Can any culture claim a flavor as “theirs” and get angry at other cultures for tasting it? Such throwaway comments have been commonplace in the NYT and I don’t understand their purpose. The whole world likes good flavor, let’s not gatekeep it, I’d rather we unite the world through food than make it yet another divisive force.
b) I'm fine with mentioning this clearly, and putting it into context.
But it seems there is a desire to create some kind of original sin and appoint that to all members of the west and it's accomplishments and start every conversation from that context.
I don't believe we should merit or de-merit races and cultures today based on their past, but rather look to the future and the new unified cultural world we might create.
When the West pays reparations is when we can act as if everyone is on equal footing.
Except we won't be. Even if the west pays trillions to Africa we won't suddenly be equal economically. So How much? Like do you have a practical implementation or proposal. And who do you give the money to in dictatorships?
Or what about colony refugees or descendants who now reside in the west. Should we tax differently based on race to offset the initial sins?
How far back do you go? Reparations on a national scale is a completely impractical idea, and will not actually aid the people you imagine.
The money would be better spent on integrating the world, creating more trade, and indeed sending a lot of money to the old colonies. Just not under the marker of colonial restitution, which is actually patronizing.
Also, could you give some examples of colonies which were not related to European countries?
The Mongols were legit from the asian steppes and completely ransacked people over thousands of square miles.
The Japanese were mainland asians that almost wiped out the existing Ainu people of the island of Japan.
In Africa, the west africans from the denses jungles took over much of the drier land of the south, where the indigeneous bush people lived.
So, who discovered America?
If there were already people there, wouldn’t that mean that it had already been discovered? Or is your post supposed to be read as satirical? Sry if I’m misunderstanding here.
Surprised it overlooks salt, especially as it mentions "Spices were among the first engines of globalization". The salt mines in the Salzburg ("Salt Fortress" or "Salt Castle"!!) were operating 7000 years ago and have been a considerable source of the areas riches, starting with the Celtic population trading to Greeks and Romans.
Salt played a role in both the American and the French revolutions:
While cocaine, opium, and others are considered "drugs" - they are in a sensible sense spices too.
I don't know about refined cocaine, but coca leaf (either chewed or boiled as a tea) has been part consumed by the people of the Andes for thousands of years.
I love coca tea and coca wine.
Not that I agree with this, had my share of teas and chew in Bolivia (with what locals called 'activator', at least thats how miners did it in Potosi), apart from local lack of sense in gum/jaw there wasn't any real effect... no more than a regular coffee (which doesn't have any tangible effect on me, but I enjoy the taste & ritual).
But from plant you can make cocaine, so I get the logic. Funny thing is, some botanical gardens in Europe have the plant, not marked in any obvious way apart from latin name. I can confirm that it contained alkaloid, the numbing gum sensation was quite strong.
Jokes aside, reading that article with all the examples of the scarcity and cost of spices it brought to my mind the modern day trade of various drugs.
Surely spices are for, well, spicing food?
I'm not sure if you've ever tasted cocaine or opium, but I'm told they are not at all pleasant - definitely not the kind of thing you'd add to food to improve flavour.
Opium is found in poppy seeds which are used to top bread. Some US military members will refrain from eating bread with poppy seeds because it can cause them to fail random drug tests required by military service. This can potentially get you booted with a dishonorable discharge.
It was originally part of the Coca Cola formula and was removed because it is the psychoactive ingredient. They still use coca extract in Coca Cola, but it no longer makes you high.
The amount in cola, or in any generally unrefined state, aka, not powder, is highly unlukely to have any psychoactive effects.
I've tried coca leaves in Peru (supposedly they help with altitude sickness; I didn't get altitude sickness, but who knows!) - they are used by locals because they are a stimulant, not because they taste nice (they're not particularly bad, a kind of generic "herbal" taste, but certainly nothing you'd purposely add for flavour).
Everyone I know who doesn't like coffee drinks tea (or more rarely yerba mata).
> Chocolate is quite bitter if you don't add a bunch of sugar to it
But it does at least have a very desirable flavour when some sugar is added (it really doesn't need "a bunch" :)
Opium is like the essence of bitterness - in flavour terms, it had no redeemable qualities whatsoever.
It explores history through the lens of everyday objects in the home (even fixtures like windows, and spaces like your foyer)
A little slow to start, but then it never stops entertaining
Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World
Sidney Mintz, Sweetness and Power
This book was written in 1989 and was already skeptical about the stability of the soviet union and also thought what might happen to Ukraine if the the USSR disintegrates (attracted to EU/EC).
I'm sure it started accidentally but was continued because it magically turned shitty sour wine into sweet wine.
A side note; we still actively use artificial sweeteners from petrochemical sources.
Lead(II) acetate (Pb(CH3COO)2), also known as lead acetate, lead diacetate, plumbous acetate, sugar of lead, lead sugar, salt of Saturn, or Goulard's powder, is a white crystalline chemical compound with a sweet taste.
So clearly (?) it would add a sweet taste, regardless of how much of the acid was chemically consumed.
The spice trade brought cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, black pepper, and turmeric.
People confused can look up the definition of herbs and spices.
>Where herbs are often chosen to complement and flatter the ingredients they adorn, spices call attention to themselves, transforming and sometimes even usurping a dish, so it becomes a mere vehicle and excuse for spice itself.
1. Spices have a strong flavor, whereas herbs have a weak flavor;
2. Herbs are a leaf, flower, or non-woody stem, whereas spices are any other part of a plant.
All I can conclude here is that it's nonsensical to try to explain something in terms of a contrast between "herbs" and "spices".
You can get water from the seashore just by evaporating it. It's simple, effective, and was done. But it's a lot more convenient to swing a pick and get a chunk of salt the size of your hand, rather than secure somewhere to evaporate off water, load it up, wait for it to evaporate, and collect it. It's the same reason we're stuck on fossil fuels... it's not that they're the only method we have for obtaining energy, it's just that nothing else can compete with putting in 1 unit of energy and getting back 80 or 90.
1. It is a rock, not a biological product.
2. It is not used primarily for flavoring (though salt in specific has a strong flavor) -- it is a vital nutrient in its own right.
With the exception of the flavoring, it has those things in common with iron, and iron and salt are the two commodities which were always widely traded, even in areas which engaged in almost no nonlocal trade.
And mines in Austria or the Himalayas can produce lots of salt, too.
Humanities desire to alter the things we eat has changed the face of the planet and affected billions of lives.
Although that was somewhat your point. Doritos are much better than CRUD apps too.
(or rather: gourmet doritos)
Although, it's not exactly consistent as cloves should probably be referred to as herbs instead of spices, since it's the flower being harvested.
And there goes my interest in reading the rest of the article. Why continue to read what is supposedly a history piece if it opens with pseudoscience? How am I supposed to trust that it's not pseudohistory as well?
To get interesting, focus on what tickles curiosity rather than what triggers rage.
> How am I supposed to trust that it's not pseudohistory as well?
Because this part of the article is actually verifiable history. The Atharva Veda exists and available to grok.
The science part is up for debate. You can still read an article for its other merits
Later in the article:
>even as the health benefits of curcumin remain unproven beyond a few preliminary clinical trials that suggest its potential as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant
Beyond that, there is a wealth of good evidence about curcumin, the main curcuminoid in turmeric - it has been shown that curcumin has antiinflammatory effects and can reduce blood glucose levels.