The history of vegetables

Interesting article on the history of common vegetable. All these vegetables are grown in our kitchen gardens which supplies our restaurant.



History of Vegetables - Story about Each Vegetable

The history of vegetables reaches the most distant years of modern humankind, when hunter gatherers started spreading across the world. Since the birth of modern human civilisations, vegetables were identified as the source of great medicinal and nutritional power. 

From the first moment European explorers got their hands on potato, they saw the potentials of the plant that can change the way we eat and practice medicine. After centuries of expansion, potato became one of the most beloved vegetables in the world.

History of carrots spans the last five thousand years and tells the incredible tale of its domestication in the fields of ancient Iran and Afghanistan, expansion to the Egypt and China, popularity in medieval Europe and finally, birth of the common orange carrot in the scientific circles of 17th century Netherlands.

History of the tomato reaches 2500 years to the past, when people of ancient Aztec empire saw its value and integrated it into their lives, medicine and cuisine. Now, this fascinating vegetable represents one of the most popular vegetables in the world that is present in many dishes and diets.

Cucumber is a popular cultivated plant in the gourd family Cucurbitaceae that managed to captivate our attention from the moment it appeared in ancient India. Since that pivotal moment over 4000 years ago, cucumber was spread beyond Indian borders, moved through Ancient Greece, Rome, Europe, New World, China, and eventually becoming fourth most widely cultivate vegetable in the world

Garlic is one of the oldest known food flavouring and seasoning plant that managed to infuse itself into culinary tradition of many civilisations across the world. It started its journey in central Asia, domesticated during Neolithic times, spread to the Middle East and northern Africa in 3000 BC, which quickly enabled it to reach Europe

Onions are one of the oldest cultivated vegetables in our history, originating in central Asia from where it spread across entire world. Modern archaeologists, botanists and historians are unable to determine exact time and place of their first cultivation (because this vegetable is perishable and its cultivation leaves little to no trace), however some written records enables us to paint a very interesting picture about its origins.

Cabbage history started somewhere in Europe before 1000 BC. Cabbage was first a wild plant (as most of the vegetables that we eat started) but was cultivated in time and used as food since the ancient times by both rich and poor.

We know watermelon today as a way to refresh ourselves during the long hot summer days, but it was used since the ancient times as a portable source of water in the deserts of Africa.

Bean is one of the earliest cultivated plants. The oldest findings and proofs that we used beans for food are 9,000 years old and were found in Thailand. Wild variants of broad beans (fava beans) were gathered in Afghanistan and the Himalayan foothills. Beans were also found in the tombs of the kings of the ancient Egypt where they were left as the food for the departed and their souls in the afterlife. The first cultivated beans appeared 4,000 years ago in the Aegean, Iberia, and transalpine Europe and they were large-seeded broad beans. From the about the same time date beans found in Guitarrero Cave, an archaeological site in Peru which proves that beans appeared practically everywhere and where one of the staple foods of the early peoples. When the first colonists arrived at the New World, Native Americans taught them to grow beans with corn so the bean plants can climb the cornstalks.

The first radishes appeared in the Far East and from there spread around the world and into many different variants. They are still popular today, and we eat them as salads and in other cuisines.

Spinach was a highly regarded vegetable since the earliest days by all that grew and consumed it. Today we have cultivated variants that give more leaves, are tastier and are a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Oldest archeological proofs that we used beetroot in ancient times were found on the Neolithic site of Aartswoud in the Netherlands and in Saqqara pyramid at Thebes, Egypt, which dates from the time of the Third Dynasty (third millennium BC).

Zucchini is a relatively new vegetable on the world scene, but that doesn't prevent them from being popular and healthy. Its wild ancestors are thousands of years old but what we know as zucchini appeared only a hundred years ago.

Ginger history started in the lush tropical jungles in Southern Asia. Since the ancient times, ginger was an essential spice and medicine. Today it is still used in The East and the West for the same reasons: as food, as a sweet and as a cure for ailments.

Varieties of artichokes have records of use as a food among the ancient Greeks and Romans. Artichoke can be, at the first glance, a strange choice of food because it is a flower but we have been eating them for thousands of years. It can be prepared in many interesting variants.