Cherry trees, well known in America from the George Washington legend, actually originated in China, but were not domestically cultivated until the first century b.c. in Greece, and are closely related to peaches, plums, and almonds. [via]
Fava beans, or broad beans, have been cultivated since at least biblical times. In classical Greece, funerals ended in bean feasts, and beans were used to exorcise haunted houses. Roman high priests were forbidden from eating or even mentioning beans because they were considered so inauspicious. The Scots believed that witches rode around on beanstalks and the Celts held bean feasts to honor the fairies.
For the gardener or foodie who wants a little history in their book diet, The Origins of Fruit and Vegetables traces the rich history of more than forty different types of fruit and vegetables. Accompanying this authoritative history are a wealth of illustrations, from ancient maps and Renaissance works of art to botanical illustrations and illuminated manuscripts, from Chinese paintings and American folk art to contemporary photography and graphics.
This thoroughly researched and highly accessible book contains Latin names of the fruits and vegetables, historical information on when the item first appeared, its country of origin, its first recorded use, and even classical and biblical literary references. It also includes information about the medicinal and nutritional properties of the profiled fruits and vegetables, and how these properties were first discovered.
Beautifully designed and illustrated, The Origins of Fruit and Vegetables will appeal to anyone who enjoys art, history, and food.