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4891Re: Maize and potatoes

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  • Stephen Law
    Jan 2, 2002
      Trudy wrote:
      "Since the maize was growing within the borders of the Shire, I assume
      the hobbits got it from the same source as their potatoes--considering
      at that time in history potatoes were very small ancestors of the
      vegetable we know today, and were grown only in the valleys of the
      Andes (actually, at _that_ time in history, I'm not sure they'd even
      been domesticated yet). Potatoes first arrived in Europe in the 1500's
      A.D. Maybe hobbits did have some magic about them, after all!"

      I recently read a fuller version of the tale of Turin in one of
      Christopher Tolkien's anthologies ('The Lays of Beleriand' I think - it
      was excellent, much more engrossing that the cut-down Silm version) and
      there's an interesting snippet from Mim the Petty-dwarf where he shows
      Turin and his band of outlaws some roots which he says can be eaten
      instead of bread and which are a great secret, not even the elves know
      about them. I assume Tolkien meant for these to be taken to be potatoes,
      so he did plan to provide an "origin" or explanation for potatoes being
      in middle-earth.

      Steve Law