Wednesday, April 9, 2014

How much do you know about fruits? 20 questions!

If phrases like pomological, fructiferous arcana, and monstera deliciosa perk you up, then you will enjoy A Potted History of Fruit: A Kitchen Cornucopia. It, along with its companion book on vegetables, would make a lovely host/hostess gift. I invite you to test your fruit-related knowledge with this mostly true-or-false quiz, constructed of tidbits I gleaned from the book. 
1. A  member of the family Bromeliacae, pineapples were discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first trip to the Caribbean in 1492. True or False: They should not be stored in the refrigerator.
2. True or false: fruiting cherry trees are the same as the famous Japanese ones on the Mall in Washington DC.
3. In the Middle Ages, strawberries were believed to be an aphrodisiac; hence a soup made of them was a traditional wedding breakfast for newlyweds.
4. On the tree, olives ripen from green to purple.
5. The leaves of the black mulberry are a staple for silkworms.
6. Watermelon seeds were found in King Tut's tomb.
7. Apples stored unwrapped near carrots or potatoes make the latter bitter.
8. Apples were cultivated in the Nile Delta by order of Ramses II in the 13th century BCE.
9. Peaches were first grown in the Fertile Crescent.
10. The fig is a viable candidate for first plant ever cultivated by humans.
11. How many gallons does it take to make a quart of maple syrup? a) 10 b) 20; c) 50
12. Whose coat of arms featured a pomegranate? a) Mary, Queen of Scots b) Elizabeth I c) Catherine of Aragon
13. The "passion fruit" was so named and used by missionaries in South America to teach the natives about the sufferings of Christ.
14. A "fruit machine" was used in the Canadian Civil service to weed out homosexuals.
15. "monstera deliciosa" = another name for pumpkins.
16. India is the largest producer of mangos.
17. Some species of apples and pears look alike. How can you reliably tell the difference?
18. Where was the lemon first cultivated in Europe? a) Spain; b) Italy; c) France
19. What is the Italian liqueur Amaretto flavored with? a) apricots; b) kumquats; c) cherries
20. In the coastal waters near Bali, what makes its home in coconut shells? a) crabs; b) sea horses; c) octopus

Answers:
1. True or False: Pineapples should not be stored in the refrigerator. True
2. Fruiting cherry trees are the same as the famous Japanese ones on the Mall in Washington DC. False.
3. In the Middle Ages, strawberries were believed to be an aphrodisiac; hence a soup made of them was a traditional wedding breakfast for newlyweds. True
4. On the tree, olives ripen from green to purple.
True
 5. The leaves of the black mulberry are a staple for silkworms. False; it's the white mulberry. The Brits  mistakenly imported the black variety in the 17th century in a doomed attempt to start silk manufacturing there.
6. Watermelon seeds were found in King Tut's tomb. True 

7. Apples stored unwrapped near carrots or potatoes make the latter bitter. True
8. Apples were cultivated in the Nile Delta by order of Ramses II in the 13th century BCE. True
9. Peaches were first grown in the Fertile Crescent. False. They originated in China, were taken to India and Western Asia in the first millennium BCE, and were introduced to Europe at the behest of Alexander the Great.
10. The fig is a viable candidate for first plant ever cultivated by humans. True
11. How many gallons does it take to make a quart of maple syrup? a) 10 b) 20; c) 50
12. Whose coat of arms featured a pomegranate? a) Mary, Queen of Scots; b) Elizabeth I; c) Catherine of Aragon. As Queen, Anne Boleyn's first royal ordinance was to have a special badge designed for herself and her staff, featuring a crowned and sceptered white falcon standing on a pomegranate. Mean!
13. The "passion fruit" was so named and used by missionaries in South America to teach the natives about the sufferings of Christ. All too true!
14. A "fruit machine" was used in the Canadian Civil service to weed out homosexuals. True. "It was intended to detect minor but revealing bodily reactions to sensuous pictures and words with which Mounties were confronted during a lengthy test program." The penalty for failing was immediate arrest. JEEZ! Bad science run amok.
15. "monstera deliciosa" = another name for pumpkins. Nope, it's Mexican breadfruit.
16. India is the largest producer of mangos. True. But they export virtually none. :(
17. Some species of apples and pears look alike. How can you reliably tell the difference? Apples float in water; pears sink.
18. Where was the lemon first cultivated in Europe? a) Spain; b) Italy; c) France? b) Italy, in Genoa. By 1493, Columbus was taking seeds to Hispaniola (now Dominican Republic and Haiti).
19. What is the Italian liqueur Amaretto flavored with? a) apricots; b) kumquats; c) cherries
20. In the coastal waters near Bali, what makes its home in coconut shells? a) crabs; b) sea horses; c) octopus. "A local species of octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) has evolved to make specific use of coconut shells for shelter and defense—the first invertebrate ever recorded (in 2009) as being able to use tools.

How did you do??

2 comments:

  1. Love the picture at the top. I only missed 2--peaches and pumpkins.

    ReplyDelete