The history of food coincides with the history of people, and even, the history of places where specific foods and beverages originated. While nourishment is the most basic link between people and food, there are many surprisingly emotional reasons and many other connections between us two. From comfort foods to foods that pack a jolt of energy, the following offerings list many interesting and unusual facts about what we eat.
Pigs have been raised for food for approximately two thousand years in Spain. However, the pig was actually domesticated from the wild boar first in the area of Turkey—about ten thousand years ago.
Hernando de Soto brought the first pigs to North America when he traveled to Florida with them from Cuba in 1539.
The popularly-accepted history of pasta in Italy is that it was introduced to that country by Marco Polo on his return from China. However, there is some research that seems to reveal that the Etruscans, ancient peoples of the Italian peninsula, may have had pasta of sorts in the area.
Coffee comes from an Arabic word for wine. Although Islam forbids the drinking of wine, it permits coffee—and the first coffee houses actually spread throughout the Middle Eastern world from Mecca.
It was an Ethiopian sheepherder who actually discovered coffee beans after he noted how much more active his sheep became when they ate from a certain kind of bush.
The word ketchup actually comes from the Chinese “ke-tsiap” where it referred to a type of fish or soy sauce.
Ernest Hemingway is given the credit for introducing the “Bloody-Mary” to the drinking establishments of Hong Kong.
Ben and Jerry of ice cream fame opened their first shop in a converted gas station in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont
Nutmeg comes from an evergreen tree in the Maluccas. Nutmeg is not a nut, but rather the seed of a peach-like fruit.
Pistachios, however, are nuts. They are native to West Asia and were first brought to Europe by the Romans. Most cooks pair them with poultry or veal. They are frequently used for desserts.
The ancient Phoenicians brought the almond, one of the oldest domesticated fruit trees, to Spain. The Spanish appear to use the almond more extensively than any other country as evidenced by the myriad of cakes and dishes containing almond.
If properly stored in a dry, dark place, whole spices may last up to five years.
Many scientists believe that corn originated in Mexico. The oldest corn dates from approximately 5000 B.C. in Mexico’s Valley of Tehuacan.
To remove a rust stain from the sink, try using the power of a lemon to rub it away.
Apples are most nutritious when eaten with their peel. The peel contains plenty of antioxidants and most of the apple’s fiber.
Marshmallows are among the world’s oldest confections. They were made using the same of the marsh mallow—a bog, marsh-loving plant.
French toast was created by medieval cooks using stale bread. Milk and eggs would make the bread palatable and nourishing.
The croissant, so beloved to the French, actually has its birthplace in Budapest, Hungary in 1686.
Within his vast body of work, Shakespeare actually recommended the eating of the following foods: parsnips, leeks and garlic.