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How the spice trade changed the world.

Next time you spice up that steak, or season your fish before you put it on the grill, remember that pepper was once so valuable that it could be used to pay the rent.

“Pepper, along with other spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, was such a hot commodity five centuries ago that it drove nations to sail across vast oceans searching for new routes to the spice-rich Orient. Spices didn’t just make merchants rich across the globe — it established vast empires, revealed entire continents to Europeans and tipped the balance of world power. If the modern age has a definitive beginning, it was sparked by the spice trade, some historians have argued…”

Reade the entire article here