A historic journey

Prehistoric writings and stone age carvings, shows that India's South West Coast path, especially Kerala had established itself as a major spice trade centre from as early as 3000 B.C, which marks beginning of Spice Trade and is still referred to as the land of spices or as the Spice Garden of India.

The spice trade between Kerala and much of the world was one of the main drivers of the world economy. For much of history, ports in Kerala were among the busiest in medieval times.

the word “spice” comes from the Latin species, which means an item of special value, as compared to ordinary. The Spice Routes, also known as Maritime Silk Roads, is the name given to the network of sea routes that link the East with the West. A distance of over 15,000 kilometres . As early as 2000 BC, spices such as cinnamon from Sri Lanka and cassia from China found their way along the Spice Routes to the Middle East.

Coriander - A Spice made from seeds and leaves and a relative of the parsley famil Cumin - Spice made from the dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family

During the medieval times spices were seen as a sign of wealth. The higher the rank of a household, the greater its use of spices. Spices were extensively used in the preparation of food and was passed around on a 'spice platter'. Wine and other drinks were accompanied by another choice of spices which intended to aid digestion. Many of the wines also contained spices!

In ancient Rome, one of the most common cooking ingredients was called “laser”, from the silphium plant. It was so delicious that it was harvested to extinction from its natural habitat in what is now Libya. It probably tasted something like garlic.

In medieval times, Pepper was the most sought after spice. Black pepper was the most expensive. Imported from Asia and later Africa.

Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and kohlrabi are a result of selective breeding of the wild mustard plant

Voyagers often narrated mystical stories about spices. They did not want to reveal the source. Every bottle of spice has a part of history !!

More about spices