VEGETABLES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

Market in Thailande
Market in Thailande
© Barbaroux

French market
French market
© Roche/Agropolis-Museum

 
 


 

What makes a vegetable ? The answer is not easy. Vegetables may be identified either according to their botanical characteristics, or according to their edible part. The edible part may be the fruit (tomato), the inflorescence (cauliflower), the buds ( Brussels sprout), the leaves (salad), the stalks (silver beet), the stems (asparagus), the root (carrot), the tuber (potato), the bulb (onion).

The vegetables of the world are extremely diverse. Overall, the production of tomato is the most important, followed by cabbage and onion. The vegetables, initially collected, were grown very early, as in the hanging gardens to Babylon for instance.

The diversity of cultivated vegetables has increased in the course of history. In 17 th century France, the so-called “king’s kitchen garden” somehow expressed a diversity which never ceased to increase up to our days.

Quite apart from having diversified, vegetables have also been considerably improved. There is a great deal of difference between the initial tomatoes (about the size of a cherry) and the ones we eat today.

Thanks to the selection and hybridization processes, to in vitro cultures, and to genetic engineering, a lot of improvement has been made.