The Taste of Conquest offers up a riveting, globe-trotting tale of unquenchable desire, fanatical religion, raw greed, fickle fashion, and mouthwatering cuisine–in short, the very stuff of which our world is made. In this engaging, enlightening, and anecdote-filled history, Michael Krondl, a noted chef turned writer and food historian, tells the story of three legendary cities–Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam–and how their single-minded pursuit of spice helped to make (and remake) the Western diet and set in motion the first great wave of globalization. Sharing meals and stories with Indian pepper planters, Portuguese sailors, and Venetian foodies, Krondl takes every opportunity to explore the world of long ago and sample its many flavors. Along the way, he reveals that the taste for spice of a few wealthy Europeans led to great crusades, astonishing feats of bravery, and even wholesale slaughter.
As stimulating as it is pleasurable, and filled with surprising insights, The Taste of Conquest offers a compelling perspective on how, in search of a tastier dish, the world has been transformed.
Praise for The Taste of Conquest
“An altogether rich, perfectly seasoned slice of world history.”
–The Boston Globe
“As a chef I have always been deeply intrigued by the mystique of spices. Michael Krondl’s book awakens and transports the reader into this mysterious world, showing us how our lives and history have been transformed by the sensuous odors of cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric.”
–Gray Kunz, chef and owner of Café Gray and Grayz, co-author of The Elements of Taste
“Fascinating . . . spicy reading for food and history lovers alike.”
“A delicious treat.”
–The Vancouver Sun
“Witty and erudite.”