Archive for the ‘Ancient Foods’ Category

A Quick Look at the Early Days of the Honey Bee

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The honey bee, the quintessential American insect, is actually an immigrant, arriving in the U.S. with the British around 1621. The Native Americans had never seen the creature before and didn’t have a name for it. So, they dubbed it the “white man’s fly.” The bee migrated ahead of the settlers in swarms; when Native Americans saw the bee they knew the white man would follow. The honey bee likely ended its journey at the Rockies, and was later transported to California and other places. As for the plants the bee pollinates: most are imports, as well.

The Triumph, Defeats, and Ultimate Victory of the Sorghum Syrup

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Most people don’t know sorghum syrup, but it’s an American classic, as woven into our culture as the stars and stripes, but with a longer history. Its story sounds much like the cane sugar: it dates back to the early 1700s; was closely connected to slavery; grows in tall stalks with a plume on top, primarily in the South; and requires a process of milling and boiling. Its story involves haunting political, economic, and moral factors, remarkable people, triumphs and defeats. Above all, the sorghum is the peoples’ sugar – homegrown and affordable. From the Bible to the U.S. Shores…

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