A world in reverse. Where were the foods we like? – Present

A world in reverse. Where were the foods we like? - Present


It is a plant originating in Central America, already used by the Mayan, Aztec and Inca civilizations.


In the Middle Ages, on the European continent, the Artichoke was considered as aphrodisiac. In the eighteenth century, thanks to the opinion of physicists (doctors), gained a medicinal status. She was seen as fit to cure fevers. In Europe, the food consumption of the Artichoke was generalized after World War II.

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Plant native to the Americas, presumably from Mexico or Brazil. The Tupis, Amerindian people, called it Nana, meaning perfume, given the pleasant smell of the fruit.


The Europeans first had contact with vanilla when Moctezuma II, the Aztec emperor, offered the Spanish conquistadors a drink consisting of a mixture of this with ground cocoa and corn. This in the early sixteenth century. However, as a result of the secret that the Aztecs kept on the product, only in the second half of the sixteenth century did the Spaniards get to know the plant from which it originated.

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Cocoa comes from the cacao tree, a large tree native to the tropical belt in South America. It is believed to have developed at the heart of the Amazon rainforest. Taken as a food of the gods, cocoa was already consumed 1500 years before Christ. In the sixteenth century, when the Europeans arrived, the Aztecs, the people of Central America, religiously adored cacao and consumed it in the form of a drink. In 1519, the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is presented with a foamy cocoa. It offers you the Aztec emperor, Moctezuma II. Then begins the passion of Europe for cocoa. In 1520, the old continent receives the first shipment of cocoa beans.


Originally from the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) the bark of cinnamon is used essentially as spice, especially in pastry and confectionery. It is also used in the manufacture of beverage flavorings. In the 14th to 16th centuries, cinnamon became the most sought after spice in Europe. Its very lucrative trade. At the time, the West had long known cinnamon. In antiquity, it was taken as a symbol of wisdom by the Greeks, Romans and Hebrews to aromatize the wine.


The plant originates in the rainforests of India and appears at altitudes of 700 to 1500 meters. While cardamom was a spice only of local consumption and the quantities shipped to Europe reduced, only spontaneous plants were harvested. With the increase in consumption, the regular culture began.

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It originates in Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than five thousand years. It will have been introduced into Europe by the Roman Empire in the 3rd century AD. In the European Middle Ages, the onion became so valuable that it was used as payment for lace and wedding gifts. In the eighteenth century, the British James Cook did not dispense the onion on his sea voyages.


As in many other inventions of mankind, beer has probably been the fruit of chance for millennia. A little liquid potato of oats forgotten in a pot or even a few grains of unroasted barley left in a container may have germinated, being the origin of the invention of beer, it is believed, in the Neolithic period.


The Cravo, or Cravinho, originates from the Maluku Islands (Maluco, 16th century literature) – nowadays Indonesia – and has long been used by the Orientals to give the breath a pleasant odor. In India, for example, aphrodisiac properties are still attributed to clove.

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Ginger has been used for millennia in the East for millennia. It will have been one of the first spices with which Europeans contacted. The spice is the dried rhizome, used in small pieces or grated.

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