[Sca-cooks] Information, Please

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Mon Jul 20 05:57:47 PDT 2009

> <<< West to east?
> Allspice, vanilla, chilli peppers, including paprika
> Johnnae
> Stefan li Rous wrote:  An herb/spice that was imported from the West to
> the East, rather than the other direction. We've talked about some local
> spices before, such as mustard, but this is the first that I can
> remember being traded from the West to the East, except perhaps for
> saffron.  Anyone know of any others (herb or spice)?
> >>>
> Okay. Sigh. NOT what I meant. Pre-1492. ie: From Europe to the Middle 
> East, India or eastern Asia.
> Besides if you were including New World herbs and spices, you'd have  to 
> include chocolate.
> Stefan

I don't know if grains of paradise or grains of selim made their way very 
far to the East, but they did come out of West Africa and were traded into 
the Levant.

Many of the common herbs and spices originate in the area between Europe and 
the Far East.  Most of those moved both East and West before recorded 
history.  The exotic spices are primarily from tropical regions that are 
isolated geographically which kept them from being part of the Neolithic 
agrarian migrations.  What Johnnae has demonstrated is when Western Europe 
had herbs and spices unavailable in Asia, those foodstuffs moved East as 
quickly as the provender of the Spice Islands moved West.

A better question might be, what did the Europeans trade to get those spices 
(furs, fabric, tin, lead, pewter, brass, tapestries, etc.)


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