History & Culture / Southeast Asia

Sugar, spice, and everything not quite nice

by Kirana Soerono

Tis the holiday seasons! You know what that means: Yankee candles, Starbucks christmas drinks, mulled wine, eggnogs, gingerbread cookies, pfeffernüsse and more. What is the holiday seasons without the quintessential spices and flavourings of Christmas, such as nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, sugar, and black pepper?

These spices are sure to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Fold them into your cake batter, or sprinkle them on your favorite hot drink to add more depth to its flavor. Some people even use them in obscure Internet challenges (which Kontinentalist does not advise!).

Christmas spices are not just delicious—they are a great source of anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and vitamin goodness. Today, these spices can be found in any grocery store throughout the world, but these spices have a dark past.

Edited and co-written by Loh Pei Ying

Topics:

  • slavery,
  • spices,
  • trade,
  • war

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