It all started with the arrival, use and trade in Europe stale spices. His enjoyment in gastronomy, caused an unprecedented impact on the lives of the ancient peninsular of what is now Italy, Spain and Portugal, to the extent that enjoy and trade them fully became an obsession of the kings of Spain, but unaware of the origins of those aromatic spices, whose crops and mass provisioning in those days came from a far country: India.

Obtain was the product of a great adventure, because you know exactly where India, China, Cochin, or so-called Island of Spices (The Moluccas) was. It seemed only a challenge for someone of Polendos the navigator Christopher Columbus who funded by the Spanish Crown and the bankers of Genoa, decided to undertake this journey, culminating un October 12, 1492 with the discovery of the New World.

 In his journal of the Discovery, the Admiral wrote that he could not strain your eyes to see so much prettiness in those beaches. Columbus believed that Haiti was Japan and that Cuba was China and the continent's inhabitants were Indians from India.

 The black pepper, originating in India and long considered the world's most important spice, black pepper is used in the kitchen for more than 3,000 years ago. The term usually spice to the hard parts, such as seeds and barks, herbs native to tropical regions of Asia and the Moluccas in Indonesia, also called Spice Islands apply.

  The paradox is that those oils had evolved in nature and animal repellents toxins; Mint leaves and bark of the cinnamon (cinnamon), emerged as protection against herbivores and bark borers. Spices also be used to preserve and enhance the flavor of food, medicinal herb have been and sometimes, magic and witchcraft.

  The spice trade with the East emerged long before the Christian era. The huge attributed to spices, value detonated the economic boom in the Near East, fincado in the lucrative trade in cinnamon, and pepper sen. For many centuries, Arab traders controlled the overland trade routes with India.

 When the sea lanes were opened, the Egyptian city of Alexandria, held in Rome, became commercial emporium. Between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, Venice monopolized the spice trade with the Near East; demanding high prices that Portugal and Spain began to look to the East and to seek a route to the Spice Islands around the Cape of Good Hope.

They experienced sailors as Christopher Columbus, turned their attention to the West. Although many early explorers departed in search of gold, the spice trade was the true essential financial support for their expeditions.

Today, herbs and spices are easy to acquire, because thanks to the evolution of communications, oriental spices are grown in other parts of the world. Thus, the desired nail Tidore Ferdinand Magellan led Spain in the only surviving ship of issue, is now grown on the islands of Zanzibar and Madagascar.

Ginger, previously found only in China, is also planted in Jamaica and Nigeria. The native to the Moluccas, nutmeg grows today on the island of Granada. And the Chili Pepper, CHile known worldwide as one of the few spices found in the New World, is now cultivated in countries as distant and far away as Kenya, Pakistan, and of course in Mexico.

The variety of aromas that give off the herbs and spices are produced in almost all parts of plants, from the leaves to the roots of Basil, Rosemary, sage, savory, and thyme are perennials small size but big fragrance in its leaves. The laurel, is used to flavor stews, sauces and vinegars.

The anise, chili, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, nutmeg, pepper sauce and sesame seeds or poppy and sesame, are obtained from ripe fruit or seeds. Anise beans, whole used to flavor baked goods and essential oil form in sweet and the absinthe and anise liquor.

Sesame seeds or sesame and were ground into flour in ancient Egypt and used in China 5,000 years ago. Derived from the root garlic, which in some places is considered a spice and ginger. Garlic comes from Central Asia and from the botanical point of view, has family roots with onion; is a spice used since ancient times.

  Christopher Columbus would never come to the Isle of Spice. In the end, the one mistake Genoese, repaid to the financiers of his expeditions and trips by far in his diary he set the word gold and prophesied: You will have all the business in them Christianity.

The Conquest of Mexico is living proof of that. A clash of two different worlds, where the continental conquistador Hernán Cortés, found much more than gold and silver they sought. Important treasures such as Cocoa, so valuable to the Aztecs who became a unit of exchange, Chocolate, chicle, the Snuff, Sugarcane, Chile, wild animals who later were domesticated as turkey, (that would be the day Thanksgiving without turkey Mexico, a respectable tradition) all industrialization, commercialization and global fame, medicinal herbs, the basis of modern industrial chemical medicine, which transformed into a commodity, with the passage of time have increased their importance and its value in the modern world.

 So the conquest of what is now the Mexican nation and the rest of the New World began. But until today, globalization of species not originally their countries benefited producers, as evidenced by the fact that oregano and thyme, are shipped in bales to London and New York, the two main centers spice trade for processing and distribution throughout the world.

 Saffron is of the few spices that are still not available to everyone, is the most expensive of all, used to color and flavor to certain dishes of Mediterranean and Oriental cuisine, are grown in Spain, Italy and the near East. Vanilla is another example, because for processing, now a much cheaper synthetic vanilla is obtained by hydrolysis of wood.  

Thus, the origin of the discovery of the new world has much to do with the pleasures of the table, stomach and a black pebble called PEPPER.



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