What is spice?
A: A spice is a seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring or coloring food.
Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are what?
A: The leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish.
A spice may be available in what forms?
A: Fresh, whole dried, or pre-ground dried.
Generally, spices are what?
Spices may be ground into a powder for what?
A whole dried spice has the longest what?
A: Shelf life.
A fresh spice, such as ginger, is usually more
flavorful than its dried form, but fresh spices are what?
A: More expensive and have a much shorter shelf life.
Some spices are not always available either fresh or
whole, for example turmeric, and often must be purchased how?
A: In ground form.
Small seeds, such as fennel and mustard seeds, are
often used how?
A: Both whole and in powder form.
India contributes how much of global spice production?
This is reflected culturally through their what?
A: Their cuisine.
Historically, the spice trade developed throughout the
Indian subcontinent, as well as where?
A: In East Asia and the Middle East.
Europe's demand for spices was among the economic and
cultural factors that encouraged what?
A: Exploration in the early modern period.
The spice trade developed throughout the Indian
subcontinent by at earliest 2000 BCE with what?
A: Cinnamon and black pepper, and in East Asia with herbs and pepper.
The Egyptians used herbs for what?
A: Mummification and their demand for exotic spices and herbs helped stimulate world trade.
By 1000 BCE, where could medical systems based upon
herbs be found?
A: In China, Korea, and India.
Early uses were connected with what?
A: Magic, medicine, religion, tradition, and preservation.
Cloves were used in Mesopotamia by when?
A: 1700 BCE.
The Romans had cloves in the 1st century CE, as who
wrote about them?
A: Pliny the Elder.
The Ebers Papyrus from early Egypt dating from 1550
B.C.E. describes what?
A: Some eight hundred different medicinal remedies and numerous medicinal procedures.
Spices were prominent enough in the ancient world that
they are mentioned where?
A: In the Old Testament.
In Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his
brothers to whom?
A: Spice merchants.
In the Song of Solomon, the male narrator compares his
beloved to what?
A: Saffron, cinnamon, and other spices.
Spices were among the most demanded and expensive
products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being what?
A: Black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves.
An example of the European aristocracy's demand for
spice comes from the King of Aragon, who invested substantial resources into
A: Bringing back spices to Spain in the 12th century.
He was specifically looking for spices to put in what?
Spices are rather ineffective as preservatives as
compared to what?
A: Salting, smoking, pickling, or drying, and are ineffective in covering the taste of spoiled meat.
Spices have always been comparatively expensive: in
15th century Oxford, a whole pig cost about the same as what?
A: A pound of the cheapest spice, pepper.