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image Greek salad

Like a lot of people who live in Cyprus, I love to eat a good Greek salad in the summer. What most visitors to Cyprus, who tuck into those tasty salads, will probably never know is that the common lettuce we eat in salads has a long and noble history. Being the nosey individual I am, I looked into the history books and found some interesting facts on the lettuce, something that we normally take for granted. I discovered that the humble, crunchy, lettuce we love to eat had connections to where I live and one of my favourite subjects, Cyprus and Space.

Lettuce has its origins in the Middle East and appears on wall murals in Egypt from about 2700 B.C. The Greeks learned how to grow lettuce from the Egyptians and Greek mythology depicts Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis, killed in a bed of lettuce by a boar, apparently an arranged assassination by a jealous diety. Aphrodite, of course, was born in Cyprus, which is why Cyprus is sometimes referred to as the Island of love.

Eventually the Romans took on the lettuce and it was called lactuca. Over time, and thanks to the Roman conquest of Britain, lactuca made its way into the British diet and became lettuce in English.

Now the lettuce has joined the space race. From humble beginnings around 5,000 years ago, the lettuce and its relatives have now moved on from its lowly roots (pun intended) and the lettuce Outedgeous has become the first lettuce to be grown from seed, harvested and eaten in space.

I’m sowing the same seeds for the the lettuce Outredgeous today, in my tiny greenhouse, and hopefully by May I should have some lovely red, sweet and crunchy, romaine lettuce for salads.

Here’s to the space race and the eventual cultivation of lettuce on Mars. Now that would be something to write home about.

Copyright Tom Kane © 2019

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

Read a free sample of A Pat on his Back – Only £1.99 on Amazon Kindle.

Living in Cyprus: 2018  is out now, packed full of photographs and over 230 pages in length. This book is three books in one with details of my recent trip to Australia and Italy’s Lake Como. This new release is three times bigger than any of the previous five volumes, 2013 to 2017 and at only £3.99 on Amazon Kindle is still a bargain price.

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

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