By Toby Sonneman
Lemon: an international History tells the tale of the outstanding event of the lemon, beginning with its aromatic and mysterious ancestor, the citron, loved by way of the Greeks and Romans for its high quality body spray and sacred to the various world’s nice religions. The lemon traveled with Arabs alongside historical exchange routes, got here of age in Sicily and Italy, and sailed to the hot international with Columbus. It was once an unique luxurious in seventeenth-century Europe and later went directly to retailer the lives of hundreds of thousands of sailors within the British Royal army after being well-known as a remedy for scurvy. The final century observed the lemon’s upward thrust to advertisement good fortune in a California citrus empire in addition to the invention of latest types. This booklet additionally comprises scrumptious recipes for candy and savory dishes and beverages.
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Extra info for Lemon: A Global History
Fittingly, in the Renaissance oranges were sometimes called by the neoLatin word medici, an etymological twisting of the Greeks’ original name for citron, Median apple. Orangeries: Glasshouses Although fresh lemons and oranges were much loved in northern Europe, they were also highly expensive and difficult to import, so the idea of growing one’s own citrus trees was very appealing. Visitors to Italy, inspired by beautifully designed Renaissance gardens and Tuscan ingenuity in wintering cold-sensitive trees indoors, came home to France, Germany, England or the Low Countries eager to plant exotic novelties such as pomegranate, lemon and orange trees.
An abund ance of almonds in the shell, Malaga raisins, figs, honey, sugar. Giant wheels of cheese – ‘none but the best quality’. And barrels of wine ‘of superior vintage’ from Jerez, costing more than the ship’s armaments, enough to provide each man with nearly a pint a day. Yet with all this meticulous attention to quality, Magellan failed to provide the one food that could have safeguarded the health of his crew, a food plentiful in Spain and capable of keeping for weeks without refrigeration: lemons.
Even in , when a dozen ‘unwasht’ lemons could be purchased in a London market for three shillings, they were far beyond the reach of labourers, who earned only about a shilling a day. By the s, when the Dutch were enjoying their Golden Age, with supreme naval power and ships bringing treasured goods from around the world, exotic imported lemons were as utterly desirable as a silk tablecloth or Venetian wineglass. And capitalistic Dutch Protestants – the richest people in the seventeenth-century Western world – enjoyed flaunting their wealth, perhaps by ostentatiously displaying lemons on their banquet table.