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fruits and vegetables

Poster: Matthew Allen Newsome <mnewsome@warren-wilson.edu>

Yes, my friends, weird coincidences do happen.  When I went to work this 
morning in the Acquisitions dept. of our school library, I opened a nice 
new box from Emory-Pratt to see what books we'd be adding to our 
collections today.  After I removed the packaging paper, wouldn't ya know 
it, but the first book in the box was entitled _Domestication of Plants 
in the Old World_.
I quickly looked up oranges AND carrots in the index, and this is what I 
 on pg. 173
"Citrus fruit trees (the genus Citrus L.) had their origin in south-east 
Asia and in India.  The citron, C. medica L., is the only member of the 
citrus group which was already grown in the Near East in classical 
times.  The fruit of the citron, with its characteristic thick rind, has 
been appreciated medicinally and used for preparation of citronate 
confection.  The Jews adopted the citron to serve in the religious 
ceremony of the feast of the Tabernacle.
	"The citron very probably came to the Near East from India.  
Theophrastos' detailed description of its cultivation and propagation 
leaves little doubt that, by the end of the fourth century BC, C. medica 
was already well established in the east Mediterranean region.  As 
Hjelmqvist (1979b) points out, some data suggest an even earlier 
arrival.  Among them is his find of citrus seed in 1200 bc Hala Sultan 
Tekke in Cyprus.
	"Other species of citrus seem to have arrived in the 
Medditerranean basin only much later.  The earliest among them seems to 
be the lemon, C. limon (L.) Burn.  Lemon varieties with small fruits and 
thin rinds have been cultivated in the Near East since the Arab 
conquest.  The principal commercial citruses of today, the orange and the 
tangerine, came to the Mediterranean basin only after the establishment 
of maritime trade between Europe and south-east Asia."

and the into. to Ch. 6 ("Vegetables and Tubers") says that the earliest 
veggies and tubers in Europe were watermelon, melon, leek, garlic, onion, 
lettuce, and chufa (in the Bronze Age).
	"Towards the end of the 1st mellennium BC, the number of 
vegetable crops grown in south-west Asia, Egypt, and Europe seems to have 
increased considerably.  Numerous additional vegetables are described in 
Greek, Roman, and Jewish classic sources.  Prominant among them are:  
cabbage, beet, turnip, celery, carrot, endive, chicory, globe artichoke, 
and garden asparagus.  Significantly, all these new cultigens have had 
their wild relatives growing in south-west Asia and/or in Europe.  All 
could have been taken into cultivation in this part of the world."

The book this information is from is:

Zohary, Daniel, and Maria Hopf.  _Domestication of Plants in the Old 
World_.  Oxford.  Clarendon Press; 1994.

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