Explanation paper benchmark Essay

This essay has a total of 947 words and 4 pages.

explanation paper benchmark

Explanation Paper
(European Foods Impact of Exploration)

For my benchmark, I chose to research and learn about the impact that exploration had on
European foods. In my oral presentation, which I will give on March 21, 2002, I will
explain certain characteristics before and after European exploration. I will speak about
how the only spices that were ordinarily used in Europe in the beginning of the
Renaissance were pepper and salt, while after Christopher Columbus explored the new world
common spices also included ginger and cinnamon. In addition, I will refer to other ways
that foods were flavored, for example by sugar which was extracted from sugar cane, and I
will talk about how poultry and meat were common meals in Europe during the Renaissance,
although for most people it was served in an old, decayed manner, as only privileged folk
could afford fresh meat. In addition, I will talk about how only few, orchard grown fruits
were known to Europeans before exploration, while afterwards, they had knowledge of
pineapples, kiwi, blueberries, etc. During my presentation, I will also refer to my museum
exhibit, which will include a timeline of important dates, quotes, facts, and a world map,
and I will refer to a poster that I create, which will also include many interesting facts
about the impact of exploration on European foods.

The topic that I researched is an extremely important piece of history. Because of
exploration, many common foods were discovered, such as coffee, peanuts, chocolate, red
and green peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and kiwi (Tannahill 241). Pineapple, which is
another example of a common food today that was discovered during medieval times, was
introduced to Christopher Columbus by the Carib Indians on his second voyage to the
Caribbean region in November of 1493 (Levins 4). In addition, spices and sweeteners that
were discovered during this time period have all helped widen the horizons of present day
cuisine. For example, Christopher Columbus was introduced to cinnamon and ginger on one of
his voyages to the New World. Both of these spices are commonly used today to greatly
improve the taste of many foods. Also, vanilla was introduced to Europeans in 1529, syrup
began being extracted from Maple trees, and sugar was put in gravy for an improved taste
after people explored the world (Usherwood 26). Most of the spices, sweeteners,
vegetables, fruits, and meat that were discovered during medieval times are all common
foods today, in the twenty-first century.

This topic is extremely significant in the context of the time period, as people explored
often, and as a result, were introduced to many new things and experienced a lot of
cultural diffusion, or the spread of cultures. Exploration of the Americas greatly
increased the variety and the quality of European foods. Christopher Columbus, a
well-known explorer of the time, was on a voyage to India to retrieve certain spices,
however never completed his journey as he accidentally bumped into the Americas. Columbus'
exploration greatly influenced foods, as many foods were then introduced to the explorer.
More importantly, however, Columbus' exploration, which began on a journey to collect
spices, introduced the Americas to the world and influenced the development of what we now
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