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

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1626 to 1650

1626 Sir Francis Bacon died. An English statesman, philosopher and author of 'Novum Organum', a work on scientific inquiry. Some also claim he wrote the plays attributed to Shakespeare.  He died after having stuffing a dressed chicken with snow to how long the flesh could be preserved by the extreme cold. He caught cold and died from complications about a month later.

1626 A large Codfish, split open at a Cambridge market, is found to contain a copy of a book of religious treatises by John Frith.

1626 Francesco Redi was born. He was the first to demonstrate that maggots were not spontaneously generated, but actually came from the eggs of flies.

1627 The ancestor of all modern domestic cattle is the aurochs, the last of which was killed by a poacher in 1627 on a reserve near Warsaw, Poland.

1627 John Ray (Wray) was born. A leading 17th century English naturalist and botanist. He contributed to the advancement of taxonomy, and established the species as the basic unit of taxonomy.

1629 The first horses were imported to the American colonies by the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1630 Louis de Bechamel (Béchameil) was born (died 1703).  A French ginancier, gourmet and major domo to king Louis XIV.  The white sauce known as Bechamel sauce was probablly not created by him, but rather named for him by one of the kings cooks.  (Bechamel is actually an improvement of an older recipe)

Charles II, king of England was born. The 'Merry Monarch,' Tea was introduced to England during his reign. On December 23, 1675, he issued a proclamation suppressing Coffee Houses. The public response was so negative that he revoked it on January 8, 1676.

1630 Massachusetts Bay colony governor John Winthrop supposedly introduced the fork to American dining.

1630 Boston, Massachusetts was founded.

1630 or 1631 Supposedly, Quadequina, an American Indian, introduced English colonists to popcorn. He had brought some to their first Thanksgiving dinner.

1633 Bananas were supposedly displayed in the shop window of merchant Thomas Johnson. This was the first time the banana had ever been seen in Great Britain. It would be more than 200 years before they were regularly imported. In 1999 remains of a banana were found at a Tudor archaeological site on the banks of the Thames River. This would seem to date it 150 years earlier than Thomas Johnson's banana. A classic food mystery!

1633 Galileo was forced by the Inquisition in Rome to renounce his theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

1633 Bernardino Ramazzini was born. An Italian physician, he was the first to note the relationship between worker's illnesses and their work environment. Considered the founder of occupational medicine.

1634 March 3 or 4: Samuel Cole supposedly opened the first tavern in Boston, Massachusetts.

1636 The Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established Harvard College (New College), the first college in the Americas.

1637 Supposedly, Cardinal Richelieu 'created' the table knife when he had the points rounded on all knives to be used at his table. Presumably so no one could stab him.

1637 Jan Swammerdam was bornon Feb 12 (died Feb 17, 1680).  Dutch biologist and microscopist. His investigations into insect anatomy showed that insects did not generate spontaneously as had been previously believed, but were the product of eggs laid by females of the same species. Eggs, larva, pupa and adult are different forms of the same species. He also revealed that 'king bees' have ovaries and were actually 'queen bees.'

1642 Sir Isaac Newton was born. Newton was an English mathematician famous for being hit on the head by a falling apple (probably a 'Flower of Kent' variety). He also wrote 'Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy' in 1687.

1643 Louis XIV, King of France (the 'Sun King') was born. A gourmet, gourmand and many say a glutton. During his reign food began to be served in courses, rather than placed on the table all at once, and forks came into widespread use.

1643 Christmas Island was discovered and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Company ship, Royal Mary.

1644 The first livestock branding law in the American colonies is passed in Connecticut. All cattle, sheep and swine over 6 months old must be ear-marked or branded. The fine for non-compliance was 34 cents per head.

1647 Denis Papin is born.  The French physicist who invented the pressure cooker (Papin's Digester) in 1679.

1647 Rice cultivation introduced in the Carolinas.

1648 The Massachusetts Bay Colony had poor harvests.  They were saved from starvation by the huge flocks of passenger pigeons.

1649 Charles I, king of England, Scotland and Ireland Died. Ice cream is said to have come from France when he married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henri IV, and sister of Louis XIII.

1650 The first European coffee house opened at Oxford University in England.




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