The demand for spices in medieval Europe was extravagant and was reflected in the pursuit of fashion, the formation of taste, and the growth of luxury trade. It inspired geographical and commercial exploration ,as traders pursued such common spices as pepper and cinnamon and rarer aromatic products, including ambergris and musk. Ultimately, the spice quest led to imperial missions that were to change world history.
This engaging book explores the demand for spices: why were they so popular, and why so expensive? Paul Freedman surveys the history, geography, economics, and culinary tastes of the Middle Ages to uncover the surprisingly varied ways that spices were put to usein elaborate medieval cuisine, in the treatment of disease, for the promotion of well-being, and to perfume important ceremonies of the Church. Spices became symbols of beauty, affluence, taste, and grace, Freedman shows, and their expense and fragrance drove the engines of commerce and conquest at the dawn of the modern era.
|Publisher:||Yale University Press|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Paul Freedman is Chester D. Tripp Professor of History, Yale University. His previous books include Images of the Medieval Peasant, The Origins of Peasant Servitude in Medieval Catalonia, and Food: The History of Taste.
Table of Contents
Introduction Spices: A Global Commodity 1
One Spices and Medieval Cuisine 19
Two Medicine: Spices as Drugs 50
Three The Odors of Paradise 76
Four Trade and Prices 104
Five Scarcity, Abundance, and Profit 130
Six "That Damned Pepper": Spices and Moral Danger 146
Seven Searching for the Realms of Spices 164
Eight Finding the Realms of Spices: Portugal and Spain 193
Conclusion The Rise and Fall of Spices 215