We all have read in school history books that voyagers from around the world have travelled to India in search for the spices. But the history of our spices more than what is recorded, more than 7000 years old. Even before Greece and Rome were discovered, the sea voyagers were sailing with Indian spices, perfumes and textiles to their homelands.
Ancient cultures and dynasties were spending major portion of their treasury on Indian spices, silks, brocades, Dhaka Muslin and cloth of gold, etc. It is believed that the Parthian wars were being fought by Rome largely to keep open the trade route to India.
Vasco Da Gama set sail southwards with four ships from Port of Lisbon in Portugal at the start of 14th century. His aim was to search for a new route to India and rest of Asia. The journey that lasted 2 long years, took Da Gama and his crew on 39000 kilometers round trip, around the continent of Africa to India and then back to Lisbon. Only 2 out of the 4 ships made it back home, but they brought a cargo of spices and other products worth 60 times the cost of the said voyage.
It is also said that Indian spices and her renowned products were the main temptations for crusades and expeditions to the East. The cost of the spices today is menial, but this was not always the story. Indian spices were once a royal luxury and that men were willing to risk their lives in quest of them. Though it were the Dark Ages, but there were rich people who had gold to exchange for pepper and cinnamon.
The spices of the East were valuable in those times, during these Middle Ages, a pound of ginger was worth a sheep, a pound of mace worth three sheep or half a cow. Pepper, the most valuable spice of all, was counted out in individual peppercorns, and a sack of pepper was said to be worth a man`s life.
By the year 1000 A.D. Arabians had conquered the Indus valley, what is now India. They brought the cumin and coriander that mixed with Indian pepper, ginger and turmeric make up the base of so many South Asian dishes. In India, Arabian traders got the rare and exotic spices of the Far East from local spice merchants. India had spent the previous two millennia spreading its culture to the Spice Islands of the east. Such was the importance of spices those days.
Broadly, there are two main subdivisions of spices one being the major spices and the other is minor spices. For example the spices like pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, chilies etc., comes under major category. The important minor spices grown in India are ajwain, aniseed, caraway, celery, coriander, cumin, dill seed, fennel, fenugreek, garlic, onion, saffron, vanilla etc.
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G.B.S Food Products is a stupendous manufacturers and suppliers of masala items, in Chennai. We manufacture and supply a comprehensive range of traditional masala powders such as Biryani Masala, Channa Masala, Garam Masala, Chicken Masala, Curry Powder, Jeera Powder, Pepper Powder etc.