Pepper changed the world – but how many people know that? | Anna Sulan Masing
Colonialism was born from the greed for spices and led to today’s globalised world. I know because it’s my family’s story
In 1603, James Lancaster arrived back in London after several years in pursuit of riches, bringing ships laden with peppercorns. He was in command of the first British East India Company fleet, an entity that was granted a royal charter by Elizabeth I in 1600, and had travelled to south Asia and back.
Pepper is believed to be originally from Kerala and specifically the Western Ghats, a humid and wet stretch of mountains on the western coast of India. It was known throughout antiquity and particularly loved by the Romans, and was well established in England by the 1100s, when the Guild of Pepperers was formed in London. (This guild went on to become the Company of Grocers, which is still in existence today.)Continue reading...