Did you Know?
Interested in food trivia or history? Here are a few tidbits of foodie lore which I found interesting. Send me an email if you come across some interesting trivia and I will gradually expand this section over time.
Tempura is a Portuguese invention
I was surprised to discover that that Japanese food stalwart, tempura, was actually invented by Portuguese sailors. On Friday the Catholic Portuguese were forbidden from eating meat, and somewhere in the mists of time they started to deep fry fish and vegetables using a recipe brought back by the Crusaders from their Arabian campaigns. These were adapted for the quarter day feasts of the Christian calendar, which are known in Latin as quattuor tempora – hence the derivation of tempura. The Japanese were introduced to this by Portugese traders and adopted it.
(source: Economist Intelligent Life, summer 2006)
The origin of sorbet
Supposedly Richard the Lionheart, at a negotiation,
was presented by Crusader leader Saladin by a dish called “sharbet” made with
snow from the mountains in
Who invented the fork?
The idea of using forks to aid in eating was apparently introduced from Byzantium into Greece about AD 1100 and traveled northward into Italy and France However several sources credit Catherine de Medici with popularising the fork, as she brought some with her to the court of France when she married King Henry II. Prior to that however, Domenico Selvo, Doge of Venice, married a Greek princess who introduced the practice of eating with a fork to his court in the 11th century. It seems fair to credit the Italians though.
How did they open tin cans in the early days?
intrigued me that the tin can was patented in 1810 by Peter Durand and the first
commercial canning factory opened in
What did Indian cooks do before the chilli?
Chilli peppers are native to
The most expensive wine ever?
The most paid at
auction for a single bottle of wine is a 1787 Chateau Lafite
owned by Thomas Jefferson, bought for GBP 105,000 (USD 160,000 at the time) in
1985 at Christies by Christopher Forbes.
It resides in the Forbes Collection in
(source: Forbes magazine)