The Old World's reception of New World crops was far from regular or predictable. Some struck the European fancy and were soon successfully transplanted.... These were the exceptions, however, because until modern times, societies usually absorbed new foods slowly, clinging instead to those that were familiar, those central to their cultures."
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What in the New World???
(Integrating old and new world foods...or, I wouldn't put that in my mouth for all the money in the world!)
Imagine: entire foods and cultures and cuisines developing independently--just a couple thousand miles apart--for thousands and thousands of years, getting sophisticated, hardened, set in their ways. Then, in 1492, Christopher Columbus takes the plunge...and turns up in the New World. He was looking for food, and boy did he find it. Just not the food he was looking for. Now, a mere 500 years later, just try to imagine:
Until after 1492--and sometimes LONG after--these foods simply didn't exist in Europe, Asia, or Africa. Simply did not exist. That's hard to grasp until you sit down with literature from the middle ages and suddenly become aware of what's NOT in it.
So here they are: the best known of our New World treasures. Please note, I'm classifying them "popularly" not botanically. Also, no tobacco.