This culinary-themed timeline was created by students in a "Foundations of Western Civilization" class taught by Utah State University professor Julia Gossard. Here, visitors can learn about major culinary trends -- including trends related to food, drink, feasts, and agriculture -- from the Ancien regime through the present day. For instance, one stop on the timeline, Enlightenment Desserts, notes the growing popularity of chocolate in Enlightenment-era Europe. Another timeline entry, "Fear of the Tomato in Italy," reveals that during the late eighteenth century, some Europeans grew to fear tomatoes because, curiously, a number of individuals grew seriously (sometimes fatally) ill after eating the fruit. The true culprit was lead, which was often included in fine dishware of the day. As the entry explains, "tomatoes would draw out the lead that was in their dish and would eventually poison" wealthy diners who ate from plates containing lead. Other entries address the Irish Potato Famine, the advent of processed cheese, and the invention of the chocolate chip cookie.
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