Friday, October 29, 2010
A late season fruit, this is a very sweet variety, used for juice extraction. Not like Seville oranges which are bitter and used for sauces or marmalade. Oranges are native to Asia, introduced to Spain by the Moors who developed the irrigation systems to cultivate them. It takes about 3 oranges to fill a glass.
Avocado can only have been introduced into the human diet some 12000-16500 years ago, with the expansion of the prehistoric Paleo-Indian peoples across the Bering Srait into the Americas. The avocado is native to Central and South America. The Clovis, the first humans to inhabit the Americas are believed to have hunted and eventually wiped out most the native megafauna (mammoths, extinct bisons etc…). Ironically avocado, like mango is a fruit that cannot sprout without human intervention, since it originally co-evolved with now extinct large animals of Central America.
Today avocados are even grown in the Canary Islands. Despite not being native to Europe, it's a food I love and eat in abundance.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Phoenicians christened this land 'Hispania' - which translates into
the Latin word for rabbit. They were first domesticated under the
Romans, although not rich sources of meat they do breed rapidly, so
are even farmed or hunted as food. Since they are such lean animals
they are not good sources of beneficial fats, having a taste somewhat
similar to chicken.