Wine is as old as civilization itself and it has a significant place in many ancient cultures. Many experts agree that wine probably dates to 6000 B.C., to Mesopotamia where wild vines grew in abundance. The popularity of wine eventually spread to Egypt, along the Nile Delta. Wine came to Europe with the spread of the Greek civilization around 1600 B.C. It was an important article of Greek commerce and Greek doctors including Hippocrates, were the among the first to prescribe it. The Greeks also learned to add herbs and spices to mask spoilage.
Starting about 1,000 B.C., the Romans made major contributions in classifying grape varieties and colours, observing and charting ripening characteristics, and popularizing the growing of vines and manufacturing of wines. As time progressed, the wealthy enjoyed the fruits of the vine. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Europe’s wine industry was saved by the church as monks planted vines to provide wine for Mass. Before long, France emerged as a leader, with some of the world’s finest wines.
Did you know that an ancient Persian fable credits a lady of the court with the discovery of wine? This princess lost favour with the king and attempted to poison herself by eating some table grapes that had ‘spoiled’ in a jar. She became intoxicated and fell asleep. When she awoke, she found that she felt much more relaxed and stress free and wine was discovered!
According to legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Kaldi soon determined that it was the cherries on the shrub that were making them act this way. After trying the cherries himself, he learned of their powerful effect. These were coffee berries and monks at a local monastery started using a drink made of these berries to stay awake during extended hours of prayer. And so, coffee was born.
The ancient Ethiopians made balls of crushed coffee beans and fat to give them energy during long journeys. The coffee we are familiar with originated in Arabia, where roasted beans were first brewed around A.D. 1,000. Later, coffee was brought to the rest of Asia from where it was taken to Europe by a merchant from Venice.
Did you know that the name coffee is derived from the Arabic term ‘gahwa’ which means ‘that which prevents sleep’?
Did you know that tea is 5000 years old? According to legend, it was discovered in 2737 B.C., by a Chinese emperor when some tea leaves accidently blew into a pot of boiling water. The emperor was interested in the new liquid, drank some, found it very refreshing, and tea was created!
Tea consumption spread throughout Chinese society reaching into every strata. In time, drinking tea became part of the social and cultural life in the far East and India. Tea was introduced to India by the silk caravans travelling from the Orient to Europe. It was a Buddhist priest who brought the first tea seeds from China to Japan. In Japan, tea received almost instant imperial sponsorship, and spread rapidly from the royal court and monasteries to the other sections of Japanese society. Dutch traders and Portuguese missionaries brought tea into Europe and tea became an extremely fashionable drink in the court of Charles II of England. Tea has played a very important role in the history of England for it brought fortune to the British empire and at the same time, it was a tax levied on tea that led to the loss of her colonies in the New World.
Today, tea is grown on tea estates, and 70% of the tea we drink is grown in Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Argentina and China. Amazing, we drink virtually the same tea today that the Chinese emperor drank the day he discovered it!
• Carbonated soft drinks
Do you love fizzy soft drinks? Well, even the ancient Romans loved to drink the bubbling waters of mineral springs and they believed that this water was very good for health as well. Later, scientists discovered that it was the carbon dioxide in the water that caused these bubbles and tried to find a way to introduce this gas into plain water to give the same effect. Thanks to the efforts of such scientists as Joseph Riestley and John Nooth, this feat was accomplished and carbonated water was available for sale by the end of the 1700.
The next step was to flavour this sparkling water. In 1784, citric acid was developed from lemon juice and by 1833, carbonated lemonade was on sale in England. Soon, other flavours were introduced and in 1886, Coca Cola entered the market and created soft drink history.
Thank you for reading. Have a nice day!🌼