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Cooking in the Caribbean and elsewhere equates to spices.
They were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper, cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Given medieval medicine's main theory of humorism, spices and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics.
In addition to being desired by those using medieval medicine, the European elite also craved spices in the Middle Ages. An example of the European aristocracy's demand for spice comes from the King of Aragon, who invested substantial resources into bringing back spices to Spain in the 12th Century. He was specifically looking for spices to put in wine, and was not alone among European monarchs at the time to have such a desire for spice.
Spices were all imported from plantations in Asia and Africa, which made them expensive. From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, and along with it the neighboring Italian maritime republics and city-states.
Today. China and India are the word’s leading producers and exporters of spices, but the Caribbean, driven hard to feed its impoverished populations, is hard at work in developing a global market, supplementing to tourism and banana exports as leading sources of income. We will visit such a spice farm in Belize.
The introductory music video, Vive Le Douanier Rousseaux, performed by La Compangie Creole and the concluding song, The Way You Look Tonight, performed by my friend, Frank, were were legally purchased and downloaded from the iTunes Store for the express purpose of inclusion in this publication.