Today in Food History

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Also, on this day in 1617 Prospero Alpini died. An Italian physician and botanist, he is said to have introduced coffee and bananas to Europe and to have been the first to artificially fertilize date palms.

In 1796 John Stevens Henslow was born. This British clergyman and botanist was a mentor of Charles Darwin. To help get farmers to apply scientific methods, he gave lectures on the fermentation of manure. He also showed Irish farmers how to get starch from rotten potatoes during the potato famine of 1845-1846.

In 1865 Isabella Beeton died (born, March 12, 1836).  A famous Victorian home economist, author of ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management.’  The book, popularly known as ‘Mrs Beeton’s Cookbook,’ contained a compilation of over 900 recipes and advice on all aspects of running a middle class household.

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