Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Drangiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

What Alexander did for us?

Sounds like the BBC program “What the ancients did for us”, right? Well this is a little different for it is about food. 

Oh yes, I read this article about citron, a citrus fruit that has its origins in India. It is a small thorny tree of 2,5 to 4 meters high that grows in the region between Bhutan and Myanmar, along the Brahmaputra River.

It happens that around 300 B.C. soldiers of Alexander the Great brought the fruit back to the West. Meanwhile there seem to be several varieties and the oldest orchards can be found in southern Italy in the region of Calabria, where there is an entire coastline called Riviera dei Cedri. The pulp from the citrons in Calabria and Sicily is rather sour, while that from the trees in Corsica and Morocco is sweet.

Never heard of citrons? Of course, you have! It is the candied peel that we add in our cakes and cookies, or that we coat with chocolate to create the orangettes or citronettes. The French word for it is cédrat, in Dutch cederappel (literally apple from the cedar tree), which in turn is close to cedre the Italian word for it.

Strangely enough, the Italians still serve the fresh fruit in slices with a sprinkle of salt to accompany their aperitifs. We should give it a try, shouldn’t we?

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