Flowers that Have Changed the World of Food 3: Cloves

“And somewhere near India is the island containing the Valley of the Cloves. No merchants or sailors have ever been to the valley or have seen the kind of tree that produces cloves: its fruit, they say, is sold by genies . . . the islanders feed on them, and they never fall ill or grow old.” – Summary of Marvels (Ibrahim ibn Wasif-Shah, ca. … Read more

Oh Henry!

You have now a broken banquet; but we’ll mend it. A good digestion to you all: and once more I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all. . .   Thus in Act I, Scene IV of The Life of King Henry the Eighth does the king, in disguise, crash the party at Cardinal Wolsey’s house.  That night was both magical and fateful, foods were … Read more

Venice and the Silk Road: The Muslim World

Sea gulls calling, businessmen sweeping the sidewalks in front of their shops and restaurants and of course the incessant lap of the waves on the stone foundations of La Serenissima – the serene place. These are the sounds of Venice at dawn – the same sounds to which the city has woken to for countless generations. More than a powerful city-state that became an Italian … Read more