Before Columbus, Europe had never tasted potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, chocolate, pumpkins, coconuts, pineapples, strawberries, and much more. All these food items are native to the Americas. Although explorers brought potatoes back from the New World in the early 1500s, Europeans were afraid to eat them for fear that it would give them leprosy. It wasn’t until King Louis XVI, who was looking for a cheap food source for his starving subjects, served them at the royal table that people were convinced potatoes were safe to eat. Until 1720 in America, eating potatoes was believed to shorten a person’s life.
If you have not checked on Columbus since you were a youngster in school, view the slideshows of his life and reality here: