Today we take many spices for granted: pepper shakers on every table, that dusty bottle of cloves you pull out at Christmas, a splash of vanilla in everything from cookies to pudding. Five hundred years ago, things were much different; those spices took a long journey passing through many hands to reach consumers. Many spices only grow in tropical countries such as India and Mexico, which are a long way from the markets in Europe. The spice trade fueled wars, genocide, slavery, and European colonization of the globe.
To learn more about how these seemingly simple ingredients changed the world, visit our Pinterest board for a collection of curated articles.