MARCH 26th – Spinach Day
National Spinach Day is observed annually on March 26th. Not only are there so many delicious ways that you can enjoy spinach, it is also extremely good for you!
An annual plant, it is native to central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India, and then it was introduced into ancient China where it was known as “Persian vegetable The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, saying that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.
During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici was well known to have enjoyed spinach so much that it was served at every meal. To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine” reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.
TYPES OF SPINACH:
Savoy: dark green color with curly leaves; usually sold in fresh bunches.
Flat or Smooth Leaf: broad smooth leaves; mostly grown for canned and frozen spinach as well as soups, baby food and processed foods.
Semi-savoy: a hybrid variety with crinkly leaves: is sold fresh and processed.
Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (modern Iran and neighboring countries). It is not known by whom, or when, spinach was introduced to India, but the plant was subsequently introduced to ancient China, where it was known as “Persian vegetable”. The earliest available record of the spinach plant was recorded in Chinese, stating it was introduced into China via Nepal.
The prickly-seeded form of spinach was known in Germany by no later than the 13th century, though the smooth-seeded form was not described until 1552. (The smooth-seeded form is used in modern commercial production.)
Spinach first appeared in England and France in the 14th century, probably via Spain, and it gained quick popularity because it appeared in early spring, when other vegetables were scarce and when Lenten dietary restrictions discouraged consumption of other foods. Spinach is mentioned in the first known English cookbook, the Forme of Cury (1390), where it is referred to as ‘spinnedge’ and/or ‘spynoches’.Smooth-seeded spinach was described in 1552.
Spinach was supposedly the favourite vegetable of Catherine de’ Medici. Dishes served on a bed of spinach are known as “Florentine”, reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.
During World War I, wine fortified with spinach juice was given to French soldiers weakened by hemorrhage.
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