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Also rice and coffee
came over the
Via Claudia Augusta
to the regions

What was not always in the regions of the Via Claudia Augusta found its way almost continuously along the road connecting Europe across the Alps into the regions and towns along the route. When historians or connoisseurs of the history of food and drink are asked to characterize Roman cuisine, they often begin more or less like this: the Via Claudia Augusta was an Arab-inspired Mediterranean cuisine, but it lacked the main ingredients of today's Mediterranean cuisine. The Romans were already in contact with some other parts of the world, for example with Asia, but you exchanged with them - if at all - only very valuable, easily transportable goods, like spices. That is why there was no rice in Roman cuisine. Why should the Romans have laboriously transported rice from Asia to Europe? They had an abundance of different grains, which could be prepared in many different ways. It is no coincidence that Roman cuisine reminds us in some respects of today's Arabic cuisine. There was a close exchange around the Mediterranean and the Romans always took the best from everywhere and developed it further. It is also said that they were the Japanese or Chinese of antiquity. Even ingredients that came much later to the regions and places along the Via Claudia Augsta, did so almost continuously on the Via Claudia Augusta. It was also after the Romans a main connection between the south and the north of Europe. At its ends, globally, lay 2 of the most important economic metropolises of the Middle Ages and early modern times: Augsburg and Venice. Venice long dominated trade with countries around the Mediterranean, with Arabia and the rest of known Asia. The corn, potatoes, tomatoes came from America in the wake of Christopher Columbus and spread from the ports along the Via Claudia Augusta. The rice came to Venice through Constantinople and from there started its way to the north. Later, rice began to be cultivated in the Po Valley itself. The Trentino polenta also arrived in Trentino, via the Via Claudia Augusta, and is thus definitely related to the road that connected Europe. These ingredients can therefore be seen as part of the more recent Via Claudia Augusta cuisine, the international cuisine of the regions along the route, inspired by the important road. The famous beans of Lamon also came from South America via the Via Claudia Augusta, before becoming a cult in the town at the entrance to the Bellunese Dolomites. The most important European ports for Arabica coffee were Venice and Genoa, from where the coffee began its triumphal march northward. The most important ports for South American coffee, on the other hand, were in the north. Thus, South American coffee possibly reached Italy via the Via Claudia Augusta. Who knows? It is exciting to see what all moved along the Via Claudia Augusta, or rather what the Via Claudia Augusta set in motion in the regions and places along its route and beyond. It may confidently be seen as part of the culture of the Via Claudia Augusta and partly also of the Via Claudia Augusta cuisine, the cuisine of the internationally inspired cuisine of the regions along the Via Claudia Augusta.

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