Sri Lanka has a unique food culture with an extended history since Sri Lanka owns a distinct culture and a civilization. There are various written evidences, archaeological evidences and folklore, which describe the history of foods and food patterns of ancient Sri Lanka. Stone tools were used in the prehistoric period for grind, cut and scrape, are found. Prehistoric man of Sri Lanka used stonecutters and scrapers for preparation and eating of food such as meat, vegetables and fruits. Further, archaeological evidences could be found on the fact that there were several food varieties (Wal del, Kekuna, Etikehel, Molluscs, Fish, meat of deer, wild boar), which were consumed by ancient hunter-gatherers. Furthermore, Horton Plains, situated in the central hills is a place that emphasizes the ancient paddy cultivation of Sri Lanka. Paddy cultivation and ancient irrigational works also describe how ancient Sri Lankans engaged with agriculture, and how they produced foods. In addition, refectory of the Buddhist monasteries and fragments of various potteries are also describing about ancient food practices. The meals of our ancestors mainly based on rice. Therefore, paddy cultivation was the main livelihood of ancient villagers. Apart from that green gram, millet, kurakkan, thanahal, undu were cultivated in Chenas. Moreover, there is evidence to prove that ancient Sri Lankans had food items such as meat, fish, eggs and vegetable, rotti, pittu, thalapa and gruel. Ancient Sri Lankan people were rich from the knowledge on how to preserve various food items by salting and drying, immersing in bee honey, smoking, and burying under dry sand, and they highly considered about the medicinal value of foods. During the Portuguese, Dutch and British administration periods, a variety of food items were introduced to Sri Lanka such as Carrot, Beet, Leaks, Cabbage, Mangoes, Grapes, Apple. Besides, Sri Lanka has indigenous food varieties which belongs to Vedda people, some other folk groups and various areas.
What to Eat
In Sri Lanka, we come across food belonging to Sri Lankan culture as well as food belonging to foreign cultures. Hence, within this island, a traveler can experience plenty of tasty foods such as Indian foods, Chinese, Korean foods, Jain foods, Vietnamese foods, Malaysian foods, Indonesian foods etc. Especially, there are several main meal dishes, dessert and beverages of those various food cuisines. Therefore, any foreign tourist can experience vegetarian, vegan or non-vegetarian meals while their journey.