Spice and Flavor Industry: Purpose to Production

Topics: Flavor, Food, Sugar Pages: 4 (1639 words) Published: December 18, 2005
"We live in a world where lemonade is made from artificial flavoring and furniture polish is made from real lemons," said Mad Magazine's Alfred E. Neuman. Throughout history, the spice industry has evolved from primitive humans flavoring meat with leaves, to multi-billion dollar companies injecting chemical compounds into common foods; from tasting a few minute grains on entrées to feeling a discharge of natural and artificial flavors from exquisite candies, and from scavenging the world for priceless spices to inspecting every ingredient for harmful side-affects.

The first speculated accounts of adding flavorings or spices to food go back over fifty thousand years, when primitive humans used aromatic leaves to flavor food (Add Spice). They wanted to cook meat in a hot pit, so they wrapped it in leaves to protect it from soot and ash. After taking the meat out of the greens, they noticed a distinct change in flavor. Thus the art of seasoning was born (The History of Spice). And that art was not officially seen until thousands of years later. The first recorded use of spice, in 3000 B.C., was from an Assyrian myth, which said "gods drank sesame wine the night before they created the earth". But spices were not developed until 200 B.C., when the Romans sailed from Egypt to India for spice trade and valued spices as highly as gold. Spice trading continued in Rome until around 1200, when Marco Polo's exploration of Asia established Venice as the most important trade port. Columbus then arrived in America in 1492 with a partial-plan to find spice. About fifteen years later, Magellan took voyage to sail west around the world with five ships. Although he died in the Philippines, one ship returned to Spain, bringing back enough pepper so that the trip was a financial success. After several countries participated in spice trade, it finally entered the United States in 1797 by Captain Jonathan Carnes. He brought the first large cargo of pepper from Sumatra, which put...
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