When men were hunters and gatherers their diet was based on fruit, roots, root vegetables, eggs, seeds, meat, fish and not much more. The food, far from being elaborate, was simple and all about survival and, obviously, proximity. From those times to the present day, gastronomy has taken some giant steps, although some have decided to go back to our roots precisely in order to evolve.
The paleolithic diet -“paleo” for those familiar with it- was created for the purpose of improving health by basing one’s diet on ancient ways. If you think about it, human beings are the result of millions of years of biological evolution although our genes have barely changed during this process, quite the opposite of what has happened around us.
That’s why “paleo” cuisine imitates the dietary habits of our ancestors, but not the way they cooked. The fascinating thing about this cuisine is that “paleo” chefs can combine science with contemporary cuisine and a few primitive cooking methods. Therefore the main ingredients are seasonal vegetables, meat from animals that grazed or ate wild game, wild fish, eggs from hens that roamed free, food fermented at home, animal fat, non-refined vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and herbs. Cereals, processed carbohydrates, dairy products and refined oils and sugars have no place on a paleolithic menu.
“Paleo” cuisine is fashionable as a natural extension of this diet and is gaining more and more ground amongst foodies. In fact, many celebrities are already following it, including actors Matthew McConaughey and Uma Thurman, model Adriana Lima and tennis player Novak Djokovic.
But not everything stays in home kitchens; if you want top quality “paleo” food, you have to go to Berlin and reserve a table in the Sauvage. Its menu has been described by food critics as “a culinary shake-up”, maybe in part because it was the world’s first 100% paleo restaurant, and we have to say it’s been so successful they’ve already opened a second establishment.
Famous Australian chef Pete Evans is also a great defender of eating in a more caveman-style “paleo way”. Their gluten-free pizzas, for example, only have room for seeds and nuts, olives, extra virgin olive oil, wild vegetables and braised salmon.
Photo source: Sauvage