The Romance of Spices Revisited

Cat_243_doverBy Mary Jo

I'm in the crazed mode of finishing a book, so I'm invoking Wench Privilege by re-running an old blog, this one about the spice trade.  What gave me the idea was going out to my car after exercising at Curves, and smelling something sweet and tangy from the McCormick spice company headquarters about three miles to the north.  Inspiring!

++++Originally published August 3, 2007++++++

I’m sitting on my screened porch on  a summer morning, sipping coffee, watching birds, and enjoying the scent of pepper that floats through the summer air. This is unusual—more often, I would smell allspice, which carries well. 

No, I am not imaging the tantalizing fragrance in the air, despite having an over-active writer’s imagination.  The world’s largest spice company, McCormick’s, is headquartered a few miles north of my house.  My hometown of Baltimore has been one of America’s most important ports since its founding, so it’s not surprising that the city is home to several spice companies

Spices are something we take for granted, like being able to listen to music whenever we want.  We can stop in the baking aisle of any supermarket and have our choice of dozens of spices and herbs.  But once the spice trade was the most lucrative, and perhaps dangerous, in Mccormicks_logothe world.  In many ways, spices are responsible for discovering the world we know. 

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