In my reading...
... I, like you, often run across things that I really need to look up. But this thing-I-had-to-Look-Up really got my attention because it seems so... improbable.
The article I was reading was set in Ancient Rome, and described a mysterious plant as something so valuable that it was depicted on ancient coins as an emblem of wealth.
It was valuable partly because it was used as both a medicine AND as regular kind of seasoning. I also be that part of the reason it was so valuable is that it was fairly rare. (But I'm guessing.)
Yet, remarkably, this plant somehow vanished--it seems to have totally disappeared from the earth. What? It's a plant... wouldn't some enterprising farmer have figured out a way to grow it (and earn millions of denarii in the process)?
|(I have no idea what the mystery plant looks like, so I went with a generic plant background.)
We know it was used all around the Mediterranean, and yet somehow, it slipped from our collective horticultural fingers.
Can you solve this 2000 year old cold-case?
1. What was this plant? How is it possible that we no longer grow it?
2. And if you wanted to simulate the flavor of this mystery plant in your food today, what spice would you use? (Assuming you can find a substitute spice...)
This is such an odd story that this week we'll have just these two Challenges.
So... what is it?
When you figure it out, be sure to let us know HOW you were able to uncover the millennia of mystery and determine what it is (or, rather, was).
P.S. I know I didn't post an Answer to last week's Challenge. Sorry about that. I forgot that I would be travelling during the early part of this week. I'll post the Answer tomorrow (Thursday, July 6) in the afternoon after I get back home.