Linguists have developed ways to reconstruct dead languages like Proto Indo-European, the language from which many of the languages of western Eurasia, including Celtic, Latin, Sanskrit etc are descended.  Not the whole language perhaps.  But lots of words and some idea of the society they represent.

Pretty nifty.  So how do they do it?

Linguists rely on the theory that changes in sounds tend to be systematic.  The case of Proto Indo-European is the most famous with some 5000 words now established.  Especially impressive is that linguists can make predictions that have been confirmed when new inscriptions have been discovered.

So the question is are there systematic changes in cuisine or in elements of cuisine?  Do tastes change in systematic ways? Is it possible that there are general human preferences for soft, sweet, warm, crunchy, salty foods?    Could we thus make predictions (or better retrodictions) to earlier cuisines?

And could we confirm these retrodictions using residue analysis, for example?  A long shot, but wouldn’t that be something?

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