Who Invented Seasoning?

By as early as 2000 BCE, the commerce in spices spread over the Indian subcontinent[5] with the use of cinnamon and black pepper, and in East Asia with the use of herbs and pepper. Egyptians employed herbs in the process of mummification, and their need for rare spices and plants fueled global trade. By 1000 BCE, China, Korea, and India all had herbal medicine-based healthcare systems. Early applications involved magic, healing, religion, custom, and preservation. [6]

By 1700 BCE, Mesopotamia was using cloves.

Cloves are mentioned in the ancient Indian epic Ramayana [note 1]. Cloves were used by the Romans in the first century CE, according to Pliny the Elder. [10] The Indian, Chinese, and ancient Egyptian cultures produced the oldest documented accounts of spices. The early Egyptian papyrus known as the Ebers Papyrus, which dates to 1550 BCE, lists more than 800 different medical treatments and various medical procedures. [11] Nutmeg, which has its origins in Southeast Asia’s Banda Islands, is thought to have been introduced to Europe in the sixth century BCE. [12]

The East Coast of Africa, China, India, and the Middle East were all visited by Indonesian traders. The routes across India and the Middle East were made easier by Arab traders. Alexandria, a port city in Egypt, became the primary spice trading hub as a result of this. Prior to the European spice trade, the monsoon winds were the most significant discovery (40 CE). The land-locked spice routes, which were formerly made possible by Middle Eastern Arab caravans, were eventually superseded by ships carrying spices from Eastern growers to Western European customers. [6]

The Old Testament makes reference to spices, indicating their importance in ancient times. In Genesis, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery to spice traders. Manna is described as having a look akin to coriander in Exodus. The male narrator of the Song of Solomon compares his sweetheart to a variety of saffron, cinnamon, and other spices.

Where does seasoning come from?

Spice use by humans dates back a very long time. They may have been in use as early as the Neolithic era, according to available data. In later times, spices turned into a luxury and even started conflicts. Here is a succinct history of the interesting spice trade.

Plants have been used as seasonings throughout Europe since the Neolithic era. Herbs may have been used to season food according to artifacts discovered in Neolithic graves and caves.

In the Middle East, excavations revealed that spices were the main commodity in commerce thousands of years ago. Some of the spices discovered could only have traveled to these areas via commerce.

Mesopotamia is where the earliest records of the usage of spices were discovered. More than 30 recipes were uncovered on three ancient clay tablets. These tablets date back to about 1750 BC. The recipes heavily used the flavors of garlic, cumin, and coriander. Indeed, spices have even been discovered in Egyptian tombs. They were also utilized at the time as a perfume element.

The Silk Road, built during the Bronze Age, was responsible for the first introduction of Asian spices and flora to Europe. A sea route to India was found in the first century AD. Later, the Roman Empire imported pepper. Prices dropped, and pepper use expanded over the empire.

When Constantinople developed into a major commerce hub in 330 A.D., nutmeg and cloves were introduced to Europe for the first time. Using the Silk Road again became common after the fall of the Roman Empire and the collapse of marine trade.

Spices were used as medicinal even back then. The Order of the Benedictines popularized the use of spices as medicine and their effects during the Middle Ages. Since the 18th century, spices have also been linked to magical effects.

During the Crusades, spices evolved into a prestige symbol for the higher classes (11th-13th cent.). They were treated like jewels back then because they were so valuable.

Prices continued to increase. During its journey from India to Venice in the fifteenth century, the price of pepper rose up to thirty times its original value. The spice trade at the time was centered in Venice. To avoid paying these exorbitant rates, new trade and travel routes to India were actively looked after. The age of famous explorers like Columbus and Vasco da Gama began at this point.

The preferences of the old world experienced a transformation with the discovery of America. Vasco da Gama sparked a scramble for spices, wealth, and power when he found a sea passage to India.

Da Gama’s discovery resulted in Portugal becoming a global power over night because the majority of the territories responsible for producing spices were under his authority. The loss of their position in the sun offended the Dutch, who quickly tried every available measures to keep and grow their authority. They drove the prices ruthlessly higher, drove the Portuguese out, and enslaved and tortured the locals. In an effort to simplify the supply and increase demand for profits, they even damaged their own products. The Dutch continued to lead the spice trade up to the 18th century.

After it, the Dutch monopoly collapsed. Nutmeg and clove seedlings were successfully removed from a field on the Spice Islands by a daring French officer, who then carried the spices back to be grown in the French colonies. At the same time, the Dutch started to suffer as a result of their wars, corruption, and debt. Since then, spices have rapidly spread around the world and are now grown in a growing number of places where they were not initially indigenous.

Prices decreased as a result of the Spanish vanilla monopoly’s collapse. Many Europeans in the 19th century could afford expensive spices.

Who made salt and pepper?

In Mesopotamia, the rich valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates, home to a variety of aromatic plants, were mentioned in ancient cuneiform records for the usage of spices and herbs. Thyme is one of many odoriferous plants that are mentioned on Sumerian clay tablets from the third millennium BC that include medical literature. Thyme, sesame, cardamom, turmeric, saffron, poppy, garlic, cumin, anise, coriander, silphium, dill, and myrrh are among the several aromatic plants listed on a scroll written in cuneiform by King Ashurbanipal of Assyria (668–633 BC). Sesame was also used as a vegetable oil by the ancient Assyrians.

In his royal garden, Babylonian King Merodach-Baladan II (721–710 BC) cultivated 64 different plant types. For example, he preserved notes on how to grow cardamom, coriander, garlic, thyme, saffron, and turmeric. An ancient moon deity who oversaw medicinal plants was a part of Babylonian religion. Herbal extracts’ potent components were only ever gathered under the light of the moon.

By the sixth century BC, shallots, garlic, and onions had become common seasonings in Persia. A bulk purchase of 395,000 bunches of garlic was recorded in King Cyrus’ (559–529 BC) records. Additionally, Persians made essential oils from saffron, coriander, lilies, roses, and lilies.

The first seasoning was created when?

Spice has a long history that predates the history of human civilization. It is the story of new territories being found, empires being established and toppled, wars being won and lost, treaties being signed and broken, tastes being sought for and offered, and the emergence and decline of many religious practices and beliefs. In both ancient and medieval eras, spices were among the most precious commodities traded.

The ancient Egyptians used numerous spices for food flavoring, in cosmetics, and for embalming their dead as early as 3500 BC. Through the Middle East, the use of spices extended to the eastern Mediterranean and Europe. Originally, donkey or camel caravans were used to deliver spices overland from China, Indonesia, India, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Before European explorers found a maritime route to India and other spice-producing nations in the East, Arab intermediaries dominated the spice trade for over 5000 years.

When did flavoring food become a thing?

Some people preferred it hot even in prehistoric Denmark. 6000-year-old pots discovered in the Baltic were used to cook meat and fish that had been spiced with a spicy, mustard-like spice, according to residues scraped from the inside of the pots.

According to Oliver Craig from the University of York in the UK, it’s unclear exactly when humans started seasoning their meals. “According to him, spices are a natural component of the flora’s backdrop. ” Therefore, if you discover the botanical remains of spices at a site, you can’t tell if they were truly used in food or if they simply came from adjacent plants.

We cannot be certain that coriander seeds were used to flavor food, despite the fact that they were discovered at a 23,000-year-old site in Israel.

The earliest known evidence of spiced food in Europe, and maybe elsewhere in the globe, was discovered by Craig and Hayley Saul at York University. They have discovered convincing evidence that spices were purposely added to food used in northern Europe by about 6100 years ago.

When was Cinnamon first traded?

Though probably not for culinary use, the cinnamon variants from Ceylon and Cassia are regarded to have been among the first spices traded. The first recorded spice trade took place more than 4,000 years ago in southern Arabia, when frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, and other spices were traded. Cinnamon and cassia, however, are said to have been the most valuable spice at the time. Arab traders “spread wild myths to the effect that cinnamon grew in deep glens inhabited by venomous snakes and that cassia grew in shallow lakes guarded by winged beasts. These mythological tales were probably created to attract customers and discourage others from looking for these extraordinary sought-after spices.

Although these stories probably originated from a few people’s desire for financial security, we would now likely consider them to be merely clever marketing or even the first conscious development of brand identity. However, one thing is for certain: they cemented cinnamon’s position as a rare and highly desired product for which people would be willing to pay high prices. That placement is perhaps why Sri Lankan and Saigon cinnamon were among the first spices to encourage international trade (sometimes taking 5 years or more to reach their destinations).

When did mankind begin using spices to flavor food?

As was already noted, scientific evidence indicates that many of the spices used in cooking today first gained recognition for their medicinal, aromatic, and other uses; however, it is unknown whether or not these uses included cooking at the time. According to National Geographic, mustard seeds, which were employed to flavor food by hunters and gatherers closer to 4000 BC, were one of the first proven flavoring agents recorded. Before 6100 years ago, there is no convincing evidence that any spice was employed to change the flavor of food or make other components more palatable. There are theories that ingredients whose intended use was for preservation were discovered to unintentionally improve the flavor of foods for prehistoric mankind prior to that time, but there is no evidence of any spice, cinnamon, or other ingredient being intentionally added for flavor prior to that.

So is cinnamon the oldest spice known to man?

Only one thing is certain. The use of cinnamon in cooking goes back much further in history than any other spice. As a result, it has earned the moniker “world’s oldest spice,” which may be well-deserved given that it was discovered to be used in Egyptian embalming procedures. We know these ingredients were purposefully trafficked for such purposes because neither the Chinese nor the Sri Lankan cinnamon originates from Africa. It might be more correct to state that cinnamon was the first spice to become popular on a global scale.

Where can Cassia and Ceylon cinnamon be found today?

One of the earliest spices known to man, cinnamon has a lengthy history and has remained a popular component both in and out of the kitchen. Fortunately, we no longer have to be concerned with antiquated myths or wait for half a century to acquire this wonderful spice. Both the cassia and Ceylon varieties of cinnamon are available in our online shop.

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Which nation is the master of spices?

Black pepper is deservedly regarded as the “lord of spices.” Black pepper originated in Kerala, a state in South India, unlike its perennial partner, salt, which is widely available elsewhere. Throughout reality, pepper is mentioned in ancient Greek and Roman history. According to a legend, peppercorns were placed into Ramses the Great’s nostrils before he was mummified (1303–1213 BC). This information shows that there were ancient trading connections between Egypt and India. The age of this spice is that old.

Sometimes people talk about pepper and peppercorn in the same sentence. To clear up any confusion, peppercorns, not black pepper, are the dried, pulverized fruit of the piper nigrum flowering plant.

the term “The word pepper is derived from pippali in Sanskrit, piper in Latin, and pipor in Old English. The best Indian pepper still originates from Malabar, which was the first location in India to cultivate black pepper. The flavor of pepper was widely known to the locals long before Alexander the Great set foot on Indian territory. It has existed for all of recorded history. This particular spice was also widely used in biblical times. Pepper didn’t achieve a newfound prominence in the world of food until later in the Middle Ages “gourmet cuisine This spice’s significance goes beyond its culinary applications. It was regarded as a priceless item that might be used as payment in tribute. When the Huns besieged Rome in 410 CE, 3000 pounds of pepper were demanded as a ransom. Such was the renown that pepper held in antiquity.

The Pepper Vine

The Malabar region receives plenty of rainfall, which is why the perennial, climbing pepper plant thrives there. For stability, these vines wrap themselves around woody branches like rubber. The ideal environment for this plant to flower, bear fruit, and thrive is rain paired with warm temperatures and some shade. It is a woody climber that uses its aerial roots to ascend to a height of about 10 meters. On the stem, the glossy, green leaves develop alternately and are located opposite spikes of small, grouped flowers. The berries, or peppercorns, which are a pungent fruit, come next. The vine begins producing fruit after approximately three years, and it takes the plant about seven to eight years to mature and provide a full crop. A vine has a lifespan of roughly 20 years.

Green, black, and white are some of the colors that peppercorns can be. These are merely various stages of its ripeness, in actuality. The fruit’s various colors are caused by the harvesting and processing procedures. Their preferences differ appropriately. To preserve their distinctive color, green peppercorns are harvested before they are fully ripe and used fresh, pickled, or carefully preserved. The most common and flavorful peppercorns, black peppercorns, are made by sun-drying young, green berries until they turn wrinkled and black. The berries that are allowed to fully ripen on the plant eventually turn red in color. After being soaked and peeled, these red peppercorns become white peppercorns. It should be noted that because white peppercorns spend more time on the vine and have a different flavor than green and black peppercorns, they are also more expensive.

Uses

Green pepper is frequently dried and frozen. After that, it is kept and used in salads and soups. It is a component of sauces and other dishes made by the processed food industry. On the other hand, black pepper is a well-known spice that is utilized in practically all applications where spices are employed, with the exception of sweets and desserts, and is a universally approved ingredient. White pepper, in contrast, is less frequently used. This is explained by the fact that it is less pungent and better suited to people with milder palates. Because white pepper has spent more time on the vine and deteriorates more quickly, it has a shorter shelf life than black pepper. Both of these pepper varieties, black and white, are extremely beneficial to health. Despite having a hot and acrid flavor, black pepper is supposed to be sweetness personified in the digestive system. It facilitates digestion and fights bacterial development in the digestive system. In addition to being a surefire cure for colds and coughs, it also speeds up metabolism, promotes weight loss, heals skin issues, lessens heart and liver problems, and lowers cancer risk.