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March 22, 2011 1:37 PM   Subscribe

What are some good books about the History of the Spice Trade?

Not like an encyclopedia of spices, but the business of spices.
posted by holdkris99 to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Dune!

In all seriousness

Many to choose from.
posted by lettuchi at 1:48 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Salt: A World History
posted by glibhamdreck at 1:56 PM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nathaniel's Nutmeg
posted by veggieboy at 1:58 PM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Came here to also recommend Nathaniel's Nutmeg - excellent book.
posted by AndrewStephens at 2:12 PM on March 22, 2011


I really enjoyed Jack Turner's Spice: The history of a temptation. There are some other interesting references on that page as well.
posted by bwonder2 at 3:05 PM on March 22, 2011


I enjoyed this one. The author and I are in a culinary history group together, but I didn't know that when I read it.

This book is a good complement to it, not to mention excellent in its own right, since it describes how cooking in Europe changed to make spices less of a central feature.
posted by Lycaste at 4:37 PM on March 22, 2011


The Golden Peaches of Samarkand discusses luxury trade in Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907) China, including spices
posted by shothotbot at 5:22 PM on March 22, 2011


As aformentioned, Jack Turner's Spice: The History of Temptation,

but also

The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice by Michael Krondl

Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination by Paul Freedman

Silk, Scents, And Spice: Retracing the World's Great Trade Routes,the Silk Road, the Spice Route, the Incense Trail by John Lawton

and

Over the Edge of the World: Magellan's Terrifying Circumnavigation of the World by Laurence Bergreen.

Poetics of Spice: Romantic Consumerism and the Exotic by Timothy Morton

and there are books written just about particular spices such as curry, sugar, salt (which somoene else mentioned), chocolate, vanilla, etc.

The American Spice Trade Association also offers the following publications:

A History of Spices (#312) - 16-page booklet, covering important recorded dates from 2,300 B.C., the romance of the spice trade and its place in history. ($1.00 for Members, $2.00 for US Non-Members, $5.00 for International Non-Members)
posted by lolo341 at 6:58 PM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


From The American Spice Trade Association

A Concise Guide to Spices, Herbs, Seeds, & Extracts (#344A) - This 56-page guide is based on the highly specialized knowledge of people who work with spices every business day of their lives, the members of ASTA. Their skills range from sourcing spices all over the world to importing, trading purchasing, analyzing, and all the facets of processing. ($15.00 for Members, $25.00 for US Non-Members, $40.00 for International Non-Members)

Spice Adventures Map (#346)- Colorful map depicting travel routes of spice explorers/traders ($7.00 for Members & Non-Members)

World of Herbs & Spices Map (#351)- Colorful map depicting travel routes of spice explorers/traders, condensed history of herbs and spices, herbs and spices common names and botanical names, as well as which countries produce herbs and spices and their harvest dates. ($50.00 for Members & Non-Members)
posted by lolo341 at 7:01 PM on March 22, 2011


lolo341: do you have any idea what the "World of Herbs & Spices Map" looks like, sounds cool.
posted by shothotbot at 7:26 PM on March 22, 2011




It doesn't focus on spices, but I remember Food in History by Reay Tannahill including some of the history of the spice trade.
posted by spinto at 8:53 AM on March 23, 2011


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