Spices: A Global History

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Spices: A Global History is a general history of spices from the ancient world to the present day. Fred Czarra provides an overview of major events in spice history, from the trade routes of the ancient world to McCormick’s twenty-first century domination of global spices. Focusing on the five premier spices – black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the chili pepper – and also relating the stories of many others, Czarra’s account tracks spices’ influence as they travelled through the globe. Chili peppers, for example, migrated west from the Americas with the aid of European sailors; spreading rapidly into the Philippines and thence to India, China, Korea and Japan, the new spice was quickly incorporated into local cuisines. From India, the chili pepper was taken through Central Asia and Turkey to Hungary, where it became the national spice in the form of paprika.

The author also relates a wide range of spice fact, fable and legend: from giant birds building cinnamon nests, to early modern encounters between the English, Portuguese, and Dutch, which resulted in the first global war. He further shows that the spice trade opened up the first era of globalization, where people and spices mixed in cross-cultural exchanges. Containing many illustrations and incidents from spice history, Spices is a zesty, readable portrayal of this essential aspect of culinary history.

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Description

Spices: A Global History is a general history of spices from the ancient world to the present day. Fred Czarra provides an overview of major events in spice history, from the trade routes of the ancient world to McCormick’s twenty-first century domination of global spices. Focusing on the five premier spices – black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and the chili pepper – and also relating the stories of many others, Czarra’s account tracks spices’ influence as they travelled through the globe. Chili peppers, for example, migrated west from the Americas with the aid of European sailors; spreading rapidly into the Philippines and thence to India, China, Korea and Japan, the new spice was quickly incorporated into local cuisines. From India, the chili pepper was taken through Central Asia and Turkey to Hungary, where it became the national spice in the form of paprika.

The author also relates a wide range of spice fact, fable and legend: from giant birds building cinnamon nests, to early modern encounters between the English, Portuguese, and Dutch, which resulted in the first global war. He further shows that the spice trade opened up the first era of globalization, where people and spices mixed in cross-cultural exchanges. Containing many illustrations and incidents from spice history, Spices is a zesty, readable portrayal of this essential aspect of culinary history.

 

Publisher: Reaktion Books

Paperback

2009

ISBN: 9781861894267