Thanks, Columbus (for citrus, that is)

Columbus is a controversial figure and you can say what you like about him–but one thing he did right was to bring citrus, as well as a lot of other good foods, to the New World. (The food exchange went the other way too, and it was only after Columbus that Italians ate tomatoes.)

columbus

There are no native species of citrus in the Americas, and it was unknown until Columbus brought lemon, orange and citron seeds he had collected from the Canary Islands to Haiti on his second voyage in 1493.

The climate was so favorable that the orchards swelled into citrus forests within a few generations. And in 1565, the first citrus was brought to the U.S., to St. Augustine, Florida.

I’m having some lemonade on Columbus Day in appreciation of one good thing Columbus did.

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