World History I

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. and Christe A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2018-19: Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time



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Chapter 16: The Acceleration of Global Contact
1450 to 1600

65: Wed, May 8, 2019

Please post in the forum for the day a short essay in response to this question:

We often describe cultures not only by their art, language, music, literature, but by their cuisine as well. It's worth noting that the cuisines we associate with many countries today are the result of past human migrations (including colonization and exploration). People moving into a new area apply their own techniques for food preparation to the foods available in their new home. A modern example is the application of Asian stir-fry techniques to Mexican ingredients to produce fajitas, a result of the migration of many Vietnamese who fled to Mexico in the 1970s.

The extension of European trade and colonization to the New World, Africa, and Southeast Asia introduced Europeans to new plants and animals, and in turn they carried these new plants and many of those native to Europe across the world in their trading ventures. In some cases, the new foods supplanted older, established crops. In others, the new food could not be grown “back home”, but became a coveted import.

What are some of the cultural ramifications of discovering a new desirable foodstuff for both the colony where it is grown and the mother country that imports it? What challenges might a new food face when introduced to a different culture?

What are some of the economic ramifications of introducing a new type of food to a culture? What happens if the new foodstuff can be grown in the mother country or other colonies? What happens if only colonies in a particular region have the right climate to produce it, but it is still desirable elsewhere? What other changes may result to support production and trade of valuable such valuable imports?

Use two of the examples below to support your discussion. You'll need to do some research to back it up. Be sure to identify where the food was originally grown, and where it was cultivated (country of origin, mother country, other colonies), and changes to production as the food became economically important. (Do not choose both coffee and tea.)