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Michiko KakutaniIn this, his first book, Mr. Turner not only gives the reader a wonderfully vivid history of the quest for spices and the lucrative spice trade, but he also provides some intriguing insights into why spices once exerted such a hold over the human imagination -- and how they catalyzed the Age of Discovery. He shows how the early spice trade forged an enduring, often exploitative relationship between the West and the East, traces the ambivalent attitude of the Church toward spices, and chronicles the gradual de-mythologizing of spices with the advent of the modern era. In doing so, he has succeeded in writing a book that is at once a social and cultural history, a culinary history and a delightful read.
— The New York Times