Spices

Spices have always been loved in oriental countries and present in all their food and even in other uses : medicine, religious rituals,cosmetics…

The earliest evidence of the use of spice by humans was around 50,000 B.C. The spice trade developed throughout the Middle East in around 2000 BC with cinnamon and pepper.

Spices were used for medical purposes throughout history. The rich were able to put spices in wine which was then drunk to cure or ward off different illness. The poor only were able to have a handful or a pinch of a spice and were more likely to get sick.

Spices were also used as aphrodisiacs and to help with reproduction. The most common aphrodisiac spice was cinnamon.

In Egyptian times spices were used when mummifying important pharaohs and other people. Spices were even left in the tombs for the dead person to take with them in the after life.

In Medieval times salt would be served on the table in huge blocks. The salt was set at the table closest to the richest guests. Poorer guests and servants would sit at the end of the table. The expression “Beneath the salt” came from this practice. Today salt is one of the most used spices.

India is the first country producer of spices, then comes China, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal.

I’m gonna try in my next articles of this category, to present you different kind of spices existing in different areas of the world..

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