The Scents of Power
Today we mainly associate Spices and Foods. But for centuries Spices have played a major role in economy being considered as precious as gems or gold. Their role, in the economy, could be compared with the one played by Oil nowadays.
Spices were once one of the most expensive items and were usually kept locked in specific boxes. Merchants built fortunes with their trading. Rulers made huge money by raising customs and duties on spices trading. Conqueror like Alaric the Visigoth, demands three thousand pounds of pepper as ransom from Rome. ... Read More »
Foods, Health and Sex
In addition to be an ingredient for cooking in flavouring the food, Spices were and are still used as medecines, preservatives, perfumes, body ointments and anointing oils. Some spices like cloves, ginger, nutmeg, or saffron were also highly appreciated for their aphrodisiac properties. ... Read More »
Explorers to break the Arab Monopoly and ... to discover America
Spices were first cultivated or collected in Asia (i.e.: India, China). The first foreign customers were the people of the Mediterranean countries provided by the Arab Merchants monopoly. But the Europeans rulers and the merchants started to break the monopoly with explorers by land like Marco Polo, then by sea with Vasco de Gama, Magellan and Colombus. As we all know Colombus was trying to find India and a new Spices Route when he discovered America and the 'indians'. But also Cabral, a Portuguese discover Brazil on his way to India. ... Read More »