Gastronomy through history (14)

Grape

Local product through history

The first evidence of its cultivation can be traced in Genesis where Noah, the Flood ended, landed and planted a vine and then get drunk.
As for the historical aspect, grape seems to have Indian origins, in particular was introduced in the third millennium BC in areas that today correspond to Georgia and Armenia, and then came in the Mediterranean.

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Cherries of Apulia

Local product through history

The cherry tree is a tree spread all over the european woods, its origin is prehistoric as evidenced by the findings of some cores that can be dated to this period of history.
Its name comes from the Greek "kerasos" from which originated its current names: cherry (eng), cerasa (eng), cereja (por) and cereza (esp). For the Greeks the cherries were the fruits of Venus and declarations of love made near a cherry tree were always lucky.

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Melon

Local product through history

Its origin is uncertain, Africa or Asia. Its spread in the Mediterranean thanks to the Egyptians around the fifth century BC, while in Italy came only in the first century. A.C. The melon had rapid success among the Romans, although it was used as a vegetable, rather than as the result.
The melon was considered a symbol of fertility for its numerous seeds and for the same reason synonymous with silly, since the uncontrolled fertility behaviour was considered

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Olives

Local product through history

The olive tree is known from ancient times. The first cultivations were done in Syria and later the Phoenicians contributed to its spread in the Mediterranean, Africa and Southern Europe. Greeks were the first to intensify the cultivation of olive trees, but only with the Romans the cultivation reached its peak. In fact, the Romans were the first to build the tools to press the olives, and several times imposed on their subject peoples tributes in the form of oil.

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Turnip Tops

Local product through history

The seeds of turnip were introduced to the West by the Genoese, and the first to grow them in Europe were the French. The plant was widely used during the Roman Empire, in fact, as evidenced by Pliny the Elder, the turnip was the third crop ever, after wheat and vine, becoming a mainstay of the diet of the lower classes. And only around 1400 AC the turnip begins to spread among the nobles at the same time to superstitions concerning the aphrodisiac powers of turnips.

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Eggplant

Local product through history

The eggplant is native to India, was introduced 4000 years ago in the regions between Assam and Burma. The vegetable arrived in the Mediterranean in the 1400 AC by the Arabs, who have introduced it in Italy, Spain and then Africa. The name eggplant derives from "badignan", and in Italy was introduced the prefix "mela", turning into melo-badignan and then eggplant. The name refers to a fresh inedible vegetable, since it can be toxic if eaten raw. Precisely because of these characteristics, the eggplant was for a long time been the subject of much criticism even if its alleged aphrodisiac properties prevailed.

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Chicory

Local product through history

Already widespread in Roman times, it was mainly used to flavour foods in addition to being known for its aphrodisiac properties. Its cultivation has spread throughout the Mediterranean and Asia, as well as in North America.
For the Greek physician Dioscorides the rocket had digestive properties.

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Broad Beans

Local product through history

The broad bean is a plant widely spread in the Mediterranean since antiquity and its use are closely linked to the cult of the dead. Pythagoras forbade his disciples to eat beans because he believed that they contained the souls of the dead, belief stemming from the fact that the flowers are white with black cars, spots that had the shape of the letter "Theta", initial of the Greek word "Thanatos" which means death.

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Courgettes

Local product through history

The plant of pumpkin and zucchini is native to India. In ancient times the pumpkin seeds were advised to appease the desires of the flesh. Its main utility: the fight against tapeworm was discovered only in the nineteenth century by a Cuban doctor.
To date, the exact origin of the pumpkin is unknown.

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Chickpea

Local product through history

The name derives from the Latin Cicer, while the name arietinum refers to the shape of the seeds, which resembles the head of a ram. Chickpeas have Turkish origin but the first records date back to the Bronze Age and have been found in Iraq. The chickpeas then quickly spread throughout the ancient world due to their adaptability and the high content of energy and calories which made it ideal replacement for the meat.

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Tomatoes

Local product through history

Tomato is a vegetable native to Central and South America and the southern United States. The English name "tomato" probably comes from the aztec "xitomatl", where the word "tomatl" indicated all products similar to each other.
As for the word tomato understood as "apple of love", the origin is also Aztec and refers to the alleged aphrodisiac properties of the tomato sauce, in which the French were

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