For decades, Nitza Villapol hosted Cocina al Minuto, a popular cooking show in Cuba. In the decades after Fidel Castro took power, she adapted her cooking, teaching Cubans how to make do without certain ingredients while instructing them in how to use once-eschewed produce and cuts of meat in new ways. Screenshot from YouTube hide caption

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The 'Turkey' apricot, a hand-colored engraving after a drawing by Augusta Innes Withers (1792-1869), from the first volume of John Lindley's Pomological Magazine (1827-1828). The Romans dubbed the apricot the "precious one." Poets praised its beauty. The conquering Arabs took it to the Mideast, where the luxurious fruit was exploited in sugary confections. The Royal Horticultural Society Diary/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Why did humans start cultivating celery? It's low-calorie and, one might argue, low flavor. We asked some experts at the intersection of botany and anthropology to share their best guesses. Cora Niele/Getty Images hide caption

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Chinese and other Asian beer brands on display at a supermarket. An ancient brewery discovered in China's Central Plain shows the Chinese were making barley beer with fairly advanced techniques some 5,000 years ago. Chris/Flickr hide caption

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Crepes are a cousin of the enchilada, says Mexican chef Pati Jinich. A vestige of French intervention in Mexico, crepes are now considered classics of Mexican gastronomy. (Above) Jinich's crepe enchiladas with corn, poblano chiles and squash in an avocado-tomatillo sauce. Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hide caption

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Harriet Tubman, pictured between 1860 and 1875. The woman who will soon become the first African-American to grace an American currency note self-funded many of her heroic raids to save slaves by cooking. H.B. Lindsley/Library of Congress via AP hide caption

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An illustration depicts a scene from Shakespeare's Coriolanus, a play that opens with citizens armed with "staves, clubs, and other weapons" in protest against the city fathers they accuse of hoarding grain. In Shakespeare's day, food shortages tore through England — and the bard himself was fined for grain hoarding. Nicolas Poussin/Wikimedia Commons hide caption

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Manischewitz is closely associated with Jewish tradition, but it was once a huge crossover success. Sammy Davis Jr. was its spokesman in TV advertising. At one point, the typical drinker was described as an urban African-American man. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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The King Drinks, by the 17th century artist Jacob Jordaens, illustrates a feasting scene from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The Shakespearean larder teems with intriguing-sounding food. Culture Club/Getty Images hide caption

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Katsu curry: The British navy brought its anglicized interpretations of Indian cuisines to Imperial Japan in the 19th century. By the end of the century, the Japanese navy had adapted the British version of curry. Alpha/Flickr hide caption

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This version of Baked Alaska at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City stays true to the original: a walnut sponge cake layered with apricot compote and banana gelato, covered with torched meringue. Courtesy of Delmonico's Restaurant hide caption

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Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Gandhi, Pythagoras, Balzac, Marie Curie — scanning history's greatest minds, we find many were inspired by certain food or drink, repulsed by others, or had some very peculiar dining habits. Katherine Du/NPR hide caption

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A tea lady brings round refreshments for British office workers in the 1970s. All over the U.K., the arrival of the tea ladies with trolleys loaded with a steaming tea urn and a tray of cakes or buns was the high point of the workday. M. Fresco/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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During World War II, Potato Pete, a dapper cartoon spud with a jaunty cap and spats, instructed U.K. consumers on the humble tuber's many uses – not just in standards like scalloped potatoes and savory pies but also in more surprising options, like potato scones and waffles. Imperial War Museums (Art.IWM PST 6080) hide caption

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