Saffron and a bit OT

Jim McKenney
Mon, 31 Oct 2005 15:10:00 PST
Angelo said: " And finally, most part of the classic cultivations of the
Mediterranean, (in a wider sense including animals like goat, sheep, horse,
dog etc) have a so long tradition that the wild ancestors are still

Yes. I was surprised to find out that artichokes, although they have a
botanical name, Cynara scolymus, are not known as a truly wild plant
anywhere. Just as there is an obvious connection between Crocus sativus and
C. cartwrithgianus, there is the obvious similarity between Cynara scolymus
and C. cardunculus, the cardoon. But in either case, what exactly is the
significance of that connection?

Garlic provides another example. Garlic is a mystery plant (an odd way to
put it in discussing a plant whose odor would give it away in a mob scene).
Garlic is not raised from seed. All of the existing culinary garlics, and
there are dozens of them divided into soft-neck and hard-neck sorts, may
actually be the somatically mutated descendents of one plant. In other
words, it's possible that all of the varied culinary garlics are an ancient
and vary variable clone.

Yum yum. Let's have PBS foodie week.

Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7, where as is probably
apparent, I'm hungry again. 

More information about the pbs mailing list