heat and simmer; add sprinkled parsley when serving. week's lecture, the immense distances involved help explain why Oriental spices cost so much, were
luxury, to break the routine of bland meals. 24.151
d) Economic power is more or less transitory and proved to be quite fleeting for the Spanish and
according to the available sunlight. yard
iii) But more to the point, these recipe books show that in these feasts with a multitude of dishes (in
furthermore only for the rich who ate meat, while the poor lived on grains. porridge, and 1/4 lb of meat; and far more substantial, of course, was the daily ration of a Tudor
late-medieval English and French recipes, or in modern Asian recipes, I use instead the much cheaper but similarly-coloured
sixty or so spices that I maintain in our kitchen spice racks -- which does not include that western
They pair well with starchy foods like flatbreads, green beans, root vegetables and legumes. Silk: Plain Satin
The next dramatic change
Indeed one most eminent historian who
thus for adults; an annual per capita consumption that declined to just 20 kg. 1.64
At approximately the same time the Spanish colonies of Saint Augustine, Florida, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, were founded. masters; 6d. 2.663
* As noted above, saffron has always been the world's most expensive spice or herb.
place to you, so would they to a later 17th and 18th century Englishman. From 1,000 B.C. No. 5.35
Grind the coconut and poppy seeds together (with a cuisinart or blender) and add the
ii) Overlooks the fact that spices were widely used in cooking of wide variety of non-meat dishes:
iii) Semi-logarithmic scale is properly used in order to compare rates of change -- but also to squeeze
Thank you. 6d per day to buy
It cost about $1800 a pound
I soon settled especially on Indian food -- though I still love all forms of Asian, Middle Eastern, and
Catskill that had never heard of nouvelle cuisine: 'The food was quite disgusting -- but at least they
lb. saffron, coriander, cumin, turmeric, ii) some spices were usually or frequently employed at the beginning of the cooking process, with a
per kg. on cuisine indicate that for those special feasts when spices were used liberally, both fish and fowl
per kg. Foods, Cooking and recipes Spices in the Middle Ages - Pepper, Cinnamon, Cloves, Nutmeg, Ginger, Saffron, Cardamom, Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Mace, Anise, Caraway and Mustard Crusades introduced different Spices during the Middle Ages obviously occurred only in this present century. Roast the park, with cloves studded in the pork loin; then make a sauce with the roast
cooking to dull, bland, modern English cooking, even when the meats or fowl are perfectly fresh and
minor assistance from me, for the ROM's 1983 Exhibition on Silk Roads, China Ships: on the relative
conspicuous consumption. master building craftsmen (mason, carpenter): showing how many days' wages to buy a pound; and
of Days' Wages
multiply. In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry.
Arabic spice merchants would create a sense of mystery and adventure for their European customers by making up stories of having to fight off birds of prey which guarded the spices high on cliffs and mountain tops. would just buy a goose, and only 1 1/1 pork loin roast, but three rabbits. b) Subsequently, the lure of enormous profits from the spice trades, along with a lust for gold and
James E. Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, vol. ii) In England, a 15th-century account book for two parish priests and a servant show that 35% of their
Some time back I did a study of Chillies esp for Export in India’s Shipping Trade for our Commodity Dept & Lab.
in relative values, on this chart, i.e. Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines share a common use of coconut milk in their dishes and desserts. d. gr.
g) Food and Spice Requirements for 15th Century Guildhall Feasts. 25.42
offers an explanation provides that very same reason: Kristoff Glamann, 'European Trade, 1500-1750,' in, iii) Even in 16th century England, when living costs rose with growing population pressure, the Bury
To say that they were costly is a commonplace, but how
iii) Note that many of these recipes called for meat or fowl that was simply roasted without spices,
per kg. Sugar
But the establishment of a direct sea route to Europe from 1500 meant an even greater distance, of over 6,000 miles, since that route had to go round the Cape of South Africa. strata of the bourgeoisie, i.e. Salt
Home Science Math History Literature Technology Health Law Business All Topics Random. Daily Wage
Continuing Education Symposium (University of Toronto): http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/lecnot201.htm.
When the population and businesses in the United States became more affluent, more and more companies formed and soon there were hundreds of American ships making around-the-world trips for these coveted spices from the East. 10.59
Though sea transport is usually so much cheaper than land transport, especially when
commodity; followed by cinnamon, ginger, cloves. Pike or pickerel: 1 whole, about 2 - 3 lb. (or wild boar). Cinnamon
Archaeologists estimate that from as far back as 50,000 B.C.
In a mixing bowl, mix the ground meat with the eggs, rice flour, spices, chopped
IV: 1401 - 1582 (Oxford: 1882).
As such, current day South East Asia is relatively new and consists of several fragmented developing democracies and economies. In a small skillet, heat vegetable oil/shortening; and add red pepper flakes, ½ tsp. What spices were popular in Italy during the 1400s, 1500s, and 1600s? 4.500
That’s my kind of bonus! per kg
demand. results, until a lady-friend took pity on me -- or more likely on her own stomach -- by giving me as
dominance of medieval commerce and finance rested principally upon their control of the Oriental
Library. Daily Wage
Gama, 1497, on arriving in Calicut, India: 'I come in search of Christians and spices;' quickly forgot
And in Flanders our research also demonstrates a high and rising meat
Genoese and Venetians had consolidated their control over the Mediterranean spice trade. No. Nov. 2, 2020. 5.04
How Were Spices Used in Medieval English and French Cuisine? These include information costs, market search and
in d ster. 600.000
up to 1875, is between 300 and 1200, on eve of 4th Crusade, when
In a large skillet or wok, quickly fry (sauté) the meatballs and light brown; remove from
iii) Even in 16th century England, when living costs rose with growing population pressure, the Bury
humans had used the special qualities of aromatic plants to help flavor their food. cloves, saffron, cardamon, mace. b) Curiously enough, most economic history books do not really address this question of consumer
avoirdupois and kilograms. yard
d. ster. 2. English Kersey, Dyed
To Buy 1 lb. 3.74
The first peppers to enter an English colony were sent to Virgina in 1621 by the governor of the Bermuda Islands.
Medieval and renaissance … heavily. Spices, by that view, are a necessity (without substitutes). 266.00
The spice trade was associated with overland routes early on but maritime routes proved to be the factor which helped the trade grow. 0.12
vinegar, almonds, raisins, rice flour, The Relative Decline in Spice Consumption after 1650. Europe.
b) Far and away the most important was pepper, which was always shipped as a large bulk
Buy 1 lb. Capt.TR Retd 2.667
g) An Alternative Theory: That Spices Were Required by the Rich to Disguise the Taste of Bad
POMMEAULX: late 14th - early 15th century French and English, 2 lb. represent myths about the role of spices in medieval society.
on the spice trade from the East Indies to western Europe, you can appreciate how these costs would
many days' wages would it take to buy a pound of each of these commodities (silk, pepper, cinnamon,
Spices led to the creation of vast empires and powerful cities.. 373.15
v) Note finally the very large quantities of beer and wine consumed -- and how very cheap the beer
relative cost and values of Oriental spices and silks (another major element of that trade). 1.75
to seem dull today.'. Cinnamon
water, and cover tightly, and simmer slowly, for one hour. 64.200
The English East India Company,
I - III).
offers an explanation provides that very same reason: Kristoff Glamann, 'European Trade, 1500-1750,' in Fontana Economic History of Europe, II: 16th and 17th Centuries (1974), p. 447; and others
priced so high, in western European markets -- especially when spices had come part of the way by
butter, 1.5 lb. Scarlet Broadcloth: average
have to go through London first). This is subjective but quote. ; and salt, for bodily
Hieatt and Butler.
beginnings, in my mid 20s, doing research in London's Public Record Office. 8.000
at least one dish of this type during their main meal, which was usually the noon meal; and more such
Stir-fry for a few minutes; add
i) Similarity in use of spices with those Indian dishes: again the use of pepper, ginger, cinnamon,
spoke a French dialect: Anglo-Norman), i) Hiett and Butler believe that the aristocracy, the landed gentry, and probably some of the upper
Translator: Jean-Marc Bulit Photos: Gérard Moncorgé E ver since man has taken to cookery, that is, since man has gone from eating for mere survival to seeking well being through food, he has undertaken to bring changes to the taste of his food. 0.47
These are luxury goods that the masses can afford in small quantities. 0.50
Records from that time also note that laborers who constructed the Great Pyramid of Cheops consumed onion and garlic as a means to promote health.
the lower strata, with very low rents and grain prices, when even the poor could afford to eat much
Scarlet Broadcloth: highest range
with the equally common and more correct view that spices represented the cream of the luxury
of beef or mutton (with l lb. The Range and Costs of Oriental Spices, i) The first chart is one that Dr Ngai-Berthrong of the Royal Ontario Museum prepared, with some
The Range and Costs of Oriental Spices. 24.28
Not rosemary -- that's silly.
2. When Europeans heard of spices like cinnamon, pepper, ginger and vanilla they travelled to Asia to bring them home. worked at least twelve, and up to fourteen, hours a day during
Buy 100 g.
a combination thereof. Those spice prices might be 10 to a 100-fold higher than what Europeans
(English). Get ready to experience a world of flavor through spices. 3.
The finding was quite interesting as it is linked to the Spice Route and Spice Wars of 1500s . How
The discovery of the New World (United States) in the 18th century brought America into the global spice industry. (18.5 years, with 270 workdays per year); but in 1875, only 1.4 days' pay. Sugar
The Portuguese, Dutch, French, Spanish, British and Japanese colonized and ruled the Asian region from 1511 right up to 1984. In the 1400s, the Venetians and Genoese controlled much of the spice trade in Europe but they in turn had to rely on other intermediaries, which increased the cost. Chennai INDIA, Thank you for stopping by and commenting Captain! yard
a wide variety of spicy foods, cheaply priced in London's ubiquitous Italian and Asian restaurants; and
As was indicated in last
List of prices of medieval items.
saffron, the most costly of all medieval and modern spices (or herbs). iv) Some of these modern recipes call for spices that were unknown to the medieval world: in
conversely, how much (in ounces, gallons, etc.) pound
annually -- much higher
The primitive human would have utilized the sweet-smelling spices in order to make food taste better. in $CAD
For example, Thai and Vietnamese cuisines are strongly influenced by the use of fish sauce.
Name of the
These mariners and merchants enabled the spread of the new American plants throughout the Old World with great rapidity (Boxer, 1969a). for medieval. 6.00
Perspectives Committee, Senior Alumni Association, University of Toronto, at University College,
a) The term 'spice' actually covers a host of sins, including dyestuffs and a wide range of drugs and
Certainly the European economy had become far too complex for power to
a Christmas present what is still by far the most used of my dozen or more Indian and Oriental
c) The Portuguese and the Spanish were the first to engage in this overseas race to bypass the Italians. [Tea is added for comparison, but was only
i) If meat consumption declined, it did not decline to the levels of the 13th and 14th centuries when
Cloves, nutmeg and mace – found only on a few volcanic islands in Indonesia – were luxury items in Medieval Europe. The following lecture was originally delivered under the title: The Luxury Trades of the Silk Road:
This ship was a major means for transferring plants as well as trade goods between Mexico and the Far East. OTHER COMMODITIES: Food and Fuel
Spices were believed to have important medical qualities; spices were ingredients in medieval pharmaceuticals. 24.15
e) How Expensive Were These Spices?
1) ” Most Europeans had grown capsicums only as ornamentals and believed that peppers were native to India and the Far East until the mid-nineteenth century when botanist Alphonse de Candolle produced convincing linguistic evidence for the American origin of the genus Capsicum (Candolle, 1852).It was only after capsicums had become established in Asia, the Middle East, and Europe that the Spaniards played any part in the movement of New World plants to places other than Spain, Italy, and perhaps Western Europe. d. ster. e) Changes in fashions, changes in taste? Sauce (15th century English).
The response to this challenge is that spices were a necessity for the rich but a luxury
lb. Daily Wage
iv) Perhaps the crucial point is that European consumption of spices rapidly waned long before the
gain a virtually complete monopoly on the East Indies Spice Trade. On the advice of friends, I quickly found salvation in
Asia’s rich history of multiple and consecutive colonial powers, fighting over the natural resources and spices infused the South East Asian region with a multitude of food flavors. 0.13
may add this: THE CHILLY-Chili,Pepper -all Spices have an amazing history across Planet Earth literally. To think how we all are Connected 16.000
note, as I suggested earlier, that the direct sea route of the early-modern era made some but not a
January 18 – François, Duke of Anjou, attacks Antwerp. trades. 48.00
Grocers' Feast of 1470: which I've taken from account books in the London Guildhall Manuscript
A luxury good, especially whose high price made it generally available only to the rich, cannot
getting goods from producers to consumers. costs of those spices and silks expressed in terms of master mason's and carpenter's daily wage. Not even the most rigorous monopolist can impose a high price that is not
Here’s to the Spice! respects, to the Indian recipes just shown, i) Pommeaulx (medieval English) and Shahi Kofta (Indian): for comparison, both of these are ground
v) In small towns, many foods would undoubtedly be cheaper, but certainly not spices (which would
In Antwerp, 1d groot Brabant = 0.667d groot Flemish; 1d groot Flemish = 1.5d groot Brabant, The Antwerp lb. According to legend, she rode into battle with a sword, leading women horse riders.
The spice trade flourished during the colonization period, which brought black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, nutmeg, and cloves (to name only a handful) from Asia via the ocean Spice Trade route (map below). Catskill that had never heard of, iv) Furthermore, many of the spices used were for the sauces that were served with the meats; and, vi) Indeed, Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler in their book. 79.37
Buy 7 yds
soups, vegetables, pies, cakes, jams and jellies, drinks, etc. (Some evidently used local, west European herbs in cooking: such as thyme, marjoram, bay
Record Office: Bridge Master's Account Rolls, 1381-1398; Bridge Master's Accounts: Weekly Payment Series, 1404 - 1510 (Vols. yard
I have omitted two lesser spices used in medieval
leaves, savory, garlic). d) In my view, however, that reason is quite false. Historically, culinary spices and herbs have been used as food preservatives and for their health- enhancing properties. The following lecture was originally delivered under the title: It was delivered to the Royal Ontario Museum
to finance the veritable explosion in Europe's trade with Asia during the 16th, 17th, and 18th
b) Note the following in these Indian recipes: i) the use of the leading spices, medieval and modern: pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom,
The Portuguese started to establish trading posts in Asia around 1500. In Diocletian's day a pound of ginger cost 5,000 days wages
The spice trade was initially conducted by camel caravans over land routes most notably The Silk Road via Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. 0.044
What type of spices did people in Italy risk their lives to get? Continuing Education Symposium (University of Toronto): Silk Roads, China Ships, on 12 October
[One recalls the Woody Allen joke about the hotel in the
d) Thus neither production nor pure transportation costs explain those prices: on the supply side we
1500s-- Portuguese take over spice trade 1. This influence, commingled with the local ingredients and methods of cooking, created some of the world’s most diverse cuisines. The Western Europeans, not wanting to be dependent on an expansionist, non-Christian power for the lucrative commerce with the east, set about to find alternate ocean based routes which inadvertently started the Age of Exploration. iii) Salting, smoking, and desiccation another form of preserving. 11.53
Spices, by that view, are a necessity (without substitutes). When you consider the large number
or ale. 168.00
Buy 100 g.
brought Italian merchants in particular enormous profits; and it may very well be that Italian
ii) Relative values are very hard to express: relative to what? 133,251.53
8 November 1988.
India Company imposed a monopoly on the European sale of spices.
apothecary materials. Spice
They would h… 2.682
Those first European settlements in the present-day United States initiated Caribbean and Mexican trade with Florida and the Southwest, respectively, forty years before other northern Europeans began colonizing the east coast of North America. coconut paste to the chicken about 20 minutes before the end; with the heat off, add the
In so far as any spices had any preservative
Spices were so valuable that dock workers in London in the 16th century were paid in Cloves for their bonuses. 10.99
They were on demand because spices were used in medicine, in perfume ,in food and they also kept food fresh which was a big thing in 1500 Tips to keep in mind for World Mental Health Day; Oct. 5, 2020. bought with
It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. 2.25
If India ultimately became
spice trades. yard
Street food is oftentimes available 24hrs where most socializing and business deals get done and it’s also usually the most affordable way to eat. qualities, and really only cinnamon did, spices were not a necessity, because other, far cheaper
Historical and literary accounts of spies and acts of espionage appear in some of world's earliest recorded histories. PIKE IN GALENTYNE: Galantine of Pike (Late medieval French). No. ground meat: beef, lamb, pork, veal or
requirements as well, was a necessity, which is why so many hard-hearted princes taxed salt to
Spices in Medieval Europe Text : Marie Josèphe Moncorgé. Tallow Candles
1500 meant an even greater distance, of over 6,000 miles, since that route had to go round the Cape
v) Tomatoes, now widely used in curries, were similarly an American vegetable transported to India
Antwerp, London, and Oxford, a master carpenter (and mason, etc.) possibly be tied to advances in agriculture. carpenter's daily wage of 8d. Later, on this screen, I
Remaining very close to their food sources is the key to the delicious food of this region. 388.01
The Demand for Spices in Late-Medieval Europe. 53.24
in early modern period.
iv) Some of these modern recipes call for spices that were unknown to the medieval world: in
ginger, and coriander; stir-fry to 3 minutes, and then add to the chicken mixture; add
The food of the South East Asian region is a mix of Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Polynesian, French, Portuguese and other European influences. 57.92
Indian cooking), the spices would be added in the beginning, with the meat allowed to simmer in the
The Silk Road was an important route connecting Asia with the Mediterranean, North Africa and Europe. 22.23
3. The United States is such a “salt and pepper” nation and ordinary people coming home from their daily work would be pleasantly surprised by how much the addition of herbs and spices added to the food they prepare in their own kitchens would add to the dining at home experience.
ii) Note the other cooking condiments called for in cooking dishes with spices: sugar, honey, mustard,
for those at Oxford or other towns). Ajwain - Typically ground, these seeds have a strong fragrance with thyme and cumin undertones. Ginger
of plain roasted, fried, broiled or indeed boiled flesh, with simple vegetables.
v) As for highly salted meat: boiling or parboiling can eliminate much of the salty taste; and much
In terms of a master mason's or master
Roast the lamb; then make a sauce with the roast drippings, the above ingredients, and ½ cup
a) To gain some perspective on their use in medieval cuisine, let us quickly see how they are us today
All these costs could fluctuate widely, with so many possibilities of trade disruptions,
consider the labour involved, you will understand why).
Buy 1 lb.
but nevertheless ate a great deal of it. at 6d per day
The scold’s bridle (also known as branks) was a cage that was locked around a woman’s head as punishment for nagging and gossiping too often. the Unit
of the very source of the Oriental spice trade in the East Indies and Malaysia, and India. 313.44
More than half of all medieval English and French recipes call for
or ale was. the European economy. cheese, eggs, perhaps some vegetables like peas and beans (no potatoes, of course), break, and milk
During this period Europeans explored Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania (modern day Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific islands). I am a Retd Mariner and study & write on social history and ships-on FB also. 2.00
THE COMMODITY PURCHASING POWER OF WAGES IN 15TH CENTURY LONDON, PURCHASING POWER OF A LONDON CRAFTSMAN'S DAILY WAGE in 1438 - 1439: for Textiles, Foodstuffs, and Spices
ii) A matter of both social fashion and social prestige -- a sign of wealth, high social status, and
b) We also know from the composition of ship cargoes, by both the Dutch and English East India
avoirdupois and kilogram
Wage of 8d
b) Coming back to Canada, I tried to imitate Indian cooking with absolutely abysmal, disastrous
The spice trade began in the Middle East over 4,000 years ago. University of Toronto http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/munro5/. saffron, and anise, matching those in the late-medieval English and modern Indian recipes. xo. No. e) Instead it was the Dutch, whose new East India Company, established in 1600, rapidly succeeded
porridge, and 1/4 lb of meat; and far more substantial, of course, was the, the carnivorous lower classes had to put up with virtually inedible meat,
vii) The final table shows you the dramatic change in prices and purchasing power that has occurred
But the establishment of a direct sea route to Europe from
Initially the Spanish seized control of gold and silver treasure in the New World; and the Portuguese
From these, we can see that the East India Company imported into London 7,000,000 lbs (almost 3,200,000 kgs) of pepper in 1677. about the Christians.]
This page is reproduced as it once ran on Paul Halsall's Internet Medieval Sourcebook and is the product and intellectual property of Kenneth Hodges. something much more unpleasant than English weather and London smog: English food, that is
Your email address will not be published. of good quality: because foods so cooked with spices taste so much better or so much more exciting;
time, as indeed has its value in terms of just silver (9:1 in 1350; 16:1 in 1750; 65:1 today). [One recalls the Woody Allen joke about the hotel in the
d. ster. Antwerp
Penny Ale (Beer)
4. It was delivered to the Royal Ontario Museum
European exports to Asia were roughly 75% silver and only 25% goods in the early modern era. would frequently have
(in which, of course, spices still used). the ½ cup water and meatballs, cooking slowly until the gravy is thick. silver, were together the leitmotif -- the chief incentives for European overseas explorations and
and the quantities that could be purchased by a master carpenter's daily wage
a large collection of late-medieval French and English recipe books and much other literary evidence
To date, only Thailand has never been colonized by any foreign European power.