Spices and herbs were introduced from the Eastern lands by the crusaders coming back from their journey to
Commerce changed to include different products, including spices from
Egypt, Syria, and other great cities. They were important trading centres because of their strategic position on the routes to Iraq India, Persia and the Mediterranean.
The spices were then carried across the Mediterranean to the Italian seaports to the major towns and cities of
Here is a list of the most important spices taken from the East:
Black pepper – from Asia and later Africa; Cinnamon – from tropical barks; Cloves and Nutmeg – from the Moluccas, or Indonesia; Ginger – or ‘Grains of Paradise’, used instead of black pepper; Saffron – used to colour foods; Cardamon – from India and Sri Lanka; Coriander and Cumin – similar to the parsley; Garlic – from Rome; Turmeric – yellow-orange root, related to ginger; Mace – from the nutmeg seed; Anise – seeds and leaves are used to spice a variety of dishes; Caraway – or Persian cumin, dried seeds from a herb; Mustard – from seeds or ground.