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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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This title in other editions

Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice

by

Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Filled with anecdotes and fascinating information, "a spicy read indeed." (Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed the World)

 

The perfect companion to Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, Pepper illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience. Vivid and entertaining, it describes the part pepper played in bringing the Europeans, and later the Americans, to Asia and details the fascinating encounters they had there. As Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds, said, "After reading Marjorie Shaffer's Pepper, you'll reconsider the significance of that grinder or shaker on your dining room table. The pursuit of this wizened berry with the bite changed history in ways you've never dreamed, involving extraordinary voyages, international trade, exotic locales, exploitation, brutality, disease, extinctions, and rebellions, and featuring a set of remarkable characters."

From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean, which the Europeans used as stepping stones to India and the East Indies, to colorful accounts of the sultan of Banda Aceh entertaining his European visitors with great banquets and elephant fights, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.

Review:

"Shaffer's book is less comprehensive food history than a chronicle of pepper's centuries as valued commodity from imperial Rome to present day. Its trade began in the classical era, continued through the Middle Ages, and exploded during the era of European imperialistic exploration and nationalist rivalry. Players included Asian, British, Iberian, and Continental crown and capital powers. The game ensnared proto-entrepreneurial and corporate-raider types such as explorer Vasco da Gama and colonial operator Sir Stamford Raffles. Erstwhile private agencies and startups like the Jesuits and the U.S. even got sucked into the business. Shaffer makes well-intentioned use of the records of the story's many colorful figures, including future saints, obscure seamen, and gender-bending stowaways, and at the center is the epic competition between two monolithic archrivals, the British and Dutch East India Companies. From humble beginnings, through expansion and market dominance, and into eventual decline, their fiercely capitalistic, sometimes violent competition provides the book's primary focus. A historian's more than a gastronome's book, its circling initially seems apropos, but becomes repetitious despite the decor of sidebars and maps. The result is a well-documented if scattered companion to Mark Kurlansky's Salt." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

“A well-documented companion to Mark Kurlanskys Salt.”

—Publishers Weekly

Mark Kurlanskys smash hit Salt exposed the fascinating history of this everyday staple to countless readers around the world. Now, in this perfect companion to Kurlanskys book, Marjorie Shaffer illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience.

Vivid and entertaining, this sweeping tale of adventure and intrigue describes the essential role that pepper played in bringing both Americans and Europeans to Asia. From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean to colorful accounts of sultans entertaining their European visitors, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.

In this definitively researched and compelling story, Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice, Shaffer combines history, customs, and food lore to deliver a mesmerizing tale that every foodie will have to own.

About the Author

MARJORIE SHAFFER has written for The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Popular Science magazine. She was a business reporter for Reuters and a former Knight science journalism fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A graduate of Brown University, she received a Master of Science degree in biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a science writer and editor at New York University School of Medicine. She lives in New York City.

Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Foreword xi

One: Meet the Pipers 1

Two: The King of Spices 17

Three: Drugs and Souls 35

Four: Golden Elephants 69

Five: The British Invade 101

Six: The Dutch Terror 139

Seven: U.S. Pepper Fortunes 169

Eight: An Infinite Number of Seals 199

Nine: Medicinal Pepper 214

 
Epilogue 225

Notes 229

Selected Bibliography 277

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312569891
Author:
Shaffer, Marjorie
Publisher:
Thomas Dunne Books
Author:
Shaffer, Ma
Author:
rjorie
Subject:
World History - India
Subject:
Asia - India & South Asia
Subject:
Civilization
Subject:
General History
Subject:
General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Historical Food and Cooking
Subject:
Cooking and Food-Sauces Salsa and Condiments
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130431
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
1 8pg b+w insert
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Herbs and Spices
Cooking and Food » Dishes and Meals » Sauces, Salsa, and Condiments
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » Asia » India » Ancient and General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » India
History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization

Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice New Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$26.99 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Thomas Dunne Books - English 9780312569891 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Shaffer's book is less comprehensive food history than a chronicle of pepper's centuries as valued commodity from imperial Rome to present day. Its trade began in the classical era, continued through the Middle Ages, and exploded during the era of European imperialistic exploration and nationalist rivalry. Players included Asian, British, Iberian, and Continental crown and capital powers. The game ensnared proto-entrepreneurial and corporate-raider types such as explorer Vasco da Gama and colonial operator Sir Stamford Raffles. Erstwhile private agencies and startups like the Jesuits and the U.S. even got sucked into the business. Shaffer makes well-intentioned use of the records of the story's many colorful figures, including future saints, obscure seamen, and gender-bending stowaways, and at the center is the epic competition between two monolithic archrivals, the British and Dutch East India Companies. From humble beginnings, through expansion and market dominance, and into eventual decline, their fiercely capitalistic, sometimes violent competition provides the book's primary focus. A historian's more than a gastronome's book, its circling initially seems apropos, but becomes repetitious despite the decor of sidebars and maps. The result is a well-documented if scattered companion to Mark Kurlansky's Salt." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

“A well-documented companion to Mark Kurlanskys Salt.”

—Publishers Weekly

Mark Kurlanskys smash hit Salt exposed the fascinating history of this everyday staple to countless readers around the world. Now, in this perfect companion to Kurlanskys book, Marjorie Shaffer illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience.

Vivid and entertaining, this sweeping tale of adventure and intrigue describes the essential role that pepper played in bringing both Americans and Europeans to Asia. From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean to colorful accounts of sultans entertaining their European visitors, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.

In this definitively researched and compelling story, Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice, Shaffer combines history, customs, and food lore to deliver a mesmerizing tale that every foodie will have to own.

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