History of Science Journalism

Rural Wakeup

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Interlocutor: ... do you agree professor? Today, we are going to do an about-face.
Professor: And what else, shepherdess, what else?
I: Well, we are moving from the sea to the land. After all, one must not forget that this is the Réveil rural show.
P: All right. Let us go for a stroll in the woods. Ha! Let us discuss the raspberry.
I: Excellent idea. Rubus idaeus. Ida's bramble.
P: Well precisely, my good friend, since you are Linnaean today, but also know where this term comes from.
I: Hum? What's this? Ida? Mont Ida. That's somewhere in Greece.
P: Indeed, this is why Pline considered Crete as the origin and only possible land of the raspberry.
The story goes that a certain Melissos, king of the land, had a daughter, the nymph Ida,
more or less a wet nurse to Jupiter, and he was very much disturbed by the grousing of the already violent brat.
Et si potum noutou tresmissitolimpum. One can only imagine what it was like when he cried.
So Ida, the good daughter, who wished her father a peaceful nap, imagined stopping the child's mouth with a raspberry,
but since it was the beginning of the season, to find a raspberry that was ripe, she had to venture into the thicket where she scratched her breast on thorns.
And this is why raspberries, supposedly totally white before, are now bright red. So the story goes.
I: So the raspberry comes from Greece?

P: This is less certain... Certainly not the raspberry from Canada.
And in France, we claim as indigenous, the raspberries of our Alps and the Massif Central where they are grow in the wild and from whence comes the name of raspberry, which is none other than an abbreviation for woods strawberry.
I: If it did originate in the woods, this fruit is no longer confined to the woods.
P: And for a long time now, with no offence meant to lovers of wild fruit, in moving down to our gardens, the raspberry has lost none of its innate qualities and has even acquired others.
I: For example?

P: For example, sugar and volume.
Take, for instance, purple raspberries such as the Pilate or the Omer: juicy, mouth-watering, and nothing to envy of the rustic berries of our woods.
I: Naturally, for raspberries like other berries, there are many alternatives to spare.
P: Do you doubt this? Stemta, the fruit, is heresy! Both as a crop and in gastronomy.
I: Oh! Oh!

P: There are no oh ohs! You cannot...