World History: May 20

Food & History: May 20

1506  Explorer Christopher Columbus dies.

1799  Honore de Balzac Born.  Author and food enthusiast, Balzac would lock himself in a room when he had a spell of creativity consuming only fruit, eggs and coffee.  When he took a break he consumed huge amounts of food.  One report recalls that at the Véry restaurant he ate “a hundred Ostend oysters, twelve cutlets of salt-meadow mutton, a duck with turnips, two partridges and a Normandy sole,” not to mention the desserts, fruit and liqueurs.

1810  Dolly Madison, wife of president James Madison, supposedly served the first ice cream at the White House.

1958  James Drummond Dole dies, known as the ‘Pineapple King’ and founder of Dole (Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901).

2005  Governor Jeb Bush signed a bill making the orange the official State Fruit of Florida.