A fascinating book – the first, according to the author – on the various tropical spices being imported into New York at the time. The book is addressed to spice traders and dealers, containing much information on the spices imported from the East Indies and South Asia, as well as a bit on China/Japan (especially in the ginger trade) and the West Indies. Separate chapters are dedicated to each spice (black pepper, white pepper, cloves, etc), along with a history of the trade of that specific spice, how it is grown, where it is grown, how to distinguish a good quality variety, etc. Through the lens of each spice the history of the Roman trade in Asia, colonial rivalry, etc, is given. There is even a chapter on how the spice dealers of the late 19th century would adulterate ground spices, passing them off as “pure” and charging accordingly, in order to increase their profit margins. There are beautiful colour plates of the spices, and black-and-white photographs, as well as two large horizontal foldout maps on the East Indies and Jamaica respectively.
Early History of Spices
Adulteration of Spices
How to Detect Adulteration in Spices
Capsicum, or Cayenne
Pimento, or Allspice
Cinnamon and Cassia
Herbs (Sage, Marjoram, Parsley, Savory, Thyme, Seed, Caraway, Coriander, Cardamom)