Monday, October 12, 2015

An Exchange Of Foods

Today is Columbus Day and like it or not it's when two cultures,the indigenous  American and European collided.It may have been the end of one culture yet it brought together what we now know as global cuisine.It expanded the world's diet and brought about better nutrition.

The Europeans brought various meats such as chickens , beef and lamb to the American diet.Yes the people already here ate meats but it came from hunted animals.The new kinds were able to be kept in herds or on properties.European bakers brought yeast to the New World which enabled breads to be made, thus more ready nutrition for the
young, infirm and elderly.It could go a long way in feeding large families. It could also be turned into sandwiches for easy meals.Whether considered good or bad,sugar was also introduced. One of the most dubious  "gifts" is alcohol.Fire water was a way of placate them however it proved lethal in the  20th Century. Sadly many young tribes people have fallen for the variety of junk food that their Euro American counterparts have. Luckily many are returning to the ancient pre-Columbian diets.

The tribes from Canada to Central America have given us so much.They expanded a European diet that primarily existed of cabbage and turnips.Thanks to the Western Hemisphere ,there is polenta and tomatoes in Italy,chocolate in Switzerland and France, and beans in England.Our diets have expanded so much thanks to the potato which was easy to grow. Any meal we eat today has at least one indigenous ingredient.Even our Thanksgiving is influenced not by the English who created it, but by the Massachusetts tribes.The native Tai no gave us barbecue or Barbac a which has become a worldwide staple.On a broader scale the Pacific Islanders gave us pineapple and breadfruit .

Columbus and his crew discovered a whole new world.It was a culinary exchange that changed diets around the world.It broadened our palates and diets.

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