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Spicy!




Mike and Janet Johnston pause for a moment in their Platte Street Savory Spice Shop.

The spice trade has been a subject of political, economic and cultural interest for thousands of years. Pepper, considered the world¹s most important spice commodity, was transported from India to the Middle East before 2000 B.C.

Mike and Janet Johnston pause for a moment in their Platte Street Savory Spice Shop.

The spice trade has been a subject of political, economic and cultural interest for thousands of years. Pepper, considered the world¹s most important spice commodity, was transported from India to the Middle East before 2000 B.C. Cloves and other aromatics were exported from Indonesia to China in the third century B.C., nearly two centuries before they came to Rome.

As demand increased, spices became an important form of currency in medieval Europe, and by the 18th century western European nations such as Holland, England and France had secured their monopoly on the spice trade in exotic island destinations like Makassar, North Sumatra and Goa. Because of the great danger and time involved in procuring these precious aromatics, they remained too expensive for anyone but royals to purchase for several centuries.

Today, spices are used in nearly every dish on every continent, whether it is a simple crack of black pepper or a delicately scented strand of $60-per-ounce saffron. And although they are still imported from tropical islands and far-away locales, finding high-quality, whole or freshly ground spices is as simple as a short drive into Denver or Boulder, or a jaunt to your nearest Whole Foods or Wild Oats Markets.

Try out your new spices with these tasty recipes:

Salad Dressing
Provided by Savory Spice Shop, (303) 477-3322, savoryspiceshop.com

Thai Green Curry
Provided by the Colorado Spice Company, (303) 581-0518, coloradospice.com

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