[Sca-cooks] roman feast / Apicius
dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Sun Mar 23 10:56:30 PDT 2008
Terry Decker did speak thusly:
>And I would seriously question the yellow or purple carrots. The European
>carrot is white. Most of the research I've seen suggests the purple carrot
>came west with the Arab expansion, although it can be argued that it was
>known in the Empire. The earliest record of yellow carrots I've found is
>10th Century (IIRC).
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According to the "Oxford Companion to Food" purple carrots originated
in Central Asia in or near present day Afghanistan and were brought
west during the Muslim expansion. It states that the first known
clear description of the carrot comes from the Arab writer
Ibn-al_Awam who was writing in 12th century Andalusia at the time
where the carrot had already been introduced.
However, it also states that the archeological record indicates that
carrot seed was found in prehistoric dwellings in Switzerland and was
reportedly grown as an aromatic herb (for it's leaves and seeds most
likely) in the royal gardens in Babylon in the 8th century. It goes
on to state that if the Greeks and Romans used carrots in the
Classical Period that they were likely used as an herb as there is
little to no evidence to suggest they ate the roots.
The carrot had spread to most of the rest of Continental Europe by
the 14th century and Britain by the 15th. The orange carrots we know
today are of Dutch origin and were selectively bread in the 17th and
18th centuries for that color.
Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)
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