From the history of spices

Empires have won and lost historical battles for the sake of a variety of spices settling on the shelves of our kitchens. We can no longer do without them: spices give a special taste to everyday food and bring their unique aroma into our lives.

And today we take the prevalence and availability of exotic spices and spices for granted. It’s hard for us to imagine what:
  • the value of a handful of cardamom was equal to the annual earnings of a poor man
  • slaves were sold for a few handfuls of pepper-peas, and for a pound of dried nutmeg you could buy three sheep and a cow
  • half a kilo ginger cost as much as a sheep
  • Roman legionnaires took baths with thyme before battle to increase vitality and bravery
  • port loaders in London were forced to sew up their pockets to prevent them from stealing a single pea pepper
  • in the Middle Ages, for stealing nutmeg, hands were cut off, and for counterfeiting saffron was punished with death
  • at the time of Columbus, the common onion was valued so much that the Saracens demanded at least eight for the ransom of a captured Frenchman bulbs
  • in ancient Rome, only salt was known as a seasoning, but it was believed that the smell of mint lifts the mood and contributes to a pleasant conversation at the table, so the Romans had a custom: before the arrival of guests, the tables were rubbed with fresh mint, and the walls and floors were sprinkled with an aqueous infusion of its leaves
  • during the Second World War, black pepper was used by scouts to throw off the trail of search dogs
  • translated from Latin, the word “specio” means “something that commands respect”
  • turmeric contains 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries
  • the feathers of some species of birds can acquire a red tint if they eat a lot of cayenne pepper
  • that even now in some restaurants saffron is kept in a special safe
From the history of spices
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