You Can Eat Better Than King Henry VIII, Thanks to Globalization and Burger King
When it comes to fresh, tasty food, who had it better? Henry VIII, king of England from 1509 to 1547, or you and me going to Burger King with $10 in our pockets?
“The Burger King Whopper is actually a combination of foods from different parts of the world that wouldn’t have come together for most of human history,” says historian (and Reason contributor) Katrina Gulliver. And Henry VIII “would never have seen a potato” either, without which a delicious side of fries would be impossible.
Hank died in 1547. Potatoes didn’t get to Europe from the New World until 1570. It took another couple of centuries for them to finally replace the turnip and rutabaga in English cooking. But once they did, the victory was decisive. That’s why you never hear, “You want rutabagas with that?”
The tomato’s story is similar. It arrived in Europe in the early 1500s, with Spanish conquistadors returning fresh (enough) from their conquesting. Because the tomato wasn’t part of Henry VIII’s feasts, neither was ketchup—or at least not the kind we’re used to. “Ketchup earlier in England was made from mushrooms,” says Gulliver. “It was more of a sauce.” But mustard they had. It had been around since Roman times.
Pickling also had been around for ages, which was good, because there were no refrigerators. And since England grew cucumbers, Henry would have had pickles aplenty. Ditto lettuce and onions. But at the time, vegetables were considered lowly peasant food, although Henry bucked tradition by
Article from Reason.com