature in some regions, liquid when warmed. It is made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk to separate the butterfat from the buttermilk, it is used as a spread on plain or toasted bread products and a condiment on cooked vegetables, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water, added salt. Most made from cow's milk, butter can be manufactured from the milk of other mammals, including sheep, goats and yaks. Salt and preservatives are sometimes added to butter. Rendering butter, removing the water and milk solids, produces clarified butter or ghee, entirely butterfat. Butter is a water-in-oil emulsion resulting from an inversion of the cream, where the milk proteins are the emulsifiers. Butter remains a firm solid when refrigerated, but softens to a spreadable consistency at room temperature, melts to a thin liquid consistency at 32 to 35 °C.
The density of butter is 911 grams per Litre. It has a pale yellow color, but varies from deep yellow to nearly white, its natural, unmodified color is dependent on the source animal's feed and genetics, but the commercial manufacturing process manipulates the color with food colorings like annatto or carotene. The word butter derives from the Latin butyrum, the latinisation of the Greek βούτυρον; this may be a compound of βοῦς, "ox, cow" + τυρός, "cheese", "cow-cheese". The word turos is attested in Mycenaean Greek; the unlatinized form is found in the name butyric acid, a compound found in rancid butter and dairy products such as Parmesan cheese. In general use, the term "butter" refers to the spread dairy product when unqualified by other descriptors; the word is used to describe puréed vegetable or seed and nut products such as peanut butter and almond butter. It is applied to spread fruit products such as apple butter. Fats such as cocoa butter and shea butter that remain solid at room temperature are known as "butters".
Non-dairy items that have a dairy-butter consistency may use "butter" to call that consistency to mind, including food items such as maple butter and witch's butter and nonfood items such as baby bottom butter, hyena butter, rock butter. Unhomogenized milk and cream contain butterfat in microscopic globules; these globules are surrounded by membranes made of phospholipids and proteins, which prevent the fat in milk from pooling together into a single mass. Butter is produced by agitating cream, which damages these membranes and allows the milk fats to conjoin, separating from the other parts of the cream. Variations in the production method will create butters with different consistencies due to the butterfat composition in the finished product. Butter contains fat in three separate forms: free butterfat, butterfat crystals, undamaged fat globules. In the finished product, different proportions of these forms result in different consistencies within the butter. Churning produces small butter grains floating in the water-based portion of the cream.
This watery liquid is called buttermilk—although the buttermilk most common today is instead a directly fermented skimmed milk. The buttermilk is drained off; the grains are "worked": pressed and kneaded together. When prepared manually, this is done using wooden boards called scotch hands; this consolidates the butter into a solid mass and breaks up embedded pockets of buttermilk or water into tiny droplets. Commercial butter is about 15 % water. Butterfat is a mixture of triglyceride, a triester derived from glycerol and three of any of several fatty acid groups. Butter becomes rancid when these chains break down into smaller components, like butyric acid and diacetyl; the density of butter is about the same as ice. In some countries, butter is given a grade before commercial distribution. Before modern factory butter making, cream was collected from several milkings and was therefore several days old and somewhat fermented by the time it was made into butter. Butter made from a fermented cream is known as cultured butter.
During fermentation, the cream sours as bacteria convert milk sugars into lactic acid. The fermentation process produces additional aroma compounds, including diacetyl, which makes for a fuller-flavored and more "buttery" tasting product. Today, cultured butter is made from pasteurized cream whose fermentation is produced by the introduction of Lactococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria. Another method for producing cultured butter, developed in the early 1970s, is to produce butter from fresh cream and incorporate bacterial cultures and lactic acid. Using this method, the cultured butter flavor grows. For manufacturers, this method is more efficient, since aging the cream used to make butter takes more space than storing the finished butter product. A method to make an artificial simulation of cultured butter is to add lactic acid and flavor compounds directly to the fresh-cream butter. Dairy products are pasteurized during production to kill pathogenic bacteria and other
A pastry bag is an cone- or triangular-shaped, hand-held bag made from cloth, paper, or plastic, used to pipe semi-solid foods by pressing them through a narrow opening at one end, for many purposes including cake decoration. It is filled through a wider opening at the opposite end, rolled or twisted closed, squeezed to extrude its contents. Though a circular nozzle is quite useful for making round shapes and for filling pastries such as profiteroles, many differently shaped nozzles are used to produce star and flower-petal shapes. Aside from icing, pastry bags are used to shape meringue and whipped cream, to fill doughnuts with jelly or custard, they are used to form cream puffs, éclairs, ladyfingers. When presentation is important, fluted tips can be used to shape savory foods such as filling for deviled eggs, whipped butter, mashed potatoes. A high-quality reusable bag is made from woven nylon, rubber or waterproofed cotton. Medium quality bags are similar, except they are not so woven and may let some contents seep through the weave or the seams.
After use, a reusable bag is hung open to dry. A high-quality bag may last for many years. Pastry bag users who do not have a dishwashing machine may prefer to use disposable bags, thus avoid hand-washing messy bags. Disposable bags are ready-made in inexpensive plastic. A plastic food storage bag is commonly used as a pastry bag. For small quantities and fine piping, a pastry bag can be made by rolling cooking parchment or wax paper into a cone, filling it, folding the wide end several times to close it, cutting the tip into whatever shape is desired; this is useful for small quantities of melted chocolate, since a small hole can be cut and the bag can be discarded when it cools and becomes clogged. Tips come in sets of interchangeable pieces, they may be plastic. Each tip is cone-shaped, with a base too large to fit through the small opening in the bag. Tips can be used with pairs of adapter rings: an inner ring is dropped inside the bag and pushed part way out the hole, a tip is slipped over the ring an outer ring is slipped over the tip and screwed onto the inner ring.
This permits the tip to be changed without emptying the bag. Some inexpensive sets are of disposable plastic film with screw-on plastic tips. Many foods can be purchased in disposable packaging designed to serve the function of a pastry bag. Pastry Pastry chef
Salt is a mineral composed of sodium chloride, a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of salts. Salt is present in vast quantities in seawater; the open ocean has about 35 grams of solids per liter of sea water, a salinity of 3.5%. Salt is essential for life in general, saltiness is one of the basic human tastes. Salt is one of the oldest and most ubiquitous food seasonings, salting is an important method of food preservation; some of the earliest evidence of salt processing dates to around 6,000 BC, when people living in the area of present-day Romania boiled spring water to extract salts. Salt was prized by the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and the Indians. Salt became an important article of trade and was transported by boat across the Mediterranean Sea, along specially built salt roads, across the Sahara on camel caravans; the scarcity and universal need for salt have led nations to go to war over it and use it to raise tax revenues. Salt has other cultural and traditional significance.
Salt is processed from salt mines, by the evaporation of seawater and mineral-rich spring water in shallow pools. Its major industrial products are caustic chlorine. Of the annual global production of around two hundred million tonnes of salt, about 6% is used for human consumption. Other uses include water conditioning processes, de-icing highways, agricultural use. Edible salt is sold in forms such as sea salt and table salt which contains an anti-caking agent and may be iodised to prevent iodine deficiency; as well as its use in cooking and at the table, salt is present in many processed foods. Sodium is an essential nutrient for human health via its role as an osmotic solute. Excessive salt consumption may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension, in children and adults; such health effects of salt have long been studied. Accordingly, numerous world health associations and experts in developed countries recommend reducing consumption of popular salty foods; the World Health Organization recommends that adults should consume less than 2,000 mg of sodium, equivalent to 5 grams of salt per day.
All through history, the availability of salt has been pivotal to civilization. What is now thought to have been the first city in Europe is Solnitsata, in Bulgaria, a salt mine, providing the area now known as the Balkans with salt since 5400 BC; the name Solnitsata means "salt works". While people have used canning and artificial refrigeration to preserve food for the last hundred years or so, salt has been the best-known food preservative for meat, for many thousands of years. A ancient salt-works operation has been discovered at the Poiana Slatinei archaeological site next to a salt spring in Lunca, Neamț County, Romania. Evidence indicates that Neolithic people of the Precucuteni Culture were boiling the salt-laden spring water through the process of briquetage to extract the salt as far back as 6050 BC; the salt extracted from this operation may have had a direct correlation to the rapid growth of this society's population soon after its initial production began. The harvest of salt from the surface of Xiechi Lake near Yuncheng in Shanxi, dates back to at least 6000 BC, making it one of the oldest verifiable saltworks.
There is more salt in animal tissues, such as meat and milk, than in plant tissues. Nomads who subsist on their flocks and herds do not eat salt with their food, but agriculturalists, feeding on cereals and vegetable matter, need to supplement their diet with salt. With the spread of civilization, salt became one of the world's main trading commodities, it was of high value to the ancient Hebrews, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Hittites and other peoples of antiquity. In the Middle East, salt was used to ceremonially seal an agreement, the ancient Hebrews made a "covenant of salt" with God and sprinkled salt on their offerings to show their trust in him. An ancient practice in time of war was salting the earth: scattering salt around in a defeated city to prevent plant growth; the Bible tells the story of King Abimelech, ordered by God to do this at Shechem, various texts claim that the Roman general Scipio Aemilianus Africanus ploughed over and sowed the city of Carthage with salt after it was defeated in the Third Punic War.
Salt may have been used for barter in connection with the obsidian trade in Anatolia in the Neolithic Era. Salt was included among funeral offerings found in ancient Egyptian tombs from the third millennium BC, as were salted birds, salt fish. From about 2800 BC, the Egyptians began exporting salt fish to the Phoenicians in return for Lebanon cedar and the dye Tyrian purple. Herodotus described salt trading routes across Libya back in the 5th century BC. In the early years of the Roman Empire, roads were built for the transportation of salt from the salt imported at Ostia to the capital. In Africa, salt was used as currency south of the Sahara, slabs of rock salt were used as coins in Abyssinia. Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for weight for weight; the Tuareg have traditionally maintained routes across the Sahara for the transportation of salt by Azalai. The caravans