In this engaging, anecdotal history of food, world conquest, and desire, a chef-turned-journalist tells the story of three legendary cities—Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam—that transformed the globe in the quest for spice.
Written in a colorful style that will appeal to fans of Mark Kurlansky and Michael Pollan, this ambitious yet accessible book travels effortlessly from the Crusades to the present day. Michael Krondl explains that it was the desire for spices that got international trade up and running on a scale that had never occurred prior to that time. This explosive growth of the spice trade led to the successive rise—and fall—of Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam.
Krondl, a gifted food writer, travels to each of these great cities and begins his visit with a great meal. Gradually, he merges the menu he's enjoying with the city's colorful past, and readers are off on a gastronomical tour that teaches them not only about food and spice but also about history and commerce.