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Charlemagne and his Flora, The Foundation of European Cooking

              (On-going manuscript)
 
An intriguing 1200 year old story regarding the very beginnings of fine dining in Europe. In the year 800 the Emperor Charlemagne commanded that every royal estate throughout his great kingdom should grow all of the selected eighty-nine plants listed by the Carolingian Court. Appropriately the Imperial List begins with the Rose and the Lily, (neither of which were much eaten even then) but they add dignity and authority to what was to follow: vegetables, herbs, salads, fruit and nuts. There are carrots, onions, garlic, mint, rosemary apples, plums, leeks, rocket, beetroot, lettuce, swede and tarragon and more all jostling for attention, much as they do today over a thousand years later.

Plant History

Charlemagne

Emperor Charlemagne
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