P. Edronkin

Food And Gunpowder



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Did you know that it seems that there is a connection between eating and the discovery of gunpowder?

Indeed, some historians and anthropologists seem to think now that while so far it is clear that the Chinese perfected its formula, black powder may have evolved in a parallel fashion in many cultures. This is based on the fact that black powder is made out of carbon or coal, sulphur compounds as well as phosphates or nitrates containing the oxygen needed for the deflagration of powder.

Now, imagine the time of the Neanderthal people, o perhaps a tribe of the Cromagnon, or if you prefer, Homo Sapiens at some point in prehistoric times. A group of these individuals is becoming sedentary, thus, they start to use the same campfire, at the same cave or camp every day.

After some time, different chemicals begin to aggregate along with the ashes left. Carbon would be indeed abundant, and depending on the kind of rocks available in the area - used to built stone ovens, campfires, etc. - they may get compounds containing sulphur and nitrates, phosphates or chlorates.

The, it is only a matter of time until an approximate mixture of these substances is obtained, just by coincidence, and those primitive humans would start seeing something like prehistoric fireworks.

Indeed, that would have happened by coincidence, but nit just once, and over time the wise men, witches, wizards or chiefs of the tribe would have noticed the phenomenon. It may have become a curiosity until someone finally began studying it and discovered the required proportions to make it work.

These are important; if you do not have the right mixture, gunpowder would not work, so you have to get those numbers right, and thaw would not have been easy.

The Chinese got it right first than anyone else, but had they not, it would have been only a question of time until someone lese did.

By the way, we actually tried to cook with black powder, but the taste is not particularly good. So stick to traditional cooking and don't blow up your kitchen trying to create new homemade explosives!




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