For the gardener or food-enthusiast, this book traces the history of over 40 types of fruit and vegetables. Accompanying this authoritative history is a wealth of illustrations, from ancient maps and Renaissance works of art to botanical illustrations and illuminated manuscripts, from ancient mosaics to contemporary graphics.
Fruits and vegetables have formed the basis of our diet for millennia, their essences have been used as perfumes and they also have held symbolic significance for many different cultures and religions - the pomegranate, once the Pagan symbol of fidelity became the Christian symbol of fertility.
As a food, their history is fascinating. Leeks were cultivated as long ago as 1,700 BC, in Old Babylonian times, and were boiled in milk with pigeon, onions, garlic and herbs. Figs were so popular in ancient Greece that their export was regulated by law and athletes used to train on fig-only diets. Cherries were a Roman favourite and pear-tree root impressions were discovered in Pompeii by archaeologists. In England in the 1740s, a competition emerged to grow the largest gooseberries, and spawned a craze for Gooseberry clubs all over the country.
This thoroughly researched and highly accessible book contains Latin names of the fruits and vegetables, historical information on when the food first appeared, its country of origin, first recorded use and 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.
'Cabbages & Kings' is a beautifully designed book that is not only a must-have reference book, it is also the perfect gift.