Joel H. Tatelman jhtatelman at
Fri Sep 5 20:43:06 UTC 1997

I can confirm that tobacco, tomatoes, chillies and potatoes were brought
back from the Americas by the early European explorers and from there
disseminated to Asia.

>Poornima Kirloskar asks,
>> Did the Harappans smoke? If so, what did they smoke? Beedis, opium?
>> Was tobacco introduced to India by the Europeans?
>I don't know about the first question, but as for the introduction of
>tobacco, I have read from what seemed a good book on the history of
>tobacco smoking (purchased in a cigar shop).  I regret not having the
>volume on hand, and cannot provide any instant citation.  The book
>included information that perhaps belongs to the popular wisdom, but
>did seem to have much detail and carried what I felt to be a sense of
>some proper scholarship.
>According to my recollection, it was clearly suggested that tobacco
>smoking originated exclusively with Native Americans, and thus was,
>of course, not introduced to Europe (let alone Asia / India) until
>after the voyage of Columbus.  I believe it's commonly asserted that
>the same holds for various other botanicals, such as tomatos and
>chilis.  Tangentially, this seems rather interesting with regard to
>current customs & practices of Indian cuisine -- suggesting that mrch
>masala isn't so perennial as one might assume from current plates.
>The tobacco volume also referred to the faddish popularization of
>tobacco smoking in Europe -- where it was initially (and for a good
>while) viewed as a salubrious, indeed highly beneficial practice.  In
>my view, there might be more to that than current vogue suggests --
>thinking, here, of the non-inhaling forms of tobacco smoking (pipe &
>cigar), as distinguished from the noxious effects of cigarettes.
>but I run afield . . .
> .
> .....
> ............
> \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\/////\\\\\
>   >    david   raphael   israel    <
>   >>      washington  d.c.      <<
> |  davidi at   (home)
> |  disrael at       (office)
> =========================
> |   thy centuries follow each other
> |   perfecting a small wild flower
> |                                       (Tagore)
> //////////////////////////////////////////\\\\\/////

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Dr. Joel Tatelman,				4817 Sheboygan Avenue, Apt.
Visiting Lecturer in Sanskrit,			Madison Wisconsin 53705, U.S.A.
Dept. of South Asian Studies,
University of Wisconsin-Madison,		Tel.: (608) 278-0447
1250 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive,
Madison, Wisconsin 53706, U.S.A.

Tel.: (608) 262-2749
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