The Role of Spices on the Expansion of Europe Essay

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Within the development of Europe, one would think that religion and politics played the key roles in shaping the regions, in which they did, but many individuals don’t realize the true impact of the role spices played in the evolution of the economy and expansion of Europe. Food alone represented a vast field of human experience and shaped peoples’ beliefs and values, aesthetics and most importantly their social attitudes toward one another. Spices contributed to these attitudes, providing a potential window for the individual to change their understanding of the political and social life of certain cultures and nations. The main question that the author, Paul Freedman poses within the text is, why did the Europeans and the Romans before …show more content…

The high prices were initiated by the merchants themselves, preventing common folk from buying certain spices as nonchalantly as the upper class achieved. This was not due to the difficulty of obtaining the certain spices but based on the occurrence that certain merchants were infatuated with profit. Obtaining the spices wasn’t as difficult as one would think even after the collapse of Roman power, since spices continued to find their way from Asia to Europe. Although many merchants priced certain spices based on their rarity. Which was classified in three categories: intrinsic, circumstantial, and artificial. Intrinsic rarity would entail that nature doesn’t produce many of them, growing in certain places under special conditions or climates. Circumstantial rarity, as Freedman explains is, “nature rather than human intervention limits the supply, either by climate, soil, or other obstacles”. The last of the three was artificial rarity is caused by deliberate human action in order to limit the supply and drive up prices. In accordance with profit, merchants would even tamper with their merchandises, which eventually led to the creation of Zibaldone da Canal , a handbook that included tips on how to distinguish quality spices from adulterated products. It is commonly seen in modern times that producers altered their products, but

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