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Cumin, Camels, and Caravans, 45: A Spice Odyssey

Cumin, Camels, and Caravans, 45: A Spice Odyssey

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Key Metrics

  • Gary Paul Nabhan
  • University of California Press
  • Paperback
  • 9780520379244
  • 9.2 X 6.6 X 1.5 inches
  • 1.45 pounds
  • Cooking > Specific Ingredients - Herbs, Spices, Condiments
  • English
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Book Description

Gary Paul Nabhan takes the reader on a vivid and far-ranging journey across time and space in this fascinating look at the relationship between the spice trade and culinary imperialism. Drawing on his own family's history as spice traders, as well as travel narratives, historical accounts, and his expertise as an ethnobotanist, Nabhan describes the critical roles that Semitic peoples and desert floras had in setting the stage for globalized spice trade.

Traveling along four prominent trade routes--the Silk Road, the Frankincense Trail, the Spice Route, and the Camino Real (for chiles and chocolate)--Nabhan follows the caravans of itinerant spice merchants from the frankincense-gathering grounds and ancient harbors of the Arabian Peninsula to the port of Zayton on the China Sea to Santa Fe in the southwest United States. His stories, recipes, and linguistic analyses of cultural diffusion routes reveal the extent to which aromatics such as cumin, cinnamon, saffron, and peppers became adopted worldwide as signature ingredients of diverse cuisines. Cumin, Camels, and Caravans demonstrates that two particular desert cultures often depicted in constant conflict--Arabs and Jews--have spent much of their history collaborating in the spice trade and suggests how a more virtuous multicultural globalized society may be achieved in the future.


Cumin, Camels, and Caravans, 45: A Spice Odyssey

Author Bio

Gary Nabhan, Ph.D., W.K. Kellogg Chair in Southwest Borderlands Food and Water Security,  is an ethnobiologist, agroecologist, conservation biologist and cultural geographer trained at the University of Arizona and Prescott College. 

He is author or editor of 26 books translated into 6 languages, a number of which have won awards. In addition to his research, teaching and community service on sustainable food systems, Nabhan farms during the summer in Patagonia, Arizona. Political Ecology of Food, Conservation Ranching and Ecosystem Services, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Sustainable Food Systems, and Science Writing. 

Current Projects: Tumamoc Hill phenology change; Sonoran Desert oasis initiative (with Susie and Paul Fish); Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodways Alliance; Stitching the West Back Together working landscapes initiative (with Tom Sheridan and Susan Charnley); biodiversity of desert oases (with Rafael Routson and Amadeo Rea); Renewing America's Food Traditions agrobiodiversity inventory (with Collaborative, American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and Western Folklife Center); climate change adaptation and agrobiodiversity (with the University of Arizona Institute for the Environment).

 

Source: The University of Arizona 

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