Cherries Found at Mount Vernon Uncover President George Washington’s Culinary Legacy

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Archaeologists Discover 250-Year-Old Fruit Bottles in Washington’s Virginia Plantation

Cherries Found at Mount Vernon Uncover President George Washington's Culinary Legacy
Cherries Found at Mount Vernon Uncover President George Washington’s Culinary Legacy

In a surprising discovery at Mount Vernon, the former home of President George Washington, archaeologists have unearthed a collection of 35 glass bottles filled with various fruits, prominently cherries. This find, part of a $40 million restoration project, sheds new light on the culinary practices and daily life at the plantation.

Unveiling a Culinary Time Capsule

The excavation at Mount Vernon revealed 29 intact bottles, 12 of which contained cherries and 16 others filled with berries, possibly gooseberries or currants. The remaining bottle held a mix of cherries and berries, hinting at a rich diversity of preserved fruits used during that era.

Insights into Plantation Life

Beyond the presidential connection, Mount Vernon was home to hundreds of enslaved individuals who likely cultivated and preserved these fruits. This discovery underscores their contributions to American cuisine, blending European, Native American, and African culinary influences.

Future Investigations and Culinary Significance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture plans DNA testing on these remarkably preserved fruits, offering insights into their origins and culinary uses. Whether consumed fresh, baked into desserts, or even churned into ice cream, these fruits illuminate the gastronomic preferences of the Washington family and their contemporaries.

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