The Fascinating History of Your Lunch
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The Fascinating History of Your Lunch is an historical look at food and the food from right around the world. Who invented cheese? Or bread or margarine? Where did lettuce and tomato plants originally come from? the plants we eat nowadays come from all over the world and the way we cook and eat them also come from many different cultures. Apples travelled with the Romans, oranges with the Muslim armies and chocolate started off as ancient Aztec coins. the history of food is the history of the world - the Spanish conquistadors conquered the South American Aztec empire and brought home the bitter beans that would eventually become chocolate. they also brought potatoes and chillies with them. Wars, famines and revolutions bring people from one country to another and they bring their favourite food, too. the most important things to learn from history are how people once lived and thought and how that has led to the world we know today. And one of the most interesting ways of understanding history is to look at what we eat.
apples are ripe, so you can taste real apples too. But make sure it’s a farm that grows apples for people to eat off the tree. A lot of farmers pick their apples a bit green, so they can be stored longer. A really, really ripe apple should almost drop into your hand when you touch it.) ANCIENT ROMAN FORTUNE-TELLING WITH APPLES If the ancient Romans wanted to know who’d win a horse race, they’d take the seeds out of an apple core and name each seed after a horse then see how far they could spit
flavour, and alcohol or salicylic acid to the syrup to help stop it from going bad. I like the plain cherry flavour best. THE FASCINATING HISTORY OF COCA-COLA Coca-Cola is made from cola (or kola) nuts, which are about the size of a walnut and either dark red, pinkish or creamy white and come from Africa. In fact there are many cola drinks in Africa, and cola is used as a medicine. The nuts are also chewed to keep people awake or to stop them feeling hungry (one cola nut contains more caffeine
from? Well, it’s sort of English and sort of Jewish and sort of Portuguese, with a bit of Irish and perhaps a few eastern European influences too… When the Portuguese Jewish community was expelled from Portugal back in the 1500s, they took their recipes for fried fish with them—fish fillets that had been dipped in flour, then in beaten egg and then in breadcrumbs, then fried in olive oil. (Most fried food in Portugal at that time was fried in pig fat, but the Jewish religion forbade the eating
perhaps for pumpkin, potatoes and cabbages, which was mostly all you could buy unless you had a Chinese market garden nearby—especially in hot, dry areas where the European market gardens failed. Some Chinese also opened cafés—though the ‘Chinese’ food they served was often simplified to suit unsophisticated Australian tastes (sweet and sour everything and chicken and corn soup). A lunch of ‘cock-a-leekie’ (chicken and leek) soup and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, followed by steamed treacle
manure from animals (and themselves), or watered them with algae-rich water (as in Asia), or grew beans or peanuts with them (as in the Americas), their crops would grow much, much better. (Algae and beans and peanuts are ‘nitrogen-fixing’ agents—that is, they have various ways of taking the nitrogen in the air to use as plant food.) None of this happened overnight. In the Middle East people learnt to plant wild wheat seeds. In South and Central America they learnt to plant pumpkin and potatoes