Learning about Spices
What is a spice?
Why were spices important?
Sources of spices
Perfumes and Incenses 
Use of spices as aphrodisiacs
Use of spices as medicines
Culinary herbs
A spice timeline

Table of Spices
Allspice (Pimento)
Anise
Black Pepper
Cardamom
Cassia
Chile Pepper
Chocolate
Cinnamon
Clove
Coriander (Cilantro)
Cumin
Dill
Fennel
Fenugreek
Frankincense and Myrrh
Galangal
Garlic
Ginger
Horseradish
Licorice
Mustard
Nutmeg and Mace
Onion
Saffron
Sugar
Sumac
Tamarind
Turmeric
Vanilla

Contacts and Acknowledgments

HISTORY OF SPICE TRADE

5000 BCMiddle East Evidence of spices being used
3000Egypt Use of spices in embalming
2000Arabia Monopoly of spice trade (for 2000+ years)
1500Egypt Queen Hathepshut imports spices from Punt (East Africa)
1000Palestine Use of spices in anointing oil and incenses
992ArabiaQueen of Sheba brings spices to King Solomon
500Greece Importance of spices in diet as medicine
200China Cloves imported from Spice Islands
1st Century ADRome Extravagant use of spices
 RomeDeveloped sea-trade with India; lasted 3 centuries
500Europe Spices from Moluccan Islands available
 Arabia Controlled spice trade until Middle Ages
1100Europe Crusades stimulated interest in spices
1200England Guild of Pepperers established; merged with Spicers
1250Europe Spices regarded as aphrodisiacs
1300Italy Marco Polo’s book stimulates interest in Oriental spices
1350Europe Spices used as medicines & fumigants during Black Death
 Italy Venice and Genoa control spice trade
1400England Spicers’ Guild became Grocer’s Company
 Portugal Henry the Navigator stimulates sea discoveries
1450Turkey Controls spices; forced other sea route discoveries
 Spain Columbus finds spices in Caribbean islands
1500Portugal Controls spice trade after Vasco da Gama sails to India
1521Spain Magellan’s expedition circumnavigates the globe
 Italy Venice’s spice wealth helps finance Renaissance
1550England Drake circumnavigates globe; imports spices into England
1600Holland Gradually wrests Spice Islands from Portugal
 Spain Competes for spice trade
1650Holland Controls spice trade from East Indies
  Creates artificial shortage of Spice Island products
1700Ceylon Coffee trees planted; later, grown in Brazil
 Europe Coffee, chocolate and tobacco favored over spices
1750France Peter Poivre brings nutmegs and cloves to Mauritius and Reunion
 Holland Destroys spices to try and create price increases
1800England Take over Spice Islands, briefly
 America Pepper trade with East Indies makes millionaires in Salem, MA
1850Europe Spices are of decreasing significance
  Sugar becomes favored flavor
1900World Dietary fashions change; spices decrease in importance

Spice Exhibit URL: http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm

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