The acid-pepper of life. Pepper is small but strong. He breaks the pepper under the nose. Price pepper. There are many Hungarian proverbs that are rich in aromatic essential oils, thanks to the alkaloids of piperidine and piperine, with small, round balls that taste intense. It is no coincidence that after salt, it is the second most important flavor in our diet and life.
Black pepper (Piper nigram) from South India was already used favorably by many cuisines in Southeast Asia four thousand years ago. In one or two hundred years, it also reached ancient Egypt, where it served more than a spice: it became an egg for funeral rites. Therefore, II. Ramses is stuffed in mummy’s nose.
For more than a century the Greek kitchen had not already used the spice of any distant land. With no other option, any jump in ancient Rome, where reality was frantic. Of course, Spice is too big to use even at the same value of gold.
Roman cuisine knew both black pepper and its various forms (green, red and white) and long pepper (piper langum). The latter is considered a little more, but actually only from ancient snowballs:
Because it came from a greater distance, it was more expensive.
During Pliny, the price of long pepper was 15 denarii, 7 for white and 4 for black pepper. Even in the decades before Jesus’ birth, pepper reached the Mediterranean Sea via at least three land routes through the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt. There, on the other hand, a Roman navy of 120 ships each year dominates the Kingdom of Cesare (present-day Kerala) from the ancient coastal trading center (Malabar) across the Indian Ocean. Now the lost Musiris. It also costs Rome 50 or 100 million Cesterius a year (Pliny mentions both amounts). If so, it is not surprising that the fully armed guards saved valuables at the huge spice shop near the forum. In light of this, one can feel how painful it must have been for King Aquarius I of Aquarius to drive not only gold and silver on the emperor as a military face, but also over a ton of pepper in 408 AD.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the trade in valuable spices fell first into Persian and then into Arab hands, but interest in pepper was almost unbroken. This of course further rounded up prices.
By the end of the early Middle Ages, the poisonous spice could only be placed on the tables of the nobility, which, in addition to the Indian and Arab merchants, made significant profits in the squid of Genoa and Venice. It was accepted as a means of payment in many places, and landlords often ask their tenants for pepper rent.
It is protected by the English word “pepper rent” still in use today, although today it represents a symbolic prize of £ 1 per year.
But not in XV. Century, when the price of black spice won the stars. It first sent the Portuguese ships of Bartholomew Dias and later the Vasco da Gama to India. Their main goal was not only to bring back ginger and pepper, but sooner or later to gain maritime dominance over the Indian Ocean and spice trade. The initial conquests and the Treaty of Tordesilhas (Trotado de Tortesilhas of 7 June 1494), although very favorable to them in this respect, failed to gain a monopoly because the Dutch and English soon took over the entire market for the pepper trade. Valuable. The spice has also come to the common people. From here, things get trickier, and this is where the true peace of mind comes in! Not only the classic, “brilliant” black balls, but the dozens of variations, not to mention the number of fake peppers.
In the next two sections of our large series of peppers, we present pepper and pseudo-pepper varieties, and then, with the help of cooks and cocktail masters, discover the patterns of use. Stay tuned for the next two weeks! We guarantee you will not break the pepper under your nose.