Mark Kurlansky's smash hit Salt exposed the fascinating history of this everyday staple to countless readers around the world. Now, in this perfect companion to Kurlansky's book, Marjorie Shaffer illuminates the rich history of pepper for a popular audience.
Vivid and entertaining, this sweeping tale of adventure and intrigue describes the essential role that pepper played in bringing both Americans and Europeans to Asia. From the abundance of wildlife on the islands of the Indian Ocean to colorful accounts of sultans entertaining their European visitors, this fascinating book reveals the often surprising story behind one of mankind's most common spices.
In this definitively researched and compelling story, Pepper: A History of the World's Most Influential Spice, Shaffer combines history, customs, and food lore to deliver a mesmerizing tale that every foodie will have to own.
"This is more than the story of a spice…Get ready for a sweeping ride through history." —David Oshinsky, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Polio: An American Story
"After reading Marjorie Shaffer's Pepper, you'll reconsider the significance of that grinder or shaker on your dining room table."
—Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World
"Pepper was once as critical a commodity as oil. Marjorie Shaffer weaves a delightful history of the Indian Ocean and the South Seas."
—Robert D. Kaplan, author of Monsoon: The Indian Ocean and the Future of American Power
Reviews from Goodreads
Meet the Pipers
BLACK PEPPER AND ITS SIBLINGS BELONG TO A FAMILY OF PLANTS WITH THE MUSICAL-SOUNDING NAME PIPER.
"Pepper is the bride around which everyone dances."—JACOB HUSTAERT, 1664, A DUTCH EAST INDIA...