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The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice

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The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The smell of sweet cinnamon on your morning oatmeal, the gentle heat of gingerbread, the sharp piquant bite from your everyday peppermill. The tales these spices could tell: of lavish Renaissance banquets perfumed with cloves, and flimsy sailing ships sent around the world to secure a scented prize; of cinnamon-dusted custard tarts and nutmeg-induced genocide; of pungent elixirs and the quest for the pepper groves of paradise.

The Taste of Conquest offers up a riveting, globe-trotting tale of unquenchable desire, fanatical religion, raw greed, fickle fashion, and mouthwatering cuisine–in short, the very stuff of which our world is made. In this engaging, enlightening, and anecdote-filled history, Michael Krondl, a noted chef turned writer and food historian, tells the story of three legendary cities–Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam–and how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped to make (and remake) the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization.

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the world’s peoples were irrevocably brought together as a result of the spice trade. Before the great voyages of discovery, Venice controlled the business in Eastern seasonings and thereby became medieval Europe’s most cosmopolitan urban center. Driven to dominate this trade, Portugal’s mariners pioneered sea routes to the New World and around the Cape of Good Hope to India to unseat Venice as Europe’s chief pepper dealer. Then, in the 1600s, the savvy businessmen of Amsterdam “invented” the modern corporation–the Dutch East India Company–and took over as spice merchants to the world.

Sharing meals and stories with Indian pepper planters, Portuguese sailors, and Venetian foodies, Krondl takes every opportunity to explore the world of long ago and sample its many flavors. The spice trade and its cultural exchanges didn’t merely lend kick to the traditional Venetian cookies called peverini, or add flavor to Portuguese sausages of every description, or even make the Indonesian rice table more popular than Chinese takeout in trendy Amsterdam. No, the taste for spice of a few wealthy Europeans led to great crusades, astonishing feats of bravery, and even wholesale slaughter.

As stimulating as it is pleasurable, and filled with surprising insights, The Taste of Conquest offers a fascinating perspective on how, in search of a tastier dish, the world has been transformed.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

The Taste of Conquest offers up a riveting, globe-trotting tale of unquenchable desire, fanatical religion, raw greed, fickle fashion, and mouthwatering cuisine-in short, the very stuff of which our world is made. In this engaging, enlightening, and anecdote-filled history, Michael Krondl, a noted chef turned writer and food historian, tells the story of three legendary cities-Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam-and how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped to make (and remake) the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization. Sharing meals and stories with Indian pepper planters, Portuguese sailors, and Venetian foodies, Krondl takes every opportunity to explore the world of long ago and sample its many flavors. Along the way, he reveals that the taste for spice of a few wealthy Europeans led to great crusades, astonishing feats of bravery, and even wholesale slaughter.

As stimulating as it is pleasurable, and filled with surprising insights, The Taste of Conquest offers a compelling perspective on how, in search of a tastier dish, the world has been transformed.

Praise for The Taste of Conquest

“An altogether rich, perfectly seasoned slice of world history.”

-The Boston Globe

“As a chef I have always been deeply intrigued by the mystique of spices. Michael Krondls book awakens and transports the reader into this mysterious world, showing us how our lives and history have been transformed by the sensuous odors of cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric.”

-Gray Kunz, chef and owner of Café Gray and Grayz, co-author of The Elements of Taste

“Fascinating . . . spicy reading for food and history lovers alike.”

-Associated Press

“A delicious treat.”

-The Vancouver Sun

“Witty and erudite.”

-Financial Post

“Enticing.”

-Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Michael Krondl is a chef, food writer, and author of Around the American Table: Treasured Recipes and Food Traditions from the American Cookery Collections of the New York Public Library and The Great Little Pumpkin Cookbook. He has published articles in Good Food, Family Circle, Pleasures of Cooking, and Chocolatier, and has contributed entries to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. He lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345480842
Author:
Krondl, Michael
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Subject:
Europe - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Specific Ingredients - Herbs, Spices, Condiments
Subject:
General History
Subject:
World History-European History General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081031
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 MAPS
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.02x5.18x.70 in. .52 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Herbs and Spices
Cooking and Food » Dishes and Meals » Sauces, Salsa, and Condiments
Cooking and Food » General
Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Travel » General

The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345480842 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Taste of Conquest offers up a riveting, globe-trotting tale of unquenchable desire, fanatical religion, raw greed, fickle fashion, and mouthwatering cuisine-in short, the very stuff of which our world is made. In this engaging, enlightening, and anecdote-filled history, Michael Krondl, a noted chef turned writer and food historian, tells the story of three legendary cities-Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam-and how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped to make (and remake) the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization. Sharing meals and stories with Indian pepper planters, Portuguese sailors, and Venetian foodies, Krondl takes every opportunity to explore the world of long ago and sample its many flavors. Along the way, he reveals that the taste for spice of a few wealthy Europeans led to great crusades, astonishing feats of bravery, and even wholesale slaughter.

As stimulating as it is pleasurable, and filled with surprising insights, The Taste of Conquest offers a compelling perspective on how, in search of a tastier dish, the world has been transformed.

Praise for The Taste of Conquest

“An altogether rich, perfectly seasoned slice of world history.”

-The Boston Globe

“As a chef I have always been deeply intrigued by the mystique of spices. Michael Krondls book awakens and transports the reader into this mysterious world, showing us how our lives and history have been transformed by the sensuous odors of cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric.”

-Gray Kunz, chef and owner of Café Gray and Grayz, co-author of The Elements of Taste

“Fascinating . . . spicy reading for food and history lovers alike.”

-Associated Press

“A delicious treat.”

-The Vancouver Sun

“Witty and erudite.”

-Financial Post

“Enticing.”

-Chicago Tribune

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