Black Pepper
     Black pepper also known as ‘Black gold’ was the most prized spice traded from the Kerala coast. Indians have been using black pepper for a very long time. Farmers began growing it in around 5000 years ago. And exported it to North and West Asia. The trade soon spread to Greece, Rome, Europe, and China, and also became popular in the Islamic empire. Recipes from rich Roman households show the value of the spice in ancient Rome. The Romans sent 120 ships a year from Egypt to trade with India and bring back enormous quantities of pepper.

     Indians have been using cinnamon for a long, long time. The Chinese wrote about it in 2700 BCE. Cinnamon not only adds great flavour to food, it also helps to preserve it.

     People from other parts of the world appreciated the fragrance and taste of cinnamon. They wanted it too, and were willing to pay a good price for it. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians bought cinnamon from India. In the Middle Ages, the Venetians grew rich by taxing the cinnamon that was brought from India to Europe and the Mediterranean. 
Black pepper was also known as "black gold" because it was considered very precious. It was available in the Kerala coast, and it was traded from there. Indian farmers have been growing pepper for about \(5000\) years. They sold it to other countries in North and West Asia. Slowly the export sale extended to Greece, Rome, Europe, China, and the Islamic Empire (Arabia, Persia, Armenia, Egypt). Ancient Rome also loved the black pepper because there have been recipes from rich families of the Roman dynasty, where pepper was used. The Romans sent \(120\) ships from Egypt, per year, to India for selling their goods and taking back huge quantities of pepper.
black pepper.jpg
Black gold, in a golden bowl!
Cinnamon is another spice that has been used widely by Indians for a long time. In \(2700\) BC, the Chinese had written about the same. Adding cinnamon to food has two uses:
  1. It adds a wonderful flavour to the food.
  2. It acts as a preservative - it does not let the food decay.
The fragrant, spicy cinnamon!
People from all over the world loved the smell and taste of cinnamon and appreciated it. They spent huge amounts on buying cinnamon. The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians also bought cinnamon from India. During the Middle Ages (\(5th\) to \(15th\) century), the people of Venice, a city in Italy (in Europe) - known as Venetians became rich just by charging a tax on the cinnamon that was imported from India to Europe and the Mediterranean countries (around the Mediterranean sea).
Meanings of difficult words:
enormous very large in size or quantity
fragrancea pleasant, sweet smell
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-1 English Standard-6. Spices of India (pp. 148-153). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.