Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat May 7 23:55:11 UTC 2011

At 4:51 PM -0400 5/7/11, Wilson Gray wrote:
>According to a long, multi-part article published the New Yorker back
>in the '60's, people once considered oranges to be poisonous and the
>trees were used only in landscaping.
>OTOH, how did people discover that olives were safe to eat? Since UC
>Davis is, at heart, an aggie school, in addition to the school's
>actual arboretum, the campus itself is an arboretum, with cork oaks,
>chinaberry trees - the only ones that I've ever seen outside of the
>South, fig trees, and olive trees.
>Now, whether an olive is green or ripe, there isn't anything about the
>raw fruit that would cause anyone to consider it to be edible. During
>every olive season, the school paper publishes recipes for the use of
>fresh olives. Apparently, among other things, the olives have to be
>steeped in a lye solution for a certain length of time.
>WTF?! How did it ever occur to anyone to soak a foodstuff in lye?

Well, if it's good enough for codfish...


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