The analogous stages for the development of food fermentations could be the gathering stage of fermented fruits and meats, the home fermentation of fruits and meats by simple storage at home, and finally, the domestication stage in which man interfered by manipulating various factors affecting the process of fermentation, such as the use of salt, spices and other additives to augment the flavour or even to direct the course of fermentation.
The hunter-gatherer probably consumed, under normal conditions, fresh fruits and meats. But when these products became scarce at times, he or she must have picked up a fermented berry or rotten meat. The impetus to consume fermented products from the wild must have become maximized at times of famine. Repeated consumption of such food led to the development of the taste for them. The hunter-gatherer must have discovered very early that fermented products of nature had an augmented flavour, were easier to digest, quicker to cook and perhaps health-promoting. These fermented foods of nature were most likely succulent fruits, juicy meats and, possibly, honey. The list did not include dairy products, the probability of sour milk being obtained from the udder of a dead animal being much lower. The discovery of cereal fermentation most likely occurred when stored, intact or crushed seeds became moistened accidentally or intentionally by rain or added water in the cave or the hut. The same circumstances probably led to the discovery of malted cereals. It can thus be assumed that the discovery and practice of food fermentation preceded agriculture and the domestication of animals. Agriculture, however, must have given a great thrust to the art of fermentation, particularly in the area of cereal and dairy fermentations; the latter must have awaited the domestication of animals. Finally, the domestication stage in which man interfered by manipulating various factors affecting the process of fermentation, such as the use of salt, spices and other additives to augment the flavour or even to direct the course of fermentation.
NCCH (National Council for Culture Heritage and the Promotion of National Language