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Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

On Tue, 3 Dec 1996, Matthew Allen Newsome wrote:

> This was just a case of me making the logical step from oranges to orage 
> juice.  I assume someone must have squeezed 'em.  Hey, if I were around 
> back then, I sure would have!

Hmmmm.  You may be making an invalid assumption, here.  Many (MANY) fruits
and vegetables known in the middle ages and renaissance are very different
from the varieties known today by the same name. The modern ones are the
product of many years of selective breeding. They are often more juicy,
larger, sweeter, and sometimes even a different colour (e.g., carrots). 

About oranges in particular, I have a story to tell you.  In 1973-74, when
I was twelve, my family spent a year in Europe.  During that time, we
travelled a lot.  At one point I found myself waiting (with several
siblings) in a courtyard of the huge mosque in Cordoba, Spain.

(the one with the beautiful columns from all over the mediterranean, with
a hideous baroque church stuck into the center of it by some idiots in the
Reconquista.  When Ferdinand of Aragon was shown this atrocity, he is
supposed to have said: "You have destroyed something that was unique in
the world, and built something of which we have thousands."  And he was a
devout Catholic.)

This courtyard had orange trees that were supposed to date back to that
period, with beautiful large oranges on it.

Well, I was young and foolish, and had no respect for holy places, so
I stole an orange and tried to eat it.  It was clearly a punishment
from someone, though -- the thing was inedible.  Bitter, sour, yuck.
It looked so good, but it wasn't.

So just because "oranges" existed back then, doesn't mean that they
were much like the sweet fruit that is squeezed to make refreshing


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