Illustrate with examples that food offers many opportunities of long-distance cultural exchange.

a. Traders and travellers introduced new crops to the lands they travelled.

b. Even ‘ready’ foodstuff in distant parts of the world might share common origins like spaghetti and noodles or, perhaps Arab traders took pasta to fifth century Sicily, an island now in Italy.

c. Similar foods were also known in India and Japan, so the truth about their origins may never be known. Yet such guesswork suggests the possibilities of long-distance cultural contact even in the pre-modern world.

d. Many of our common foods such as potatoes, soya, groundnuts, maize, tomatoes, chillies, sweet potatoes, and so on were not known to our ancestors until about five centuries ago.

e. These foods were only introduced in Europe and Asia after Christopher Columbus accidentally discovered the vast continent that would later become known as the Americas.

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