Global Food Exchange

Global Food Exchange



One of the great turning points of human history took place in 1492. It is most important not because Columbus discovered a new world but because he opened the flow of resources between two old worlds and enriched them both. Forget gold and silver! Chocolate, corn and potatoes were the real treasures brought back from Columbus's voyage. New foods reshaped the diet of both hemispheres.

In the 1400s, Europe was ready for change. The average diet consisted of dark bread, cabbage soup, and cheese. Imagine Italians with no tomato sauce or pizza! In Mexico there was no beef or cheese for their tamales. The new foods not only broadened menus but also transformed whole cultures. When Columbus landed in the Western Hemisphere, tomatoes were merely a weed in the Aztec's maize fields. Corn and potatoes improved European nutrition which allowed for population growth.

The exchange of food, ideas, and resources not only helped the Old World but also improved living conditions in the New World. With the introduction of horses and cattle, the Americans could work harder and faster and farther. Changes in the global menu caused by the addition of new foods on both sides of the ocean altered the fates of many nations and strengthened people's sense of national identity.

Not all of the exchanges were beneficial, however. Inevitably, when germs and diseases were introduced to new populations, the Western Hemisphere population had no natural immunity. Smallpox alone took a terrible toll and killed millions of native Americans. Germs were the Conquistadors' most devastating weapons. If the spread of disease wasn't bad enough, the introduction of tobacco is still wreaking havoc on health of people around the world today. Successful planting of tobacco and sugar lead to an economic rise, but also is the basis for encouraging the American slave trade. No study of the Columbian Exchange would be complete without a thorough investigation of the advent of slavery in America and its far reaching impact. The introduction of African people into the Western Hemisphere has brought a rich heritage of music, cooking, art, and language into the American culture.

Columbus's quest for gold and a water route to the East brought about the cultural revolution that has affected every nation around the world. That revolution is still going on today, one bite at a time!


Your Task

For Pizza's Sake!!!!

It's 2002, but no one has discovered the "New World". Strange as it may seem, it's true. Can you believe it?

You realize, of course, there are not Wendy's; fries haven't found the beef yet! Taco Bell; no way!! Whoever heard of a taco without lettuce, cheese, or beef!!!

The Olive Garden; forget it! No sauce for the spaghetti. How about that famous Texas barbeque? Too bad, no cows in Texas!!

So What's to eat?
You decide!

Your "New World" OR "Old World" restaurant is opening soon.


You and your partners will design one. Ah, decisions, decisions. What to serve? Using your Columbian Exchange list, plan your restaurant's menu. Your restaurant is either in the "Old World" or the "New World", not both. (TOO BAD!)

You can use foods only available in your part of the world. What does this mean? No hot fudge sundae! (Perish the though)


1. Restaurant name
2. Menu cover design
3. 2002 prices
4. Appetizer
5. Main dish
6. Beverage
7. Dessert

Examples of Old World Foods:

Cattle (beef), Pigs(Pork), Sheep(lamb and mutton), Chicken

Honeybees, Wheat, Onion, Lettuce, White rice, Watermelon, Coffee

Tea, Bananas, Sugarcane, Peaches, Pears, Olives, Oats, Soybeans

Barley, Okra, Oranges, Lemons, Limes

Examples of New World Foods:

Chocolate, Wild Rice, Peppers, Vanilla, Pumpkins, Avocados, Peanuts

Sunflowers, String beans, Sweet potatoes, Pecans, Cashews, Pineapples

Blueberries, Tomatoes, Corn, Potatoes, Lima beans, Kidney beans, Turkey



Mayan Food: Fuegonuevo

Mayan Food: El Maies

Incan Food: El Maies

Incan Food: Santa Teresa High School

Aztec Food: Food Reference

Aztec Food: Crystallinks

African Food: Palm Beach Post


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