In history before Christopher Columbus there was what was called the spice trade routes. Along these routes many item were traded included were several spices, cloves and cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and aloes wood. (We will talk more later on these spices.) There were actually two routes one to the north and one to the south. The actual location of where these items were grown was kept secret as to control the wealth of several families. This made it difficult for the purchase and movement of the spices from the Far East to Europe.
The controlling of theses spice and circumventing all of the know thieves of the time was a great part of why Christopher Columbus set out to go west to get to the Indian ocean and the home and growing area of these spices. He had no knowledge of the land mass between Europe and India. We now know this as the Americas.
His travels were to find a new trade route and to give Portugal the ruling hand over the spice trade. What he did was change the diets of both Europe and the New World. In a Quote from his voyage Log, “I am the saddest man in the world for not knowing what kinds of things these are because I am sure that they are valuable” (log dated October 21, 1492)
Among the items he did bring back was corn, tobacco, squash, beans, peppers, potato and tomatoes. Now these items may or may not resemble the plants we know today but they were the start of a new diet. On his second trip he took wheat to the new world thus changing the diet of the new world.
We will delve into each of the varieties later on and how each changes the culture of the world. You might say that he found the basic ingredients for Pizza.
©Ken Wilson the Gardening Whisperer 2014