A. To describe the trade in food crops between Europe and Americas
B. To describe the introduction of American food crops to Europeans
C. To describe the influence of American food crops on traditional European dishes
D. To describe the difficulties of growing American food crops in European climates
NARRATOR:Listen to part of a lecture in a European History Class.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:So would it surprise you to learn that many of the food that we eat today consider traditional European dishes that their key ingredients were not even known in Europe until quite recently, until the European started trading with the native people in North and South America?I mean, you probably aware that the Americas provide Europe and Asia with foods like squash, beans, turkey, peanuts.But what about all those Italian tomato sauces, hungarian goulashor my favorite, French fries? Those yummy fried potatoes.
MALE STUDENT:Wait. I mean I knew potatoes were from where, South America?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:South America. Right, the Andes Mountains.
MALE STUDENT:But you are saying tomatoes too?I just assume since they're used in so many Italian dishes.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:No, like potatoes, tomatoes grew wild in the Andes.Although unlike potatoes, they weren't originally cultivated there.That seems to have occurred first in Central America.And even then the tomato doesn't appear to have been very important as a food plant until the Europeans came on the scene.They took it back to Europe with them around 1550.And Italy was indeed the first place where it was widely grown as food crop.So in a sense, it really is more Italian than American.
And another thing and this is true of both potato and tomato.Both of these plants are members of Nightshade family.The Nightshade family is a category of plants which also includes many that you wouldn't want to eat, like mandrake, belladonna, and even tobacco.So it's no wonder that people once considered tomatoes and potatoes to be inedible too, even poisonous.And in fact, the leaves of the potato plant are quite toxic.So it took both plants quite a while to catch on in Europe.And even longer before it made a return trip to North America and became popular food items here.
FEMALE STUDENT:Yeah, you know, I remember, I remember my grandmother telling me that when her mother was a little girl, a lot of people still thought tomatoes are poisonous.
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Oh, sure. People didn't really start eating them here until the mid-eighteen hundreds.
FEMALE STUDENT:But seems like I heard didn't Tom Jefferson grow them or something?
FEMALE PROFESSOR:Well, that's true.But then Jefferson is known not only as the third president of the United States, but also as a scholar who was way ahead of his time in many ways.He didn't let the conventional thinking of his day restrain his ideas.
Now, potatoes went through a similar sort of rejection process, especially when they were first introduced in Europe.You know how potatoes can turn green if they are left in the light too long?And that greenish skin can make the potatoes taste bitter; even make you ill.So that was enough to put people off for over 200 years. Yes, Bill?
MALE STUDENT:I'm sorry professor Jones. But I mean yeah ok.American crops have probably contributed a lot to European cooking over the years. But...
FEMALE PROFESSOR:But have they really played any kind of important role in European history?Well, as a matter of fact, yes. I was just coming to that.
Let's start with North American corn or maize, as it's often called.Now before the Europeans made contact with the Americas, they subsist mainly on grains, grains that often suffered from crop failures.And it's largely for this reason that the political power in Europe was centered for centuries in the South, around the Mediterranean Sea which was where they could grow these grains with more reliability.
But when corn came to Europe from Mexico, wow, now they had a much hardier crop that could be grown easily in more northerly climates and centers of power began to shift accordingly.And then, well, as I said potatoes weren't really popular at first.But when they finally did catch on which they did first in Ireland around 1780.Well, why do you suppose it happen?Because potatoes have the ability to provide an abundant and extremely nutritious food crop, no other crop grown in North Europe at the time had anything like the number of vitamins contained in potatoes.Plus, potatoes grow on the single acre of land could feed many more people than say, uh....wheat grow on the same land.Potatoes soon spread to France and other Northern European countries.And as a result, the nutrition of the general population improved tremendously and population soared in the early 1800 and so the shift of power from southern to northern Europe continued.
但是当玉米从墨西哥到达欧洲以后，这种耐寒的作物可以很容易在偏北部的气候下生长，那么中央力量就相应转移了。然后， 我刚说土豆开始并不流行。但是后来在1780 年前后，土豆被爱尔兰所接受。为什么会这样呢？因为土豆有能力提供极其丰富的营养，北欧当时没有其它任何作物的含维他命量能和土豆相媲美。另外，土豆种植在单亩地上，可以为很多人提供粮食，小麦也种植在同一片地上。土豆很快就传播到法国及其它北欧国家。结果，总体人口的摄入营养都大幅度提升，而且在19 世纪初人口激增，所以欧洲力量从南向北转移的现象持续下来。
原文定位：So would it surprise you to learn that many of the food that we today consider traditional European dishes that their key ingredients were not even known in Europe until quite recently, until the European started trading with the native people in North and South America?
主旨题答案一般在文章开头欧，根据定位句，提示我们 lecture 的内容可能是讲述美国食物被引入到欧洲的情况，而整个 lecture 的内容印证了这个提示，B选项正确。