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Frequently Asked Questions
- FACT #1 Cinnamon was once used for the funeral pyre! Neurotic Nero - Emperor of ancient Rome had no qualms about murdering his wife. But he decided to be kind enough to give her a luxurious funeral. He used Rome's entire year's supply of cinnamon to cremate her! Spicy titbit, what?
- FACT #2 When meat goes a spoiling - call for cinnamon! Cinnamon was often used to camouflage the smell of the decaying meat.
- FACT #3 Cloves originated from the Molucca Islands in Indonesia. The natives had a tradition of planting a clove sapling every time a child was born. It was predicted that if the tree fared well - that particular child would prosper too - and vice versa.
- FACT #4 Incidentally cloves are dried flower buds, which grow on trees that grow to be forty feet tall. They're picked gently by hand just as they turn pink. Clove oil is used in medicines and perfumes.
- FACT #5 If your spices seem to have lost their potency, try rubbing them between your fingers for a few seconds to rejuvenate them.
- FACT #6 Coriander is mentioned in the Sanskrit writings that date back to 1500 BC - it could be the earliest spice known to man! Coriander was also used to make cigarettes.
Most of the ancient voyagers and explorers actually set out in search of spices. The Europeans explored the world in search of spices. The spice trade was one of the most lucrative trades of the ancient world.
Arab traders would, in fact, keep the locations of pepper secret. Though Roman armies were sent out to search for the land of pepper - they couldn't find it - so well guarded a secret was it!
- FACT #8 Women were the primary cultivators of the poppy plant. The opium derived from these plants was used extensively in ancient medicine.
- FACT #9 Spices were even used as perfumes! The affluent class would scatter saffron in their bath water - so they were well scented after their bath!
- FACT #10 Spices and herbs were thus used to treat almost all ailments known to man, used to garnish food with, and also used to conceal objectionable or stale smells at home.