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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 19:08
You probably have to be careful interpreting Norse references to wine. Even today 'wine' in England is not necessarily made from grapes. Elderflower wine used to be a favourite of mine when you could find it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 20:14
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

You probably have to be careful interpreting Norse references to wine. Even today 'wine' in England is not necessarily made from grapes. Elderflower wine used to be a favourite of mine when you could find it.

Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Since they didn't make wine, and weren't familiar with grapes, they could have assumed that the blueberries were grapes (or, at least, something very similar and quite delicious).


Blueberries are abundant in Scandinavia though, I seriously doubt they'd mix them up. There were much trade with the Roman world already in the 3-4th centuries, and wine utensils have been found in graves from that time. There is no question that they knew about wine.



Anyway, personally I think the 'vin' in Vinland referes to gracelands, which it also can mean.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 20:34

Originally posted by Styrbiorn Styrbiorn wrote:

Blueberries are abundant in Scandinavia though, I seriously doubt they'd mix them up.

No. There are no real blueberries in Scandinavia at all - it is another plant, the bilberry. Calling a bilberry a blueberry is a colloqualism (slang). Not the same plant.

Blueberries are flowering plants in the genus Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus. The species are native only to North America . . .

Several other plants of the genus Vaccinium also produce blue berries which are sometimes confused with blueberries, mainly the predominantly European bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), which in many languages has a name that means "blueberry" in English . . .

True wild blueberries (section Cyanococcus of the genus Vaccinium) occur naturally only in eastern and north-central North America. Other sections in the genus, native to other parts of the world including western North America, Europe, and Asia, include other wild shrubs producing similar-looking edible berries such as huckleberries, cranberries, bilberries and cowberries. These are sometimes colloquially called blueberries and sold as blueberry jam or other products.

The names of blue berries in languages other than English often translate as "blueberry", e.g. Scots Blaeberry and Norwegian Blåbær, although those berries may belong to another species. For example, Blåbær and French myrtilles usually refer to the European native bilberry.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberry



Edited by edgewaters - 25-Nov-2008 at 20:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 20:46
Well, we called them blueberries before America was discovered, I didn't realize you've switched names on them in English. You learn something every day. I guess that could be a reason for a mixup. How do they taste, compared to the European berries?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 21:09
I've never tasted a bilberry so I don't know how they compare, but blueberries are really good. They have a sweet taste but not too sweet. Blueberry juice is especially good. Apparently you can make a wine with them that's supposedly quite good, but I've never had it.

Edited by edgewaters - 25-Nov-2008 at 21:11
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jams Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 21:37
Interestingly those blueberries grow in clusters, according to Wiki. So it may be that they truly are the "wine" of the Sagas. However, the berries themselves look very similar to bilberries (that we call blueberries).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red clay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Nov-2008 at 23:15
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Originally posted by pikeshot1600 pikeshot1600 wrote:

Unless the Norse discovered the Ste Laurence River and made it further inland and further south, it is doubtful they ever got to areas where either the growing season or the climate (or soil conditions) were favorable for viniculture.  Also, the Norse were not all that familiar with wine (pillaging northern France and Iberia had been several centuries before the North American voyages), and their favorite beverage was mead or some other brewed liquor.

I think they probably found blueberries, which are native to the Maritimes and Maine (I think it might be the only place they can grow even now). The North Shore of Quebec is particularly abundant with them, and the Vikings supposedly did venture there at least once, briefly. These might be the "Vins" they are referring to.

Since they didn't make wine, and weren't familiar with grapes, they could have assumed that the blueberries were grapes (or, at least, something very similar and quite delicious).

 
 
 
Mead and or beer was an important dietary supplement more than it was a recreational drink.
 
 
Scuppernongs Are a wild grape.  The true fox grape.  Concord grapes aren't wild.  Scuppernong grows well into maine and westward.
 
Blueberries on the other hand grow nearly the entire length of the East Coast.  The cultivated blueberry originated at a site about 20 miles from my home in a place called Whitesbog. [New Jersey strikes again]
 
New jersey was once the leading producer of Blueberries.  I think it now falls in at 8th or 9th.  The oldest and largest Blueberry growers co-op, "Tru Blue" once had over 400 active growers.  Two years ago, with less than 20 members, they finally shut down.
 
BTW- the wild varieties of blueberries are called Huckleberries and are much smaller and a different color than bluberries, making it unlikely that they were mistaken for grapes.
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2008 at 23:32
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Jams Jams wrote:

I did't mean it as recently imported, but originally imported long time ago. Just as you say above.
 
Yes, chilean wine grapes are French in its origin.
What gives the special character of the wine is the grape, indeed, but also the soil, the rain, the sun and even the tonel were the grape ferment. It is a very interesting and complex process, indeed, and few countries had the condition to making good wines.
In Europe, we have France, Italy, Germany and Spain, in North America you have California. In the Southern Hemisphere you have Australia, Argentina and Chile, and not many countries more.
 
OK, pinguin....as I type this, a bottle of Chilean Veramonte Primus 2005 is breathing.  It is a meritage (Carmenere/Cab. Sauv./Merlot), not at all high on the cork, and maybe it is too early to drink it, but, hey, I can do what I want.  The price was decent; $20 US.  I will let you know how it goes with a medium rare steak and some ripe cheeses for dessert.  Smile
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2008 at 23:39
Cheers!
 
And yes! Red wine is to be accompanied with food, particularly meat! (White wine goes better with fish)
 
But 20 US$ the bottle? My godness!!
 
 


Edited by pinguin - 02-Dec-2008 at 23:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Dec-2008 at 23:49
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Cheers!
 
And yes! Red wine is to be accompanied with food, particularly meat! (White wine goes better with fish)
 
But 20 US$ the bottle? My godness!!
 
 
 
Well, we have a state monopoly on liquor where I live, and much of that price is tax.  However, the state has enormous purchasing power, and the selection is huge.  They can inventory and warehouse much larger amounts of wine.  I don't know what to say....except, "do you want to drink or not?"
 
Our prices are better than most of the surrounding states, and the selection is much better.  If the wine is "corked" and not good, or if you just don't like it, they will refund your money without question.  Not many private merchants will do that.
 
 


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 02-Dec-2008 at 23:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Dec-2008 at 00:13
That's look pretty good. It just called my attention your bottle cost 10 times more the wine I drink. But good wines are pricy, so I guess it is fine.
 
Cheers, again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Dec-2008 at 17:49

Originally posted by red clay red clay wrote:

BTW- the wild varieties of blueberries are called Huckleberries and are much smaller and a different color than bluberries, making it unlikely that they were mistaken for grapes.

Huckleberries are not blueberries!! Again, its a confusion of naming but the berries referred to that way are a similar plant of the same genus, but not the same species at all.

The wild blueberries are called "lowbush" blueberries. They are a smaller plant, with smaller berries, though they have a more intense colour and tend to be sweeter and more valuable by weight (better for making premium jams, juices or wines because of the higher glucose content, not as good for use whole). 

Highbush blueberries - the cultivated sort - are less sweet and not as valuable on the market since they aren't as good for making jams or juices. They are typically used whole, in baking etc (blueberry muffins and so on). You can make jams and juices with them, they just aren't as suited to it and usually need more processing and additives. If you buy a 100% pure unadulterated blueberry juice, it is probably lowbush.

In parts of the Maritimes lowbush blueberries grow in vast barrens, where they are the only plant that exists in that soil. Incidentally, there is one such expanse not far from L'Anse Aux Meadows.

If the Vikings hadn't seen actual grapes (only imported wine), they could see that the blueberries looked like bilberries but were obviously different and much better for making wine or juice. They would have known that these were not bilberries. They might have thought these were grapes, if they had never seen grapes - or maybe they simply used the closest word they had ("Vin") to approximate what it was that they found. Finally, they could have knowingly used the term "Vin" to refer  to the blueberries as a marketing ploy for settlers (the same way they named "Greenland" after discovering "Iceland" didn't appeal to settlers too much!)

Finally - if they found blueberries and really liked them (which is quite probable), what other name were they supposed to use? They had found a berry that was very sweet and highly suited to winemaking growing in vast abundance ... the easiest thing to do would be to call it a "grape", since grapes do of course come in many different sizes, shapes, and colours.



Edited by edgewaters - 06-Dec-2008 at 18:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Dec-2008 at 07:42

Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

Finally - if they found blueberries and really liked them (which is quite probable), what other name were they supposed to use? They had found a berry that was very sweet and highly suited to winemaking growing in vast abundance ... the easiest thing to do would be to call it a "grape", since grapes do of course come in many different sizes, shapes, and colours.

And this certainly wouldn't be unusual. After all, "corn" is a very old word that didn't always mean corn, and some poor soul was left to describe a new fruit to his countrymen and came up with "pine-apple".

On a side note, I don't think there's any fruit better than wild blueberries - which is why it always bothers me that distorted economies of scale result in supermarkets being stocked almost exclusively with cultivated blueberries from Oregon, even when local berries are in season and being picked by the ton all over Ontario and Quebec.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07-Dec-2008 at 12:00
Indeed. "Corn" was a word used for grain in Europe long before contact, unlike "Maize" that, I believe is native and more specific.
 
Europeans had a lot of trouble describing the fruits and animals they found in the new world, and they just picked what appeared closest. That's why Brits called the Peruvian domestic rodent a "Guinea Pig", which is wrong because it is an animal from the Americas. The Spaniards didn't do better, they called that animal "rabbit from the Indies" or rabbit from the Americas! which is also wrong because cuys aren't rabbits but rodents. The most pathetic case is the name of llamas Spaniards gave. They called it "lambs from the land". I really don't find any similarity at all between llamas and lambs!
 
So, we must be aware about these problems in naming that aren't enough to determine the actual plant or animal that is described in the texts
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Dec-2008 at 13:59
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Indeed. "Corn" was a word used for grain in Europe long before contact, unlike "Maize" that, I believe is native and more specific.
 
Europeans had a lot of trouble describing the fruits and animals they found in the new world, and they just picked what appeared closest. That's why Brits called the Peruvian domestic rodent a "Guinea Pig", which is wrong because it is an animal from the Americas. The Spaniards didn't do better, they called that animal "rabbit from the Indies" or rabbit from the Americas! which is also wrong because cuys aren't rabbits but rodents. The most pathetic case is the name of llamas Spaniards gave. They called it "lambs from the land". I really don't find any similarity at all between llamas and lambs!
Yes, there are alot of naming problems like that ... I can think also of the French word for potato, "pomme de terre" (apple of the earth). Similar with the name for bison ... "bison" is Greek for an ox, "buffalo" comes from French "boeuf", for beef/cattle. Obviously they are neither!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13-Dec-2008 at 14:15
Oh, yes, buffalo. I once tried bufallo meat (grown in farms) at a Canadian restaurant. What a wonderful meat. The best I ever tried, sincerely.
With respect to guinea pig, I forgot to tell the name "pig" comes from the fact those animals whistle and send a sound similar to pigs. That's an amazing mascot for kids, because one can whistle to them.... and they answer Confused.. I had a female guinea pig that was at home during eight years and died of old. It was a very beloved "member of the family" LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Dec-2008 at 23:37

Strange, I'm Canadian and I've never tried buffalo (I have tried caribou though .. very good).

They now have some sort of hybrid crossbreed, they call it "beefalo". There's a small herd of them not far from here.

Guineau pigs are popular pets up here too, I never had any idea they were Peruvian ... I always thought they were from Guinea in Africa!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 00:19
Yes, "guinea" pigs are Peruvian. There is pre-contact pottery that show them in ancient Peru.
 
They aren't Mexican, either:
 
They are Peruvian, and a common icon in ancient Peruvian art:
File:Guineapiglarcomuseum.jpg
This is from 200 AD Peru.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 01:23

So were they domesticated by Inca, Moche etc? Or were they more like rats or mice?

If they were domesticated, on what scale and for what purpose? Pets for wealthy elites? Food? 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Dec-2008 at 01:54
Originally posted by edgewaters edgewaters wrote:

So were they domesticated by Inca, Moche etc? Or were they more like rats or mice?

If they were domesticated, on what scale and for what purpose? Pets for wealthy elites? Food? 

 
 
The topic is getting interesting. Cuys (guinea pigs) were domesticated as food, and still is a popular meat in countries like Peru and Bolivia ConfusedConfused. They are very ancient animals, and looked the same since old times, but I bet domestication had produced the variety, colloring, soft hair, and nice character, that you can see today.
 
First, you have to understand one of the main problems on nutrition in the Americas it was the lack of cattle. In the Americas there weren't domesticated large meat animals like cows, sheep or goats. In many societies the problem was solved by hunting wild animals, but that wasn't a good solution when population grew into civilizations. That's why in Mexico they grew dogs for eating them. In Peru they could eat llamas (and still do), and developed the guinea pig for the same purpose. Llamas, though, are a very usefull animal to produce textiles and to transport loads, so killing them for food it was expensive. That's why they breed cuys as a cheap food for daily consumption.
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