Gourmet Food Source
From the Ancient Egyptians to the Arabs, the Romans and the Portuguese and Dutch traders in the 1600s the spice trade has deep roots in world history. Marco Polo wrote of cloves, peppercorns and nutmeg and Columbus of vanilla and allspice. Traders risked life and limb in the pursuit of buying and selling spice and it is hard to imagine what a precious commodity it used to be.
Today, the spice trade is a huge multi million dollar industry giving lifelines to the economies of some of the world’s poorest countries. India is the biggest and best known producer of spices, other countries include Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Grenada, Zanzibar, Brazil and Madagascar. The use of spice varies from country to country, in India and South East Asia it is used in abundance and is an inherent part of their everyday food. The North Africans combine spices such as saffron, cumin and cinnamon to stews of meat and dried fruits and the English have used ginger and mace for hundreds of years.
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