#168: The Curious History of Spice

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Spices are an integral part of almost every cuisine in the world and are something that most of us now take for granted.

Yet spices used to be an incredibly valuable commodity and were the preserve of only the very richest in some societies.

In this episode, we'll learn more about how they went from being the preserve of the very richest in society to something that we sprinkle on our dishes without worrying about the cost.

  • What do we actually mean by "spice"?
  • Is salt a spice?
  • Theories about why hotter countries have spicier food
  • Spices in Ancient Egypt
  • Salt in Ancient Rome
  • Pepper in the Middle Ages
  • Spices as a status symbol
  • King Edward I's spice bill in the 13th century
  • Why were spices so expensive?
  • Vasco Da Gama's trip to India
  • Competition for spice in Asia
  • The Spice Islands
  • Swapping Manhattan for a tiny spice island
  • The spice market today

Full transcript, subtitles and key vocabulary available on the website: https://www.leonardoenglish.com/podcasts/history-of-spice

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