11 extinct foods from history

11 extinct foods from history

According to the author UP Hendrick from the beginning of the 19th century, the Ansault pear was a fruit “of the highest quality.” We must take his word for it; the bulb is believed to have disappeared shortly after these words were published. It is one of the many fruits, vegetables and meats that will never be tasted again. Whether they were eaten to extinction or succumbed to other factors, these are the foods from history that you can no longer eat.

1. Assault bulb

Unlike other items on this list, the Ansault bulb appeared relatively recently. The fruit was first grown in Angers, France in 1863, and was valued for its delicious meat. In the book from 1917 New York bulbs, Hendrick wrote, “the flesh is remarkable and is described with the word buttery, so common in pear language, better than any other pear. The rich sweet taste and distinct but delicate perfume help to make the fruits of the highest quality. “

Irregular trees and the emergence of commercial agriculture contributed to the death of the fruit. Ansault pear trees were impractical to grow in large orchards, and commercial farmers were not interested in wasting time on temperamental trunks when other pear varieties were available to them. Nurseries stopped growing the bulb and it disappeared in the early 20th century.

2. Passenger pigeon

Humans partyed with the passenger pigeon for centuries. It was such an important food source for the Seneca people that they gave it its name jah’gowaor “big bread”. Unfortunately, the North American bird was too tasty for its own good. Hunting, combined with habitat and food loss, reduced their numbers from up to $ 3 billion in the early 1800s to just one in 1900. That unit, a captured pigeon named Martha after America’s first first lady, died at Cincinatti Zoo in Ohio. 1914

3. Uroch

You may have heard aurochs mentioned in Game of Thrones, but this creature does not belong to the same category as dragons. The real cattle species was domesticated 10,000 years ago in the early days of agriculture. They were large (“slightly below the elephant in size,” according to Julius Casear) and slimmer than modern cows. After suffering from disease and habitat loss, the species declined until the last aurochs died in a Polish forest in the 17th century. New breeding efforts aim to revive the species – or at least produce a new animal that comes close. The beef from an arox-like cow bred in modern times is said to be juicy and tender with a “wild” taste.

4. Silphium

The ancient Greeks and Romans had many uses for this herb with leek flavor. Its stalks were boiled and eaten as a vegetable, while its juice was dried and grated over various dishes such as spices. It also had medicinal uses; it was apparently an effective form of contraception, and its heart-shaped seeds may be the reason we associate the form with love today. Silphium grew only on a 125 x 35-mile strip of land in modern Libya, and it could not be cultivated; the demand for the precious herb quickly exceeded its natural supply. Pliny the Elder wrote that only one silphium plant was discovered during his lifetime, and it was donated to the Roman emperor Nero sometime between 54 and 68 AD.

5. Dodo

Dutch sailors first visited the island chain Mauritius in 1598, and less than two centuries later the archipelago’s original dodo became extinct. Sailors relied on the birds as food during long voyages at sea, but that is not the primary reason they died out; habitats and the introduction of invasive species such as rats and pigs eventually wiped out the animal. Although humans ate dodo meat, it was more for survival than for taste. The last person to discover a dodo, an English sailor named Benjamin Harry, called its flesh “very hard.” The Dutch word for dodo was Walghvodel, or “disgusting bird.”

6. Steller’s search engine

The German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller identified Steller’s manatees around the Commander Islands in the Bering Sea in 1741. It grew up to 30 feet long and was significantly larger than the sea cows that live today. It was also quite tasty. The salty meat was compared to corned beef, and the fat apparently tasted like almond oil. Sailors reportedly sipped the liquid lard out of the cups. Steller’s manatees were a source of leather and lamp oil as well as meat, and the animal was hunted to extinction in 1768 – less than 30 years after it was first described.

7. Mammoth

Woolly mammoth meat was an important component of the diets of our earliest human ancestors. We ate so much of them that hunting may have contributed to their extinction around 2000 BCE (although climate change was probably a major factor). Despite being extinct for thousands of years, several modern scientists and explorers have claimed to have tasted mammoth meat. Because mammoth specimens are often found perfectly preserved in the cold Arctic, they could technically be thawed and consumed. Unfortunately, this does not give us much insight into how the game tasted tens of thousands of years ago: Meat that has been frozen for so long turns into rancid smut when thawed. Good appetite.

8. Taliaferro apple

Thomas Jefferson grew Taliaferro apples at Monticello. In a letter from 1814 to his grandson, Jefferson said the little fruit produced “without a doubt the finest cider we have ever known, and more like wine than any liquor I have ever tasted that was not wine.” Although it is believed that the apple was lost with the estate’s original orchard, some gardeners still have hopes of its survival – but with few written descriptions of the fruit available, we probably would not be able to identify Jefferson’s apple even if we found it.

9. Large auks

Modern humans primarily killed auks for their down, leading to the extinction of the species in the mid-19th century, but before that they were hunted for dinner. Fossil evidence suggests that Neanderthals boiled the flying birds over campfires as far back as 100,000 years ago. The Beothuk population of present-day Newfoundland, Canada, used large auks to make pudding.

10. Old bison

Before the American bison were almost hunted to extinction in the 19th century, Old bison, or the old bison, died out 10,000 years ago. Bones have been found showing signs of slaughter with tools. This suggests that Native Americans relied on the old bison for food, as they did with its modern ancestors.

11. Old Cornish Cauliflower

Old corny cauliflower was not famous for its taste, but it had an advantage over other varieties. The vegetable was resistant to a destructive plant virus called ringworm. In the 1940s, European growers began replacing old Cornish cauliflower with a French variety that shipped better, and it was extinct in the 1950s. As a result, ringworm has decimated cauliflower crops in certain regions of the UK.


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