Neanderthals are close relatives of late Homo sapiens, the ancestors of modern Europeans, and lived about 120,000 to 30,000 years ago.
Previously, it was thought that Neanderthals may have been able to pick berries, eat hair and drink blood.
But a recent study from Liverpool John Moores University suggests that Neanderthals were also able to use complex processes to process food.
The study was published in Antiquity.
The Shanidar Cave site, an archaeological site in northern Iraq, was once home to Neanderthals.
Researchers have found the oldest carbonized food remains to date in the remains of a fireplace in the cave.
This is the first archaeological evidence that Neanderthals used sophisticated cooking methods, and it suggests they already had a food culture.
Researchers used a scanning electron microscope to distinguish the plant species in the remains and tried to recover their recipe: something like a delicious nutty-flavored dried bread.
At another site, Franchthi Cave in southern Greece, researchers found traces of processed food in early Homo sapiens.
Studies show that these Paleolithic people would soak and mash wild seeds to remove bitterness and toxins, and mix different seeds (e.g., wild nuts, legumes) to create different flavors.