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Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America
     

Gardens of New Spain: How Mediterranean Plants and Foods Changed America

by William W. Dunmire, Evangeline L. Dunmire
 

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When the Spanish began colonizing the Americas in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they brought with them the plants and foods of their homeland-wheat, melons, grapes, vegetables, and every kind of Mediterranean fruit. Missionaries and colonists introduced these plants to the native peoples of Mexico and the American Southwest, where they became staple

Overview

When the Spanish began colonizing the Americas in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, they brought with them the plants and foods of their homeland-wheat, melons, grapes, vegetables, and every kind of Mediterranean fruit. Missionaries and colonists introduced these plants to the native peoples of Mexico and the American Southwest, where they became staple crops alongside the corn, beans, and squash that had traditionally sustained the original Americans. This intermingling of Old and New World plants and foods was one of the most significant fusions in the history of international cuisine and gave rise to many of the foods that we so enjoy today.
Gardens of New Spain tells the fascinating story of the diffusion of plants, gardens, agriculture, and cuisine from late medieval Spain to the colonial frontier of Hispanic America. Beginning in the Old World, William Dunmire describes how Spain came to adopt plants and their foods from the Fertile Crescent, Asia, and Africa. Crossing the Atlantic, he first examines the agricultural scene of Pre-Columbian Mexico and the Southwest. Then he traces the spread of plants and foods introduced from the Mediterranean to Spain's settlements in Mexico, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and California. In lively prose, Dunmire tells stories of the settlers, missionaries, and natives who blended their growing and eating practices into regional plantways and cuisines that live on today in every corner of America.

Editorial Reviews

Sixteenth Century Journal - William E. Burns
Gardens of New Spain is certainly approachable by gardeners, cooks, and amateurs of Southwestern studies as well as professional historians...it is an important addition to the sparse literature in English on the Old Southwest in the colonial era.
New Mexico Historical Review - Karen R. Adams
This scholarly document will be as enduring as the plants upon which it focuses and will reach a wide public audience because of its writing style.
Sixteenth Century Journal
"Gardens of New Spain is certainly approachable by gardeners, cooks, and amateurs of Southwestern studies as well as professional historians...it is an important addition to the sparse literature in English on the Old Southwest in the colonial era."
New Mexico Historical Review
"This scholarly document will be as enduring as the plants upon which it focuses and will reach a wide public audience because of its writing style."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780292749047
Publisher:
University of Texas Press
Publication date:
08/17/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
17 MB
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What People are Saying About This

David Weber
"With a light hand, William Dunmire traces the fascinating journeys of plants--from the gardens of the Alhambra, to the floating gardens of Xochimilco, to the sunken gardens of California's Mission San Luis Rey, and to all points in between. Deeply learned, with splendid maps, illustrations, and tables, this is an invaluable reference, but it is also a delight to read."

Meet the Author

William W. Dunmire of Placitas, New Mexico, is a retired National Park Service naturalist and writer-photographer on natural history topics.

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