Today in Food History, Timeline & Food Holidays: National Food Days, Weeks & Months

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1400 to 1499

1403 Charles VII of France was born. His mistress, Agnes Sorel, was a celebrated cook who created several dishes, and had several culinary creations named in her honor.. (Agnes Sorel soup garnish, Agnes Sorel Timbales, etc.

1411 In 1411 Charles VI of France gave sole rights to the aging of Roquefort cheese to the village of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, and all Roquefort still must be aged in the caves there today.

1415 At Christmastime, England's Henry V orders food distributed to the citizens of Rouen, who are trapped by his siege.  Henry himself dines on roast porpoise.

1422 Charles VI of France died. (see also 1368)

1439 In an effort to stop the spread of disease, kissing is banned in England.

1444 Any merchant caught selling adulterated saffron in Bavaria was burned alive.

1449 Lorenzo de Medici (The Magnificent) of Florence was born.  Many in this Italian noble family were patrons of learning and the arts. Lorenzo’s great granddaughter, Catherine, is known as the ‘mother of French haute cuisine’ because when she married the French king Henry II, she brought the finest Italian chefs, and her passion for fine food, with her to France.
(With apologies to my French readers. Reasonable rebuttals accepted for future publication).

1449 George Plantagenet, duke of Clarence was born. Brother of Edward IV whom he was accused of plotting against. He was thrown into prison and secretly executed in the Tower of London. The rumour is that he was drowned in a butt (a large cask) of malmsey wine.

1452 Leonardi da Vinci was born (died 1519). Italian artist, etc, etc, etc.

1454 Amerigo Vespucci was born on March 9.  (died Feb 22, 1512). Italian explorer and cartographer, he was the first to realize that America was a new previously unknown continent. German cartographer (mapmaker) Martin Waldseemüller is credited with the first usage of 'America' on a map, to honor Vespucci.

1461 Charles VII of France was born. (see 1403)

1468 Johannes Gutenberg died. He invented the method of printing from moveable type. One of the important innovations in his method was a new press, similar to the screw presses used in winemaking.

1478 George Plantagenet, duke of Clarence died. (see 1449)

1484 The date given by Rober Burton in his 'Anatomy of Melancholy' (1621) for when the Pied Piper led all the children of Hamelin, Germany away. (See July 22, 1376 for more info).

1491 Henry VIII of England born.  A reputation for being self indulgent, he was frequently represented eating a large drumstick.

1492 Christopher Columbus sailed from Spain in August, arrived in the Bahamas in October, and sighted Hispaniola in December.

1493 Columbus returned from his first voyage to the New World.

1493 Columbus brought cattle with him to the New World on his 2nd voyage. (Caribbean Islands).

1493 Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Puerto Rico on his 2nd voyage to the New World. The island was populated by as many as 50,000 Taíno or Arawak Indians.  He originally named the island San Juan Bautista, for St. John the Baptist.

1493 Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, spots three "mermaids" -- actually they were manatees.

1493 On the insistence of Queen Isabella, Christopher Columbus took eight pigs on his voyage to Cuba in 1493

1494 Columbus landed at Jamaica and met the Arawak Indians. The Arawak used Jamaican pimento (allspice) to season and smoke meat (usually pigs), the foundation upon which Jamaican Jerk developed.

1495 The first written mention of Scotch whiskey is in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. A Friar John Cor was the distiller.

1497 Vasco de Gama left Lisbon with four ships, to search for a sea route to India. He was the first European to sail there (notwithstanding Columbus’ valiant try), and he opened the area to Portuguese trade (and colonization).

1498 Hieronymus Bock died. A German botanist who helped the transition from medieval beliefs to modern science.




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