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Post  sfg4uKim on 12/17/2011, 12:26 pm

Here's a great article on why man instinctively began using spices (including onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, etc.).

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Post  martha on 12/17/2011, 12:31 pm

Fascinating and well written article. The historical foundation of using seasonings for food preservation isn't a new concept to me, but the survival of the fittest applying to taste for spicy food makes so much sense. I'm not going to continue to comment, however, since I don't want to be the Spoiler!
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Post  plantoid on 12/17/2011, 1:05 pm

I'm not convinced about the report.

I was always led to understand that most spices were mainly used to hide the taste of the meat going off in the hotter countries , that as the climates became cooler in regions like ours so did the use of cooler milder spices .

Apparently curry as we know it came about because of the Imperial times when British troops in India were fed rotting meats .

The quicker the meat went off the hotter the spice used to disguise the fact it was off.

I think that's why certain races /religions have taboos about eating cetain meats etc.

When you think of it we knew nothing about microbes five hundred or so years ago but we did know what stinking meats & fats smelt like , we still had to eat it, turn veggies or starve .
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Post  ribarr4 on 12/18/2011, 11:50 am

plantoid,

I think that what they were saying is that the antibacterial effects of the spices were a double "re-enforcment" that helped those that used more spices in recepies. The only reason they knowingly used spices was to hide taste, but because they recieved the added benifit they were healthier and propetuated the use. From a botanical perspective I would have liked to hear their take on some of the hotter spices growing more readily in warmer climates.
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