The most telling clue is that yeast in and around China has the most genetic diversity of anywhere in the world. Liti had already suspected this, having worked with Chinese researchers who collected yeast from remote primeval forests. But the massive sequencing confirmed just how unique yeast in East Asia are: There are more differences between yeast strains from Taiwan and Hainan—both tropical islands off the coast of China—than there are between strains in the United States and Europe, separated by the entire Atlantic Ocean.
The out-of-China hypothesis for yeast is not so different from the out-of-Africa hypothesis for humans. Among Homo sapiens, Africa has the most genetic diversity of anywhere on Earth. All humans elsewhere descend from populations that came out of Africa; all yeast elsewhere descend from strains that came out of East Asia. Once wild yeast strains made it out of Asia, humans likely domesticated them several times to make the yeasty foods that we know: beer, bread, wine.
Nice. I do think this Yeast out-of-China, may not be quiet as strong as Human out-of-Africa. Human has a relatively short history, a speck in the history of the Earth. So the genetic diversity of human in Africa means something. On of it, there are a few other evidence pointing to that theory. The human endurance running hypothesis would make good sense in Africa too. Still, it is a good solid piece of evidence.
Just to clarify. This is suggesting that the early form of wild yeast may have started in China, which may not mean that Chinese people are the first to use yeasts. Nevertheless, there are already talks that Chinese people can take advantage of this diversity of wild yeasts. This can give a leg up for future Chinese beer.
Here is the thing. Do you think we are … kind of like… the rare the better? In other words, two things are probably equally good, but because one thing is more rare or different, so we naturally like it better? Nevertheless, diversity is often (not always) a good thing.
Rare to me. Is hiking miles and miles in the woods above Fort Bragg and coming upon a foray of matsutake mushrooms. I don’t worship the find but I enjoy it. Bacon on the other hand i thoroughly enjoy it. And I have it in my mind that tomorrow at breakfast I’m not ordering the side of bacon with pancakes. I’m getting the fruit cup. A groundbreaking first.