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

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1500 to 1550

1500 Native Americans utilized and cultivated wild pecans

1501 Leonhard Fuchs was born. He was a German botanist who compiled the first modern glossary of botanical terms. The plant and the color fuchsia were named for him.

1503 Michel de Notredame or Nostradamus was born. Astrologer and cookbook author. He is best known for his book of prophecies 'Centuries Asrtologiques' published in 1555. However, in the same year he also published 'Excellent er Moult Utile Opuscule a tous necessaire qui desirent avoir connaissance de plusieurs exquises recettes' (‘An excellent and most useful little work essential to all who wish to become acquainted with some exquisite recipes’).

1506 Christopher Columbus, explorer, died. (see 1492)

1508 William Turner was born, English naturalist, botanist, known as the 'father of English Botany.' His best known work was 'A New Herball.'

1512 The Duke of Northumberland was served 5 swans for Christmas dinner.

1512 Amerigo Vespucci died on February 22  (born March 9, 1454). 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.

1512 Gerardus Mercator was born on March 5 (died Dec 2, 1594).  The Flemish cartographer who created a world map using what would become known as Mercator projection, with parallel lines of latitude and longitude. This was convenient for navigation but land masses appeared increasingly enlarged at the top and bottom.

1513 Ponce de Leon landed in Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth. He thought it was just another island of the Bahamas.

1516 Duke Wilhelm IV of Bavaria decreed in 1516 that beer could only be brewed from barley malt, hops and water. This Rheinheitsgebot (purity law) was probably the world's first consumer protection law.

1519 Andrea Cesalpino was born. An Italian philosopher and pioneering botanist.

1519 Maximilian I of Austria, Holy Roman Emperor, was depicted in Albrecht Dürer's 1519 portrait holding a pomegranate in the same way that a monarch holds an orb during his coronation.

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

1519 Hernando Cortez brought the first cattle to North America (Columbus brought cattle with him on his 2nd voyage to the New World, but not to North America).

1519 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan sailed from Spain with 5 ships, in search of a western route to the Spice Islands of Indonesia. After sailing around the tip of South American, Magellan was killed on an island in the Philippines. One of the ships eventually reached the Spice Islands and continued sailing west, reaching Spain on Sept 6, 1522. The first ship to circumnavigate the globe.

1520 Three ships under the command of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed from the Atlantic Ocean through the passage now known as the Straits of Magellan, and entered the "Sea of the South" on November 28, 1520. This sailing was the first westward crossing of the Pacific Ocean.

1521 Spanish missionaries planted the first pomegranate trees in the New World. From Mexico, the pomegranate was transported north to missions in California and Texas.

1521 The Diet of Worms begins. Not a fad diet, but the assembly of the Holy Roman Empire at which Martin Luther made his famous appearance.

1524 Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano found grapes growing on the North Carolina coast at Cape Fear.

1526 Charles de L'Escluse, or Carolus Clusius was born (died 1609). A pioneering French botanist, he contributed to the establishment of modern botanical science. Published many influential books including Rariorum plantarum historia (1601).

1532 Robert Dudley, the earl of Leicester, was born.
“Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
the cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such sport,
and the dish ran away with the spoon.”

Dudley was Queen Elizabeth I’s first court favorite. She called him her 'puppy.' He is the dog who laughs in the nursery rhyme 'Hey diddle diddle,' when the dish runs away with the spoon, i.e., when Lady Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies in waiting, ran away with the Queen’s taster, the Earl of Hereford, since he did not favor the tight reign Elizabeth kept on her court. He was also the step-father of her second lover, the Earl of Essex.

1534 Otto Brunfels died. A German botanist, author of 'Herbarum vivae eicones' (Living Pictures of Herbs), one of the first great herbals. His work is considered to be a bridge between ancient and modern botany.

1535 French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew celebrate Canada's first recorded Christmas at Stadacona, an Iroquoian village near present-day Québec City.

1539 Hernando de Soto landed with America's first 13 pigs at Tampa Bay, Florida in 1539.

1539 Hernando De Soto claimed Florida for Spain.

1550 Supposedly, the first cafe in the world opened in 1550 in Constantinople.

1550 The first chocolate arrived in Europe.




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