Gourmet Traveller

THE NEW Spice TRADERS

The 15th Century saw two critical European voyages: Christopher Columbus sailed to the Americas, and Vasco da Gama sailed around the tip of Africa. Both were headed for India – but only da Gama made it, arriving in what is now the coastal Indian state of Kerala. At the time, it was a major shipping hub for India’s abundant pepper crops.

The exchange of spices from Asia and India into Europe had flourished since Roman times and paved the way for important trade routes, but da Gama’s arrival in India marked the start of European powers’ mission to gain a direct foothold in the lucrative spice trade, leading

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