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Author Topic: The History Of Citrus Fruit  (Read 980 times)

Millet

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Citradia

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 09:09:11 PM »
Very interesting. The citron makes me think of the popularity of the pomegranate. Really not good quality fruit, difficult to eat out of hand, yet for some reason trendy and popular for centuries among fruit enthusiasts.

Solko

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2017, 08:43:52 AM »


That is very interesting. The above picture is from one of the articles.
Just a an aside here, does anyone know what the other fruits in this fruit basket could be?
I would say at first glance: figs, quince, grapes, pomegranate and pineapple.
But, wait a minute, pineapple? In the first century BC in Rome?
What is going on here?
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Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 09:55:32 AM »
Was this picture an actual picture drawn in Roman times?

Solko

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 01:59:28 PM »
Yes, it seems to be an authentic mosaic floor from the first century BC.

https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Mosaic_from_Grotte_Celoni_(PMT_325)

I googled a little more and I am not the first one to be surprised by the pineapple. An Italian professor asserts that the Romans must have had contact with the native Brazilians 1500 years before Columbus because of this picture. Crazy, huh?

http://www.pressreader.com/italy/corriere-della-sera-roma/20151009/281539404785726
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Susanne42

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 06:19:48 PM »
Very interesting

brian

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2017, 07:07:01 PM »
Very interesting. The citron makes me think of the popularity of the pomegranate. Really not good quality fruit, difficult to eat out of hand, yet for some reason trendy and popular for centuries among fruit enthusiasts.

The pomegranate juice is fantastic!  But yes, I'm always disappointed when I buy one and after all that work realize a bottle of Pom juice would be far easier. 

Citradia

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2017, 08:12:22 PM »
But think about how many pomegranates it must take to make a bottle of juice. I'm also perplexed about how many almonds it must take to make s gallon of almond milk.

Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 12:50:55 PM »
It took a long time for citrus to reach the Mediterranean and beyond.

http://www.history.com/news/how-citrus-fruits-became-an-ancient-status-symbol
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 12:57:14 PM by Millet »

SoCal2warm

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 10:18:33 PM »
The pomegranate juice is fantastic!  But yes, I'm always disappointed when I buy one and after all that work realize a bottle of Pom juice would be far easier.
A bottle of Pom juice from the supermarket doesn't taste anywhere near as good as real fresh squeezed juice. Pomegranates are really one of the fruits you have to squeeze fresh to be able to enjoy it, the flavor quality apparently deteriorates a lot with longer term storage and processing. And there's a certain way you have to make the juice too: first separate out the arils from the rind and then press those arils for the juice, because both the seeds inside the arils and the inner white rind can impart off-flavors into the juice if it is made by other methods.

Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 10:51:59 PM »
I have drank 6-oz. of pomegranate juice every night before bed for over 3 years.  I always buy Old Orchard brand.

SoCal2warm

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 10:55:35 PM »
East Asia has an entirely different history of citrus than Europe, and by extension the United States, does. Citrus travelled in different directions, through different climate areas, and so different types were preferred in different climate conditions. Citrus was slow to disseminate across vast distances, but citron had already reached the Mediterranean in ancient times, possibly through the Persian Empire. The orange was next, probably because the fruit had a longer shelf life to be carried by travelers, but had more cold tolerance than pummelo. Initially it was the sour orange, but the sweet orange came very soon thereafter. Although sour orange was known by the Romans, sweet orange didn't really become widely known in Europe until the Fifteenth Century, and orange growing was concentrated in Italy and Spain. Already in the Tenth Century muslim rulers in Spain had planted sour orange trees in their gardens, and by the Thirteenth Century there were orange groves in Spain.

The Northern part of China has always preferred mandarins, hence the name, while in Southern China they have long had "Chinese grapefruit", which is all or mostly pummelo, probably originally brought from Vietnam. In Japan, mandarins (and what are the equivalent of tangors) originally came from Northern China (this probably took place mostly during the Tang dynasty), while Chinese grapefruit came later (less than 400 years ago), from a Cantonese ship from Taiwan.

Pummelo was probably endogenous to the area around Malaysia and the southern regions of Thailand and Vietnam. Mandarins probably originated somewhere in Southern China.

In China, the citron is called "fragrant ball" (this is also the same name which the Ichang lemon is known by in China, although the two are not so much related). The fruit known as Yuzu in Japan is known as "fragrant orange" in China.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 11:56:45 PM by SoCal2warm »

SoCal2warm

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #13 on: August 12, 2017, 12:06:36 AM »
Just a an aside here, does anyone know what the other fruits in this fruit basket could be?
I would say at first glance: figs, quince, grapes, pomegranate and pineapple.
But, wait a minute, pineapple? In the first century BC in Rome?
What is going on here?
Most scholars believe the mosaic depicts the cone of an umbrella pine (stone pine), from which edible pine nuts come from. They were very popular in Italy.

Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #14 on: August 12, 2017, 10:00:18 AM »
I have no idea what the cone of an umbrella pine (Pinus pinea) looks like, but I know the tree grows all around the city of Rome.

SoCal2warm

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2017, 01:38:09 PM »
I have no idea what the cone of an umbrella pine (Pinus pinea) looks like, but I know the tree grows all around the city of Rome.
Apparently it bears a resemblance to pineapple when you try to depict it in a mosaic.


Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2017, 04:53:17 PM »
None of the cones in the pictures that Mikkel posted have the pineapple type spiky leaves growing out of the top like a pineapple, as they are shown in the mosaic.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 02:49:35 PM by Millet »

Solko

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #18 on: August 14, 2017, 01:39:55 PM »
None of the cones in the pictures that Mikkel posted have the pineapple type spiky leaves growing out of the top like a pine apple, as they are shown in the mosaic.

That is right, and that might be the very thing that throws the historians off. I've been looking at this for a while now, and my first thought was that the only other thing it could be would be a pine cone (which, by the way in a lot of languages is reffered to as a pine-Apple)
I am convinced that it actually depicts a pine-cone and that the artist added some leaves - just 'some leaves in general' in the back to make it symmetrical with the leaves that are depicted behind the bowl on the left side. That is what makes it confusing.


The Italian professor has only two more images to make his case about the pineapple and to convince us that the Romans had contact with the America's. The images are the following:





The other images show fruit that could very well be odd artistic interpretations of clusters of grapes or other pine cones.
What do you think?

« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 01:43:51 PM by Solko »
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Millet

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2017, 02:54:52 PM »
In both mosaics I don't think the leaves on the "pineapple" look like actual leaves.  In both pictures they look more like a spike leaf of a pineapple, and not a deciduous leaf of a tree or bush.

mikkel

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Re: The History Of Citrus Fruit
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2017, 03:27:09 PM »
I am convinced that it actually depicts a pine-cone and that the artist added some leaves - just 'some leaves in general' in the back to make it symmetrical with the leaves that are depicted behind the bowl on the left side.

That is what I thought. If you look precisely you see the leaves are not on the top of the cone instead a little bit beside. wouldn`t make sense if you want to depict a pineapple.

The question is how can a pineapple be still fresh when brought from south america to the mediterranean sea when you consider ships of that time. It would take a very long time. And still if it would be possible how often must ships sail from Rome to south america and carry pineapples with them that it is so famous to be depicted on a mosaic.  There was no TV, Radio or newspaper means people must have seen it by themself or very close to it at the most 3rd hand.
It must have been be a usual  trade route than.
If it would be common knowledge that south america exist there should be literature or other artefacts.
Another point is were pineapples at this time cultivated in south america and already of that size they are today?

I think it is very unlikely and it is some misinterpretation even though the pictures look very like pineapples.
I don`t say it is impossible that Romans could have been in South America but I think it is not likely pineapples were traded at that time.

To heat up the discussion have you heard about the Chachapoyas in the Andes? They are supposed to be descendents from Celts from Spain. That was just in the beginning of  the Roman Empire.

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