Spice The History of a Temptation

❰Reading❯ ➻ Spice The History of a Temptation Author Jack Turner – E17streets4all.co.uk A brilliant original history of the spice trade and the appetites that fueled it It was in search of the fabled Spice Islands and their cloves that Magellan charted the first circumnavigation of the g A brilliant original history of the spice History of PDF Æ trade and the appetites that fueled it It was in search of the fabled Spice Islands and their cloves that Magellan charted the first circumnavigation of the globe Vasco da Gama sailed the dangerous waters around Africa to India on a uest for Christians and spices Columbus sought gold and pepper but found the Spice The eBook Ø New World By the time these fifteenth and sixteenth century explorers set sail the aromas of these savory seductive seeds and powders had tempted the palates and imaginations of Europe for centuries Spice The History of a Temptation is a history of the spice trade told not in the conventional narrative of politics and economics nor of conuest and colonization but through The History of PDF/EPUB ä the intimate human impulses that inspired and drove it Here is an exploration of the centuries old desire for spice in food in medicine in magic in religion and in sex and of the allure of forbidden fruit lingering in the scents of cinnamon pepper ginger nutmeg mace and clove We follow spices back through time through history myth archaeology and literature We see spices in all their diversity lauded as love potions and aphrodisiacs as panaceas and defenses against the plague We journey from religious rituals in which spices were employed to dispel demons and summon gods to prodigies of gluttony both fantastical and real We see spices as a luxury for a medieval king's ostentation as a mummy's deodorant as the last word in haute cuisine Through examining the temptations of spice we follow in the trails of the spice seekers leading from the deserts of ancient Syria to thrill seekers on the Internet We discover howspice became one of the first and most enduring links between Asia and Europe We see in the pepper we use so casually the relic of a tradition linking us to the appetites of Rome Elizabethan England and the pharaohs And we capture the pleasure of spice not only at the table but in every part of life Spice is a delight to be savored.Spice The History of a Temptation


Spice The History of a Temptation eBook ´ Spice The
  • Paperback
  • 384 pages
  • Spice The History of a Temptation
  • Jack Turner
  • English
  • 04 May 2016
  • 9780375707056

10 thoughts on “Spice The History of a Temptation

  1. says:

    This isn't really a history of spices or the spice trade rather it is about the taste for spices It is also almost exclusively about Europe That was a little different from what I had expected but I did really enjoy the book Turner doesn't really care about where the spices come from or how they got to Europe what he wants to delve into is how Europeans felt about spices what kinds of associations and properties were attributed to spices and how those changed over time How did a spice like cinnamon go from being a luxury good that had powerful powers attributed to it to this cheap thing we sprinkle on toast? Turner writes about how spices really entered into European consciousness during the Roman era when the Romans were powerful enough to get a major trading relationship going with India and places further east Spices were a luxury but gradually they seeped down into the middling classes especially when it came to really special events like funereal rites and religious rituals The wealthy ate cinnamon the middling classes might have been able to afford oils or perfumes with cinnamon for special occasions Then later after Rome fell the European kingdoms still had all these associations with spices but the spices were much harder to get So at that point ONLY kings and popes and other super wealthy people could have them Spices developed mystical magical connotations So Europeans tried desperately to get the East so they could trade directly and make money from spices and when they finally achieved this prices dropped and spices became common and nobody cared any This is also one of those books with all kinds of crazy anecdotes from history for example there is a long discussion of preserving bodies and the use of spice in preserving bodies for burial or transport for burial Then Turner digresses into entertaining but disgusting stories of medieval people trying to preserve important bodies long enough to get come from the Crusades or pilgrimages Turner writes that one time this bishop died far from home and his men tried to boil him to preserve the body but all they ended up with was bishop stock Ha ha

  2. says:

    I desperately wanted this book to be better I wanted to engross myself in the history of spices and find out how we started using them and why Unfortunately although I'm sure the information is somewhere in there it's so badly organized I'm not sure I could find itThe timeline jumps around so dramatically that it's almost impossible to keep up You start off in with Christopher Columbus now you're in Rome nope you're in the Middle Ages nope now you're in ancient Egypt nope now you're in Rome again GAHHHHHHHThe author divides the book into how the spices were used which seems a good system But even within that system the inconsistencies boggle The back and forth between time lines and cultures left me exhausted and without any coherency as to what spices were used when and why and by who The last chapter when the author discusses the downfall of spices is probably the best and the most interesting and almost earned the book the third star However the book did make me crave some really good spice cake

  3. says:

    I really wanted to like this book because I think the history of commodities their production trade and use is interesting but I just couldn't get my heart into this book The book is rife with really interesting facts such as how pepper used to be a sign of wealth until it became widely available and a different set of spices became the new sign of wealth and does a nice job cataloguing the development of the spice trade but suffers from how these facts and stories are organized This book could use a better editor because the information was very interesting but the narrative seemed to jump around a lot The book did not flow which as anyone who has read Dune knows is what the spice must do and it was difficult to get settled into a line of thinking

  4. says:

    I found this book disappointing for a couple of different reasons Spices are unlike salt not strictly necessary; they're a luxury good Turner's discussion of the ancient spice trade was the most interesting part of the book for me because he dug into the intersection of luxury trade and political economy and the way markets in goods like spices established trade routes between east and west over what was at the time staggering distances But by the time he gets to the medieval spice trade the book started reading like a laundry list of historical factoids It also started focusing almost solely on Europe and most discussion of spices in non European location involved European conuest European politics and barely a mention of the impact of that same spice trade on the local populations I was particularly staggered by the way India in this book is reduced to nothing than a few ports with European presence Surely the use of spice and the history of the spice trade in India and for that matter a lot of other places is something with a rich historical record and worth exploring?

  5. says:

    I really wanted to like this one as it had a promising start but mired into too much historical detail for me to do anything but skim of my way through most of it

  6. says:

    Maybe I'm judging this book too much by its title If the title was An Inuiry Into the History and Uses of Spices and their Impact on Human Development Trade I would not have rated it so poorly But then I probably wouldn't have picked it up eitherHowever because the title is Spice The History of a Temptation I expected a microhistory Like Salt Cod Gunpowder etc I expected a book that's fast paced packed with information that flows easily and is critically edited But that's not how this book reads While it was extremely detailed and no doubt accurate the language felt far too slow and laborious For example the chapter on spice as perceived medicine rambled on and kept giving many uotations in old English beyond what I felt were really needed to convey the message I couldn't finish it

  7. says:

    Interesting bits for my forthcoming novel p The king of Gale gave 150 uintals of cinnamon in tribute to foreign traders Malacca was the richest port in the East the name is probably derived from the Arabic malakat Malacca was the choke point through which all eastern spices headed west; 'whoever is the lord of Malacca has his hand on the throat of Venice' Very few people had been here and the few European travellers who had painted a tale straight from Sinbad's voyages Spices only came into European hands through its ports with the greatest volume of traffic passing through Alexandria and the Levant to Italy It was often safer and faster for Venetian and Genoese galleys to carry the spices out of the Mediterranean through the straits of Gibraltar and up and around the Iberian peninsula before docking into view of St Paul's With regards to the spice trade in medieval times when Rome faltered the Arabs took over and the Indian Ocean became a Muslim lake home to the seaborne civilisation that gave rise to the tales of Sinbad and his voyages to the magical realms of spice giant birds and monsters genii and gold In Roman times spices were seen as expensive enfeebling Eastern and effeminising with many regarding merchants as mercenary scrooges who in the face of gigantic storms would claim 'it's only a summer storm' and is pitched overboard and swallowed by the waves still clutching his purse between his teeth as he gasps his last breath Spices were a sign of status and spices were often included with official correspondence a practice that endured into the late Middle Ages The Arabs often used dhows to transport their goods find out about dhows By camel and dhow traders and mariners fanned out east even to China and the Moluccas; there were also many Arab speaking merchants in Sri Lanka Ceylon where there were spices there were Muslims Alexandria flourished under Arab rule and formed part of the spice journey west and Byzantium remained in communication with the spice routes right up until its final capture by the Ottomans in 1453 Caravans with eastern goods travelled through the deserts of central Asia Persia and Arabia transferring their goods into Byzantine hands at any of the Black Sea ports To the south Byzantine merchants bought spices from Muslim merchants at entrepots in Anatolia or the Levant Generally spices were ferried from Malabar across the Indian Ocean around the Horn of Africa and north up the Red Sea Some were unloaded at the Red Sea port of Jiddah then preceded by caravan to Levantine outlets via Mecca and Medina During the Papal ban the spice route was redirected from Muslim lands Egypt to the Christian port of Lajazzo in Armenia; Europeans ended up paying a little for their spices but then went back to trading in Egypt once the ban was lifted The risk for merchants in transporting spices was high but so was the reward and Turner describes spice merchants as the Rockerfellers of their day Genova was heavily built up by the Spice trade and its main cathedral San Lorenzo was built from spice trade wealth Price ceilings on the cost of pepper were introduced by Parliament to combat the rapacious greed of merchants; most seafaring men carried around a small bag of pepper on their person having exhumed their bodies later we now know this

  8. says:

    As traders of the old world charted new territory in their uest for spices Turner explores the reasons why spice ruled both the imagination and the economy for centuries in a heretofore unheard of depth From pragmatic to mystic each narrative gives an engrossing tale of how each spice held its power and its price as well as how spice’s reign came to an end The multitude of facts and anecdotes is one of the best facets of Turner’s book; however the best thing about this book is also the worst While every section is entertaining the book lacks a cohesive argument interwoven throughout the whole which leaves the reader with an appetite for Definitely a recommendation but with a directed focus would have been 5 stars

  9. says:

    This was like a 25 Turner writes well but writes immensely long chapters Reads much like a history thesis gone on and on and on it is so comprehensive and rooted in primary sources His thesis was a little odd too and I don't uite think he succeeded in parsing the desire that drove most of Western Europe spice crazy as he intended to do But he was close Dense and interesting but long

  10. says:

    35 stars rounded up to 4TL;DR starts strong gets really draggy in the second halfI was extremely excited to start this book what’s not to love about the spice trade? It’s sexy dramatic geopolitical exotic first few chapters where the author covers the history of spices and trade read like a thrillerBut somehow the book runs aground when spices get sexy Perhaps there are only so many ways to say that “spices were exotic because they were rare and expensive”Slogged through the last third of the book Probably wouldn’t do it again

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