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Converted from paper version of the Broad Ripple Gazette (v07n04)
Recipes: Then & Now - Trivia - by Douglas Carpenter
posted: Feb. 19, 2010

Recipes Then and Now header

I am not sure if you are aware I am a member of a local garden club. In my responsibilities in the club I have created several different programs to present to the club for the enlightenment of the membership.
One program I am working on now (and have been for quite a while) is a trivia game using dates in history that have some connection to gardening, horticulture or agriculture. Many of these bits of trivia would be of interest to you as well.
8500 BC: By this time in Mesopotamia humans are raising domesticated goats, sheep, and cereal grains
7000 BC: By this time, domesticated wheat was growing in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley
6500 BC: Archeologists have found evidence that humans have enjoyed eating apples since about this time
6000 BC: Grapes are being cultivated at around this time
4000 BC: About this time potatoes, lima beans and squash are grown in the Andes Mountains of South America
2600 BC: The oldest record of cauliflower dates back to this time
2500 BC: Dried apple slices are found on saucers in the tomb of Queen Pu-Abi in Southern Iran linking royalty to the irresistible seduction of apples
301 BC: Rice growing begins in Japan by this time
200 BC: Almonds are cultivated in Greece by this time
100 BC: Roman poet Horace notes that Italy has nearly become one big fruit orchard and the perfect meal ends with apples
460: Eggplants are being cultivated in China and India by this time
630: In this year a Chinese Buddhist Monk traveling in India writes of lush growth of fruits, spices and grains but a lack of garlic and onions
900: Tofu becomes a common food in China by this time
1000: By this time the Galla tribe in Ethiopia notice they get an energy boost when they eat a certain berry or coffee beans
1150: In this year the use of windmills for grinding grains begins
1240: Albertus Magnus of Cologne, bishop, naturalist, and influential philosopher, agonizes in his writings over whether a fruit tree has a soul
1500: Orange carrots, containing the pigment carotene, were not bred until about this time in Holland. Black, red, yellow and white were the most common colors
1528: In this year Hernando Cortes introduces vanilla beans, fava beans, cocoa, sweet potatoes, and kidney beans to Spain
1589: Europeans learn about tea when a Venetian author credits the lengthy lives of Asians to their tea drinking
1600: Pope Clement VIII "baptizes" coffee making it an acceptable Christian beverage
1630: The Dutch expand their agricultural land by 400,000 acres by draining lakes and swamps with windmills and using dykes and levies to control the water
1760: In this year the kitchen garden of Mount Vernon was first laid out as a practical garden where vegetables, fruit, berries, and herbs were grown for the family kitchen
1795: In this year Nicholas Appert, a Frenchman, develops techniques for preserving foods by canning
1801: In this year John Chapman, a.k.a. Johnny Appleseed, begins planting apple trees in the Ohio Valley
1828: Conrad Van Houten of Amsterdam succeeds in extracting the fat from crushed cocoa seeds, obtaining a soluble powder now known as cocoa powder
1840: Anna the Duchess of Bedford introduces afternoon tea, which becomes a lasting English ritual
1853: Gail Borden patents a process for making condensed milk
1883: Until this time hemp was the world's largest agricultural crop from which the majority of fabric, soap, paper, and medicines were produced
1893: A case went before the US Supreme Court about importing tomatoes and ended up ruling them to be a vegetable
1893: Henry Perky patents shredded wheat and Nabisco Foods invents Cream of Wheat
1894: In this year Iceberg lettuce is introduced by W. Atlee Burpee & Co and also in this year the Luther Burbank Russet potato is developed
1898: William Kellogg invents Corn Flakes
1903: German researchers perfect the process of removing caffeine from coffee beans without destroying the flavor. It is marketed under the brand name "Sanka"
1910: In this year one American farmer can produce enough to sustain 7 people
1950: In this year there are more tractors on American farms than horses
1982: In this year one American farmer could produce enough to sustain 78 people
2000: Coffee imports and exports are second only to oil on the world trade market

Douglas Carpenter is an avid recipe and cookbook collector. He has over 400 cookbooks in his library and he has published two cookbooks of locally-collected recipes. He has won sweepstakes and blue ribbons in the Culinary Arts division of the Indiana State Fair. Email your cooking questions to
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