Monday, October 27, 2014
The origins of mustard are unknown, but it is a Northern Hemisphere plant, the seeds have been found in Stone Age
settlements. Egyptians tossed the seeds onto their food, and
sent King Tut to the great beyond with a good supply in his tomb. The Sumerians ground it into a paste. Wealthy
Romans ground it and mixed it with wine at the table. Cultivated for thousands of years, mustard was
the main spice known to Europeans before the advent of the
Asian spice trade, Westerners had mustard long before pepper, which originated in India. Once trade routes were established,
ancient people from India to Egypt to Rome chewed mustard seeds with their
meat for seasoning.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Many researchers believe that the potato’s arrival in northern Europe spelled an end to famine there. Corn, another American crop, played a similar but smaller role in southern Europe. More than that, as the historian William H. McNeill has argued, the potato led to empire, “By feeding rapidly growing populations, permitted a handful of European nations to assert dominion over most of the world between 1750 and 1950.” The potato, in other words, fueled the rise of the West.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Choose fresh parsley over the dried form of the herb since it is superior in flavor. Choose fresh parsley that is deep green in color and looks fresh and crisp. Avoid leaves that are wilted or yellow as this indicates that they are either damage or over mature. Just like with any dried herbs, if you choose to purchase dried parsley flakes, try to select organically grown parsley since this will give you more assurance that the herbs have not been irradiated.