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The demand for spices in medieval Europe was extravagant and was reflected in the pursuit of fashion, the formation of taste, and the development of luxury trade. It inspired geographical and business exploration ,as traders pursued this kind of common spices as pepper and cinnamon and rarer aromatic items, like ambergris and musk. Ultimately, the spice quest led to imperial missions that had been to modify planet historical past. This engaging guide explores the demand for spices: why were they so well-known, and why so expensive? Paul Freedman surveys the history, geography, economics, and culinary tastes of the Middle Ages to uncover the surprisingly varied methods that spices were put to use--in elaborate medieval cuisine, in the therapy of ailment, for the promotion of effectively-being, and to perfume crucial ceremonies of the Church. Spices grew to become symbols of elegance, affluence, taste, and grace, Freedman displays, and their expense and fragrance drove the engines of commerce and conquest at the dawn of the modern day era.
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