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    We seldom look at the degree of influence that plants exert on human culture. Names such as Marco Polo, Simbad, Christopher Columbus, Pedro Álvares Cabral and Vasco da Gama are remembered in both Literature and Geography and History as men who ventured into distant lands, redesigned the world map, described men of exotic customs and they saw fantastic creatures. We do not always remember that all these characters, whether fictional or historical, had as a great motivator the search for the desired spices. Nevertheless, the apparent frugal use of such condiments in food, the man of the Renaissance did not go to great lengths to arrange these spices on his table.

    Spices were part of the formation of the modern world through mainly mercantilist relations and the construction of new habits at the table. In a world increasingly scrutinized by European ships, products of the most varied and everywhere arrived at ports in various parts of the globe. It was the beginning of the process that, in some centuries, allowed agricultural products of the most varied species and utilities to be found many thousands of kilometers from their places of origin. Some seasonings were discovered by Europeans only at the time of the Crusades, between the 11th and 13th centuries, during the struggle against Muslims for possession of the Holy Land.

    With the end of the Crusades, the Spice Route was created, that crossed the Middle East and arrived at Europe from the Venetian merchants. The Arabs had a monopoly on this route and Venice became the center of European trade. This made products of Indian origin - including spices, sold macerated, dried or powdered and indispensable for European cuisine.

    An alternative route was needed - by the ocean. Portugal, the only country with the conditions to finance millionaire sailing, was the first to sail to the Indies. Thus, in 1500, they arrived in Brazil, it is said, imagining to be in Asia. At that time, Brazil was the resting place at the crossings of Europe to the East. The first cane seedlings were brought from the Madeira Islands and São Tomé, and soon adapted to Brazilian soil, making it a lucrative trade for the industry.

    The news of the great production of sugarcane in Brazil spread to Europe.
    Shortly thereafter, the so-called "Career of Brazil" drew more and more attention to Europeans. As cane had quickly picked up on Brazilian soil, soon came the thought that other spices could also be grown in the new land. Especially the cinnamon, clove and pepper trees, since the subtropical and tropical climates resembled that of their original lands. Thus began the history of Brazil as a producer and exporter of spices.

     
     
    Published in 16/07/2017 12:36:13
    Source: Agrospice Brasil
     
     
     
     
     
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