Asian Cuisine,  Culinary History,  Food History,  History,  Island,  Tourism,  Travel

Island Contributions

You might not have thought of it, but the islands of this world have contributed greatly to world cuisine. Places like the islands of the Caribbean, Sri Lanka, the south east Asian islands and Pacific islands offered many delicious foods that we take for granted today.

Much of world history (even today 🙂 ) is based on trade, trade routes and commerce between countries. So many of the trade routes of the ancient and medieval world were based on spices. These spices came from such exotic places as India, China and the Caribbean. The most famous trade route called the Silk Road was just one of the examples of the caravan routes that brought all kinds of goods back and forth from the Orient to Europe and vice versa. Such items as tea, pepper, salt, cloves, sugarcane, nutmeg, coconuts and all manner of other spices were traded.

It was in seeking a new way to these lands of spices, that caused Christopher Columbus to first set sail. He didn’t find the spice lands, but he did find a new continent. Eventually, the Caribbean with its tropical climate became an important spice and sugar destination. A new trade route was established between the Caribbean, England, and the new colonies in America.

Though the islands and what they offered were destinations for spice hungry Europeans and Asians, the islands developed their own cuisines. Often the dishes were filled with the spices themselves and used the tropical fruits and foods that the islanders had available to them. Some of these unusual foods include breadfruit, taro, plantains and cassava. Many of these islands have melting pots of cuisines and food with African, European, Asian and Indian influences playing parts.

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