Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices

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British Museum Press, 2002 - Spice trade - 184 pages
Spices and aromatics are at the centre of human history. Since antiquity they have had pride of place in the markets of the world for their irresistible contribution to food, drink, health, perfume, sex, magic and ritual. Hunger for spices lies behind some of the great explorations - it was in search of Eastern spices and drugs that the Portuguese opened up the sea route to India and the East Indies. Columbus sailed westwards in search of another route to the Indies and discovered a New World with aromatics of its own. Colonial powers fought, enslaved and killed to control this rich trade. 'Dangerous Tastes' offers a fresh look at the way trade and the search for exotic spices are woven into human history. The author shows how different regions became part of what is now a global trade network and how man's desire for these seemingly harmless substances brought consequences ranging from triumph to disaster.

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