Spices are very popularly known as the flavoring agents all across the world. Due to their unique flavoring and aromatic nature, these spices are in great demand all across the world. But the geographical distribution of these spices is limited to few areas only. Majority of the spice production is seen in the South East Asia. But spices these days are very easily available in any part of the world. Therefore, it becomes quite interesting to know how actually this spice trade evolved.
Spice trade is one of the most costly trade in Ancient Ages. Due to their rare and confined occurrence, in olden days, spices were found to be more costly than Gold and Platinum. Because of this spice trade was regarded as the most wealthiest trade in the world. The spice trade actually began in medieval ages. All the south east Asian countries and North African countries were famous for the spices available there. Having recognized the high profitability in spice trade, the Europeans have totally conquered the south East Asian countries, especially India. All the spices from these regions were traded by Europeans, especially countries like Venice, Portugal and Spain. Europe was the monopolistic ruler at that time and was charging exorbitant rates for the spices. Initially spice trade was done only for cloves and pepper by Europe.
For quite a time, the trade took place through road ways and then these countries thought of finding sea routes to these spice producing regions. And hence sent Columbus and Vascodagama for the search of the sea routes to the India and neighbouring countries. But Columbus instead of reaching India ended up finding America. But Vascodagama reached a place called Kerala, a major spice producing area in India. From then the trade also began through sea routes.
Due to the globalization the monopoly of European countries was broken and the spice trade got distributed across various countries but still the South East Asian countries being the major producers.