Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company..(5/11)

Title: Quote, Unknown

Tea being such a stereotypical British drink, I was surprised to see in tonight’s reading that it was originally, in fact, not much of a British thing at all. This reading really made me stop to think about what other stereotypes of food we have in our culture that are in fact misconceptions. I decided to explore these stereotypes:

Orange:

So, as Ms. Wag loves to teach her students, fruit (as well as everything else) is a LIE! Everyone who has ever seen a Tropicana commercial knows that the best oranges are from Florida, right? Wrong. In fact, not only is the largest distributer of oranges in the world not even in this country, but in Brazil, but the orange is yet another fruit that came from crossing other fruits. Our typical supermarket orange we find today is in fact derived from the modern day “mandarin orange”. Not only that, but the fruit’s origin was also China! This really shocked me. China is certainly not what I think of when I try to think of a place that would grow a tropical fruit. This also makes me question the difference between the original types of orange and the types of orange now. How much of a difference is there? As we have discussed in class before, this certainly makes you think if anything is truly “all-natural” when most of the foods we see in nature today were in fact invented.

There are also foods that only recently became considered food. For example, the pomegranate was, until the 19th century used for ornamental purposes only. It is also derived from the Jamaican sweet orange. Pomegranates are not the only type of food not considered to be food in some societies. In some places, kale is not eaten in abundance, but added to peoples’ gardens for decoration.

Now it’s story time. When I moved to Maine, my mother nearly fell out of her seat when someone offered her a fiddlehead. Though the fiddlehead fern grows in abundance in Maine, and is a popular snack, the fiddlehead fern is an absolute delicacy in southern parts of the country, and people will spend ridiculous amounts of money to own one of these plants.

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