The Medieval Spice Trade

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Taught by Victoria Flexner

Victoria Flexner is the Founder of Edible History, a Brooklyn-based historical supper club, research lab and test kitchen. A born and raised New Yorker and Medieval History nerd, she’s engaged on a life long quest to bring the past to life through the history of food.

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“The starting point for European expansion had nothing to do with the rise of any religion or the rise of capitalism – but it has a great deal to do with pepper.
– Henry Hobhouse Seeds of Change: Five Plants that Transformed Mankind

Spices were the ultimate luxury good of Medieval Europe – they were rare, they were expensive and because the Medieval consumer didn’t understand where they came from, they were inherently exotic.

We’ll explore how spices traveled thousands of miles from Indonesia to the East coast of Africa, along the most globally complex trade routes of the known world, in order to reach their European markets. And how the European demand for spices led monarchs to search for direct access to the spices…heralding the age of European exploration.

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