“He who controls the spice controls the universe.”
Frank Herbert, Dune
Granville Island has been called the “Stomach of Vancouver.” When you walk through the doors, breathe deeply to inhale the aromas of fresh fruit, vegetables, coffee, bread and spices. From the beginning, food and spices have formed a strong bond to create hearty soups, zesty meat dishes, and decadent sweets.
Spices have a mysterious glamour because we connect them to the markets and bazaars of faraway, exotic lands. Spices traveled the routes between historic civilizations in Asia, Northeast Africa and Europe. Cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger and turmeric were known in the ancient Eastern World before they trickled into the Middle East and then finally to the West. The names of these routes were as fascinating as the spices that came along their corridors via ocean voyages to India and Sri Lanka, and the overland caravan routes through Egypt and the Suez.
International trade has brought the best of the world into our grocery and specialty stores. More significantly, the global marketplace has accumulated a vast amount of knowledge and experience that is available everyone. Diversity and cultural distinctions are the gifts that spur innovation and creativity – not only with food but in every area of endeavour.