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Home » Food History

The Tea Roads

Submitted by on July 13, 2013 – 8:06 amNo Comment

canada_montreal_tea-roadsThink about it, Road Trips Foodies: what do you really know about the most popular hot beverage on earth and its historical, cultural, and economic importance?

An exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière, the Museum of Archaeology and History, 350 Place Royale, Montréal, Québec, Canada (map), sheds light on the world of tea and the many cultural phenomena that surround its consumption. Visitors discover tea’s hidden side, from its first appearance in China to its widespread use in Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

Tea’s beginnings are rooted in a legend that dates back to the year 2737 BCE. Legend has it that Emperor Shennong — well-loved by his subjects and venerated as the Father of Medicine — a man who taught others to boil water before drinking it, was resting under a tree with a bowl of simmering water to calm his upset stomach. A gust of wind blew by, causing a few leaves to drop into his bowl. Shennong admired the color the leaves imparted to the liquid, and he also found it to be a delicious beverage. Tea was born.

The exhibition is laid out to represent the various routes that tea travelled before coming to its contemporary use, ending with a section in which visitors can further their knowledge of tea, its origins, cultivation, and processing.

The Tea Roads continues through September 29, 2013.

Check out this video about the exhibit:

(Photo courtesy of Tourisme Montréal; video courtesy of Pointe-à-Callière)

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