[Sca-cooks] Spices for preservation of meats

Terry Decker t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Sat Nov 18 21:21:54 PST 2006

The second URL comments on an apothecary in Barcelona (IIRC) selling pepper 
for 5 sous per pound and that the price was fairly consistent with the price 
earlier in the century.  If I'm correct about the coinage, that would have 
been the equivalent of the English five silver pennies.  At about the same 
time in England, a single sheep sold for about 48 to 50 pence with the 
capacity to return that value in wool in one to four years depending on the 
market.  Take the values quoted with a grain of salt, because I haven't been 
able to verify them fully.

The first URL provides some 15th Century values with comparisons to modern 
currencies.  At the beginning of the 16th Century, prices dropped by about 
1/3, when the Portuguese cut out the Arab middlemen.


>I have read that by the 14th century the price of black pepper came down to 
>the point that middle class folk in western Europe could afford to buy it. 
>Unfortunately I cannot locate my research paper that has the specific 
>  Cordelia Toser
> Terry Decker <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net> wrote:
>  Spices were expensive, but were not beyond the reach of anyone who could
> acquire a modicum of wealth. As for the relative cost, who, when and where
> must be considered in the equation. A couple of papers on the subject of
> spice prices can be found at:
> http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/SPICES1.htm
> http://www.econ.yale.edu/seminars/echist/eh05-06/Freeman's%20Paper.doc

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