[Sca-cooks] Potatoes in Europe was Re: Four queries
t.d.decker at att.net
Tue Jul 10 12:35:26 PDT 2012
When I originally wrote about the bill of lading I hadn't seen it. I have
since been gifted with further information including a facsimile and a
transcription and translation of the particular line.
The bill of lading is for goods shipped by Juan de Molina from Las Palmas in
the Canaries to his brother, Luis de Quesada, in Antwerp. The original is
in the archives of the public notary, Lorenzo Palenzuela, dated 28 November
1567 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. It reads, "`Y asi mismo recibo tres
barriles medianos [que] decis Ileven patatas y naranjas e lemones berdes".
Which translates as, "And also three medium-sized barrels [which] you state
contain potatoes and oranges and green lemons". Linguistic notes state that
"papas" and "patatas" are contemporary references to white potatoes in the
Canaries, while the sweet potato is still "batata."
So, not only do we have potatoes being sent to Antwerp, but also oranges and
green lemons (limes?)
There is also a bill of lading reference to two barrels of potatoes and 8
barrels of brandy being shipped to Rouen in Apr. 1574 (archives of public
notary Luis de Balboa).
The speculation is the potatoes were being grown in the Canaries by 1562 and
possibly earlier, but they weren't being grown in mainland Spain, thus were
not observed by Clusius in 1564. Subspecies found in the Canaries are S.
andigena (Andean origin, but grown in Europe), S. tuberosum (European
hybrid) and S. chaucha (a South American varietal not grown in Europe
outside of plant collections, therefore almost assuredly a direct SA
And just for fun as a reference to the Tudor banana, "This iland hath
singular good wine, especially in the towne of Telde, and sundrie sortes of
good frutes, as batata, mellons, peares, apples, orenges, lemmons,
pomegranads, figs, peaches of diverse sortes, and many other fruites; but
especiallye the platano . . ." Thomas Nichols (1583).
> - the reference to potatoes in Antwerp in 1567.
> In Service to the Dream,
> Thorvald Grimsson
More information about the Sca-cooks