The fruits and vegetables we all know and eat looked really different a long time ago. However, farmers domesticated these crops and adapted them to new tastes.
The first bananas may have been cultivated at least 7,000 years ago. They looked very different from modern bananas and had large seeds, like the ones in this photo. Credits: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/19/how-your-food-would-look-if-not-genetically-modified-over-millennia/
Today’s banana has a handy, graspable shape and tastes better.
The typical summer fruit looked strikingly different in 17-th century, as depicted by this painting by Giovanni Stanchi. It appears to have swirly shapes embedded in six triangular pie-shaped pieces. Credits: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pasteques,_extrait_d%27un_tableau_de_Giovanni_Stanchi.jp
Modern watermelon look different from the past, apart from the seeds, which some varieties still feature. In addition, the pulp looks redder.
Some of the earliest eggplants were cultivated in China. They have come in a wide array of shapes and colours, such as white, azure, purple, and yellow. Primitive versions used to have spines on the place where the plant’s stem connects to the flowers. Credits: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/19/how-your-food-would-look-if-not-genetically-modified-over-millennia/
Today, eggplant has gotten rid of the spines, is larger and purple-colored.
The earliest known carrots were grown in the 10th century in Asia Minor. They were purple or white with a thin, forked root, like those shown here. Credits: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/19/how-your-food-would-look-if-not-genetically-modified-over-millennia/
Today, carrots are orange and an annual winter crop.
Forget cobs. The erliest known corn appeared in 7000 BC, was about 19 mm long and tasted like a potato. Credits: https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/19/how-your-food-would-look-if-not-genetically-modified-over-millennia/
Today, corn is 1,000 times larger, is sweet and much easier to peel.