Piper guineense is a West African species of Piper. It is a relative of black pepper and long pepper. Unlike cubeb, large and spherical in shape, Ashanti pepper grains are prolate spheroids and smoother than Cubeb pepper in appearance and bear a reddish tinge; the stalks of Ashanti pepper berries are distinctly curved whilst those of cubeb pepper are straight. The terms West African pepper and Guinea pepper have been used, but are ambiguous and may refer to grains of Selim or grains of paradise; the plants that provide Ashanti pepper are vines that can grow up to 20 m in length, climbing up boles of trees by means of adventitious roots. These are native to topical regions of Central and Western Africa and are semi-cultivated in countries such as Nigeria where the leaves, known as uziza, are used as a flavouring for stews. Like other members of the pepper family, Ashanti pepper contains 5–8% of the chemical piperine which gives them their piquant taste, they contain large amounts of beta-caryophyllene, being investigated as an anti-inflammatory agent.
It contains significant proportions of myristicin, elemicin and dillapiol, as well as some apiole. In terms of flavour, Ashanti pepper is similar to cubeb pepper but is less bitter and has a fresher, more herbaceous flavour and aroma than cubeb's more pine-like scent. Though known in Europe during the Middle Ages, these days, its use is marginalized to West and Central Africa, it is used in West African cuisine where it imparts a pungent aroma to stews. In West Africa, Ashanti pepper is an expensive spice and is used sparingly. A few grains are ground in a pestle and mortar before being added to soups or to boiled rice; the spice can be substituted in any recipe calling for cubeb pepper, where Ashanti imparts a less bitter flavour. The pepper is sometimes one of the ingredients in the Berbere spice mix used in the cuisines of Ethiopia and of Eritrea. However, West African Pepper is a esteemed spice in its region of origin and may be hard to get abroad. Research shows that Ashanti peppers have anti-oxidant properties.
In a comparison study of three native West African peppers on the preservation of catfish, Ashanti peppers were discovered to be the most effective
Aframomum melegueta is a species in the ginger family and related to cardamom. Its seeds are used as a spice, known as grains of paradise, melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains, ossame, or fom wisa; the term Guinea pepper has been used, but is most applied to Xylopia aethiopica. Although it is native to West Africa, it is an important cash crop in the Basketo district of southern Ethiopia; the Pepper Coast where exists the Republic of Liberia, is a historical coastal region named after this commodity. Aframomum melegueta is an herbaceous perennial plant native to swampy habitats along the West African coast, its trumpet-shaped, purple flowers develop into pods 5–7 cm long, containing numerous small, reddish-brown seeds. The pungent, peppery taste of the seeds is caused by aromatic ketones, such as -paradol. Essential oils, which are the dominating flavor components in the related cardamom, occur only in traces; the stem at times can be short, shows signs of scars and dropped leaves.
The leaves average 15 cm in width, with a well-structured vascular system. The flowers of the herbaceous plant are aromatic, with an orange-colored lip and rich pinkish-orange upper part; the fruits contain numerous, golden red-brown seeds. Melegueta pepper is used in the cuisines of West and North Africa, where it has been traditionally imported by camel caravan routes through the Sahara desert, whence they were distributed to Sicily and the rest of Italy. Mentioned by Pliny as "African pepper" but subsequently forgotten in Europe, they were renamed "grains of paradise" and became a popular substitute for black pepper in Europe in the 14th and 15th centuries; the Ménagier de Paris recommends it for improving wine that "smells stale". Through the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, the theory of the four humours governed theories about nourishment on the part of doctors and druggists. In this context, John Russell characterized grains of paradise in The Boke of Nurture as "hot and moist".
In 1469, King Afonso V of Portugal granted the monopoly of trade in the Gulf of Guinea to Lisbon merchant Fernão Gomes. The included the exclusivity in trade of Aframomum melegueta called malagueta pepper; the grant came at the cost of 100,000 real annually and agreement to explore 100 miles of the coast of Africa per year for five years. After Christopher Columbus reached the New World in 1492 and brought the first samples of the chili pepper back with him to Europe, the name malagueta, Spanish and Portuguese spelling, was applied to the new chili "pepper" because its piquancy was reminiscent of grains of paradise. Malagueta, thanks to its low price, remained popular in Europe after the Portuguese opened the direct maritime route to the Spice Islands around 1500; this namesake, the malagueta chili, remains popular in Brazil, the Caribbean and Mozambique. The importance of the A. melegueta spice is shown by the designation of the area from the St. John River to Harper in Liberia as the Grain Coast or Pepper Coast in honor of the availability of grains of paradise.
The craze for the spice waned, its uses were reduced to a flavoring for sausages and beer. In the 18th century, its importation to Great Britain collapsed after a parliamentary act of George III forbade its use in alcoholic beverages. In 1855, England imported about 15,000 to 19,000 lbs per year legally. By the 1880, the 9th edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica reported: "Grains of paradise are to some extent used in veterinary practice, but for the most part illegally to give a fictitious strength to malt liquors and cordials"; the presence of the seeds in the diets of lowland gorillas in the wild seems to have some sort of beneficial effect on their cardiovascular health. They eat the leaves, use them for bedding material; the absence of the seeds in the diets of captive lowland gorillas may contribute to their poor cardiovascular health in zoos. Today the condiment is sometimes used in gourmet cuisine as a replacement for pepper, to give unique flavor in some craft beers and Norwegian akvavit.
Grains of paradise are starting to enjoy a slight resurgence in popularity in North America due to their use by some well-known chefs. Alton Brown is a fan of the condiment, he uses it in okra stew and his apple-pie recipe on an episode of the TV cooking show Good Eats. Grains of paradise are used by people on certain diets, such as a raw food diet, because they are considered less irritating to digestion than black pepper. In West African folk medicine, grains of paradise are valued for their warming and digestive properties, among the Efik people in Nigeria have been used for divination and ordeals determining guilt. A. melegueta has been introduced to the Caribbean and Latin America, where it is used in religious rites. Aframomum corrorima List of culinary herbs and spices Phytotherapy Katzer spice site
West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, at 381,981,000 as of 2017, to which 189,672,000 are female, 192,309,000 male. Studies of human mitochondrial DNA suggest that all humans share common ancestors from Africa, originated in the southwestern regions near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola at the approximate coordinates 12.5° E, 17.5°S with a divergence in the migration path around 37.5°E, 22.5°N near the Red Sea. A particular haplogroup of DNA, haplogroup L2, evolved between 87,000 and 107,000 years ago or approx. 90,000 YBP. Its age and widespread distribution and diversity across the continent makes its exact origin point within Africa difficult to trace with any confidence, however an origin for several L2 groups in West or Central Africa seems with the highest diversity in West Africa.
Most of its subclades are confined to West and western-Central Africa. Because of the large numbers of West Africans enslaved in the Atlantic slave trade, most African Americans are to have mixed ancestry from different regions of western Africa; the history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, made contact with peoples to the north. Early human settlers from northern Holocene societies arrived in West Africa around 12,000 B. C. At Gobero, the Kiffian, who were hunters of tall stature, lived during the green Sahara between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago; the Tenerian, who were a more built people that hunted and herded cattle, lived during the latter part of the green Sahara 7,000 to 4,500 years ago. Sedentary farming began in, or around the fifth millennium B. C, as well as the domestication of cattle. By 1500 B. C, ironworking technology allowed an expansion of agricultural productivity, the first city-states formed.
Northern tribes developed walled settlements and non-walled settlements that numbered at 400. In the forest region, Iron Age cultures began to flourish, an inter-region trade began to appear; the desertification of the Sahara and the climatic change of the coast cause trade with upper Mediterranean peoples to be seen. The domestication of the camel allowed the development of a trans-Saharan trade with cultures across the Sahara, including Carthage and the Berbers. Local leather and gold contributed to the abundance of prosperity for many of the following empires; the development of the region's economy allowed more centralized states and civilizations to form, beginning with Dhar Tichitt that began in 1600 B. C. followed by Djenné-Djenno beginning in 300 B. C; this was succeeded by the Ghana Empire that first flourished between the 9th and 12th centuries, which gave way to the Mali Empire. In current-day Mauritania, there exist archaeological sites in the towns of Tichit and Oualata that were constructed around 2000 B.
C. and were found to have originated from the Soninke branch of the Mandé peoples, according to their tradition, originate from Aswan, Egypt. Based on the archaeology of city of Kumbi Saleh in modern-day Mauritania, the Mali empire came to dominate much of the region until its defeat by Almoravid invaders in 1052. Three great kingdoms were identified in Bilad al-Sudan by the ninth century, they included Ghana and Kanem. The Sosso Empire sought to fill the void, but was defeated by the Mandinka forces of Sundiata Keita, founder of the new Mali Empire; the Mali Empire continued to flourish for several centuries, most under Sundiata's grandnephew Musa I, before a succession of weak rulers led to its collapse under Mossi and Songhai invaders. In the 15th century, the Songhai would form a new dominant state based on Gao, in the Songhai Empire, under the leadership of Sonni Ali and Askia Mohammed. Meanwhile, south of the Sudan, strong city states arose in Igboland, such as the 10th-century Kingdom of Nri, which helped birth the arts and customs of the Igbo people, Bono in the 12th century, which culminated in the formation the all-powerful Akan Empire of Ashanti, while Ife rose to prominence around the 14th century.
Further east, Oyo arose as the dominant Yoruba state and the Aro Confederacy as a dominant Igbo state in modern-day Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was a West African medieval state in the present-day southeastern Nigeria and a subgroup of the Igbo people; the Kingdom of Nri was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland and was administered by a priest-king called as an Eze Nri; the Eze Nri managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people and possessed divine authority in religious matters. The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today Western and North c
Grains of Selim
Grains of Selim are the seeds of a shrubby tree, Xylopia aethiopica, found in Africa. The seeds have a musky flavor and are used as a spice in a manner similar to black pepper, as a flavouring agent that that defines café Touba, the dominant style of coffee in Senegal, it is known as Kani pepper, Senegal pepper, Ethiopian pepper, Moor pepper and Negro pepper. It has many names in native languages of Africa, the most common of, djar in the Wolof language, it is sometimes referred to as African pepper or Guinea pepper, but these are ambiguous terms that may refer to Ashanti pepper and grains of paradise, among others. As a spice, the whole fruit is used, as the hull of the fruit lends an aromatic note whilst the seeds lend pungency; the dried fruit is crushed before being tied in a bouquet garni and added to West African soups. In Senegal, the spice is sold smoked in markets as poivre de Sénégal. These, tend to be the larger pods of the related species Xylopia striata; the pod are crushed and added whole to soups or stews removed before serving the food.
Paste from smoked and ground pods can be used as a spice rub for fish. In West African cookbooks those from Cameroon, the spice is referred to as kieng, but the language that name is derived from is unknown. In northern Cameroon as well as Northern Nigeria, it is one of three spices added to tea, along with dried ginger and cloves; the Akan of Ghana call it hwentea, while the Ga of Ghana call it so. The Ga use it in preparing a black, spicy pepper sauce, it is used in soups and beverages, for example shitodaa, a beverage of the Ga. Dagbombas in northern Ghana call it chimba, it is used in spicing coco, it is sometimes used in soups and stews. Other regional names include kimba and kili. In Senegal, The grains are a key ingredient in Touba-style coffee. Near the end of the roasting phase of making the coffee, grains of Selim, known in Wolof as djar, are added while the heat is still on. Roasting continues for five more minutes. List of culinary herbs and spices
A vernacular, or vernacular language, is the lect used in everyday life by the common people of a specific population. It is distinguished from national, liturgical or scientific idiom, or a lingua franca, used to facilitate communication across a large area, it is native spoken informally rather than written and seen as of lower status than more codified forms. It can be regional dialect, sociolect or an independent language. In the context of language standardization, the term "vernacular" is used to refer to nonstandard dialects of a certain language, as opposed to its prestige normative forms. Usage of the word "vernacular" is not recent. In 1688, James Howell wrote: Concerning Italy, doubtless there were divers before the Latin did spread all over that Country. Here, mother language and dialect are in use in a modern sense. According to Merriam-Webster, "vernacular" was brought into the English language as early as 1601 from the Latin vernaculus, in figurative use in Classical Latin as "national" and "domestic", having been derived from vernus and verna, a male or female slave born in the house rather than abroad.
The figurative meaning was broadened from vernacula. Varro, the classical Latin grammarian, used the term vocabula vernacula, "termes de la langue nationale" or "vocabulary of the national language" as opposed to foreign words. In general linguistics, a vernacular is contrasted with a lingua franca, a third-party language in which persons speaking different vernaculars not understood by each other may communicate. For instance, in Western Europe until the 17th century, most scholarly works had been written in Latin, serving as a lingua franca. Works written in Romance languages are said to be in the vernacular; the Divina Commedia, the Cantar de Mio Cid, The Song of Roland are examples of early vernacular literature in Italian and French, respectively. In Europe, Latin was used instead of vernacular languages in varying forms until c. 1701, in its latter stage as New Latin. In religion, Protestantism was a driving force in the use of the vernacular in Christian Europe, the Bible being translated from Latin into vernacular languages with such works as the Bible in Dutch: published in 1526 by Jacob van Liesvelt.
In Catholicism, vernacular bibles were provided, but Latin was used at Tridentine Mass until the Second Vatican Council of 1965. Certain groups, notably Traditionalist Catholics, continue to practice Latin Mass. In Eastern Orthodox Church, four Gospels translated to vernacular Ukrainian language in 1561 are known as Peresopnytsia Gospel. In India, the 12th century Bhakti movement led to the translation of Sanskrit texts to the vernacular. In science, an early user of the vernacular was Galileo, writing in Italian c. 1600, though some of his works remained in Latin. A example is Isaac Newton, whose 1687 Principia was in Latin, but whose 1704 Opticks was in English. Latin continues to be used in certain fields of science, notably binomial nomenclature in biology, while other fields such as mathematics use vernacular. In diplomacy, French displaced Latin in Europe in the 1710s, due to the military power of Louis XIV of France. Certain languages have both a classical form and various vernacular forms, with two used examples being Arabic and Chinese: see Varieties of Arabic and Chinese language.
In the 1920s, due to the May Fourth Movement, Classical Chinese was replaced by written vernacular Chinese. The vernacular is often contrasted with a liturgical language, a specialized use of a former lingua franca. For example, until the 1960s, Roman Rite Catholics held Masses in Latin rather than in vernaculars. In Hindu culture, traditionally religious or scholarly works were written in Sanskrit or in Tamil in Tamil country. Sanskrit was a lingua franca among the non-Indo-European languages of the Indian subcontinent and became more of one as the spoken language, or prakrits, began to diverge from it in different regions. With the rise of the bhakti movement from the 12th century onwards, religious works were created in the other languages: Hindi, Kannada and many others. For example, the Ramayana, one of Hinduism's sacred epics in Sanskrit, had vernacular versions such as Ranganadha Ramayanam composed in Telugu by Gona Buddha Reddy in the 15th century; these circumstances are a contrast between a vernacular and language variant used by the same speakers
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, known as a peppercorn, dried and used as a spice and seasoning. When fresh and mature, it is about 5 mm in diameter and dark red, contains a single seed, like all drupes. Peppercorns and the ground pepper derived from them may be described as pepper, or more as black pepper, green pepper, or white pepper. Black pepper is native to present-day Kerala in Southwestern India, is extensively cultivated there and elsewhere in tropical regions. Vietnam is the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper, producing 34% of the world's crop, as of 2013. Ground dried and cooked peppercorns have been used since antiquity, both for flavour and as a traditional medicine. Black pepper is the world's most traded spice, is one of the most common spices added to cuisines around the world, its spiciness is due to the chemical compound piperine, a different kind of spicy from the capsaicin characteristic of chili peppers. It is ubiquitous in the modern world as a seasoning, is paired with salt and available on dining tables in shakers.
The word pepper has roots in the Sanskrit word pippali for long pepper. Ancient Greek and Latin turned pippali into the Greek πέπερι peperi and into the Latin piper, which the Romans used for both black pepper and long pepper, erroneously believing that both came from the same plant. From its Sanskrit roots, today's "pepper" is derived from the Old English pipor and from Latin, the source of Romanian piper, Italian pepe, Dutch peper, German Pfeffer, French poivre, other similar forms. In the 16th century, people began using pepper to mean the unrelated New World chili pepper. People have used pepper in a figurative sense to mean "spirit" or "energy" at least as far back as the 1840s. In the early 20th century, this shortened to "pep". Black pepper is produced from the unripe drupes of the pepper plant; the drupes are cooked in hot water, both to clean them and to prepare them for drying. The heat ruptures cell walls in the pepper; the drupes dry in the sun or by machine for several days, during which the pepper skin around the seed shrinks and darkens into a thin, wrinkled black layer.
Once dry, the spice is called black peppercorn. On some estates, the berries are separated from the stem by hand and sun-dried without the boiling process. Once the peppercorns are dried, pepper spirit and oil can be extracted from the berries by crushing them. Pepper spirit is used in many beauty products. Pepper oil is used as an ayurvedic massage oil and in certain beauty and herbal treatments. White pepper consists of the seed of the ripe fruit of the pepper plant, with the thin darker-coloured skin of the fruit removed; this is accomplished by a process known as retting, where ripe red pepper berries are soaked in water for about a week so the flesh of the peppercorn softens and decomposes. Sometimes alternative processes are used for removing the outer pepper from the seed, including removing the outer layer through mechanical, chemical, or biological methods. Ground white pepper is used in Chinese and Thai cuisine, but in salads, cream sauces, light-coloured sauces, mashed potatoes. However, white pepper has a different flavour from black pepper.
Green pepper, like black pepper, is made from unripe drupes. Dried green peppercorns are treated in a way that retains the green colour, such as with sulphur dioxide, canning, or freeze-drying. Pickled peppercorns green, are unripe drupes preserved in brine or vinegar. Fresh, unpreserved green pepper drupes unknown in the West, are used in some Asian cuisines Thai cuisine, their flavour has been described as "spicy and fresh", with a "bright aroma". They decay if not dried or preserved, making them unsuitable for international shipping. Wild pepper grows in the Western Ghats region of India. Into the 19th century, the forests contained expansive wild pepper vines, as recorded by the Scottish physician Francis Buchanan in his book A journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore and Malabar. However, deforestation resulted in wild pepper growing in more limited forest patches from Goa to Kerala, with the wild source decreasing as the quality and yield of the cultivated variety improved. No successful grafting of commercial pepper on wild pepper has been achieved to date.
Orange pepper or red pepper consists of ripe red pepper drupes preserved in brine and vinegar. Ripe red peppercorns can be dried using the same colour-preserving techniques used to produce green pepper. Pink peppercorns are the fruits of the Peruvian pepper tree, Schinus molle, or its relative, the Brazilian pepper tree, Schinus terebinthifolius, plants from a different family; as they are members of the cashew family, they may cause allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis, for persons with a tree nut allergy. The bark of Drimys winteri is used as a substitute for pepper in cold and temperate regions of Chile and Argentina, where it is found and available. In New Zealand, the seeds of kawakawa, a relative of black pepper, are sometimes used as pepper.
A spice is a seed, root, bark, or other plant substance used for flavoring, coloring or preserving food. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are the leaves, flowers, or stems of plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Many spices have antimicrobial properties; this may explain why spices are more used in warmer climates, which have more infectious diseases, why the use of spices is prominent in meat, susceptible to spoiling. Spices are sometimes used in religious rituals, cosmetics or perfume production; the spice trade developed throughout the Indian subcontinent and Middle East by at earliest 2000 BCE with cinnamon and black pepper, in East Asia with herbs and pepper. The Egyptians used herbs for mummification and their demand for exotic spices and herbs helped stimulate world trade; the word spice comes from the Old French word espice, which became epice, which came from the Latin root spec, the noun referring to "appearance, kind": species has the same root. By 1000 BCE, medical systems based upon herbs could be found in China and India.
Early uses were connected with magic, religion and preservation. Cloves were used in Mesopotamia by 1700 BCE; the ancient Indian epic Ramayana mentions cloves. The Romans had cloves in the 1st century CE; the earliest written records of spices come from ancient Egyptian and Indian cultures. The Ebers Papyrus from Early Egyptians that dates from 1550 B. C. E. Describes some eight hundred different medicinal remedies and numerous medicinal procedures. Historians believe that nutmeg, which originates from the Banda Islands in Southeast Asia, was introduced to Europe in the 6th century BCE. Indonesian merchants traveled around China, the Middle East, the east coast of Africa. Arab merchants facilitated the routes through India; this resulted in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria being the main trading center for spices. The most important discovery prior to the European spice trade were the monsoon winds. Sailing from Eastern spice cultivators to Western European consumers replaced the land-locked spice routes once facilitated by the Middle East Arab caravans.
In the story of Genesis, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers to spice merchants. In the biblical poem Song of Solomon, the male speaker compares his beloved to many forms of spices. Spices were among the most demanded and expensive products available in Europe in the Middle Ages, the most common being black pepper, cumin, nutmeg and cloves. Given medieval medicine's main theory of humorism and herbs were indispensable to balance "humors" in food, a daily basis for good health at a time of recurrent pandemics. In addition to being desired by those using medieval medicine, the European elite craved spices in the Middle Ages. An example of the European aristocracy's demand for spice comes from the King of Aragon, who invested substantial resources into bringing back spices to Spain in the 12th century, he was looking for spices to put in wine, was not alone among European monarchs at the time to have such a desire for spice. Spices were all imported from plantations in Africa, which made them expensive.
From the 8th until the 15th century, the Republic of Venice had the monopoly on spice trade with the Middle East, along with it the neighboring Italian maritime republics and city-states. The trade made the region rich, it has been estimated that around 1,000 tons of pepper and 1,000 tons of the other common spices were imported into Western Europe each year during the Late Middle Ages. The value of these goods was the equivalent of a yearly supply of grain for 1.5 million people. The most exclusive was saffron, used as much for its vivid yellow-red color as for its flavor. Spices that have now fallen into obscurity in European cuisine include grains of paradise, a relative of cardamom which replaced pepper in late medieval north French cooking, long pepper, spikenard and cubeb. Spain and Portugal were interested in seeking new routes to trade in spices and other valuable products from Asia; the control of trade routes and the spice-producing regions were the main reasons that Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama sailed to India in 1499.
When Gama discovered the pepper market in India, he was able to secure peppers for a much cheaper price than the ones demanded by Venice. At around the same time, Christopher Columbus returned from the New World, he described to investors new spices available there. Another source of competition in the spice trade during the 15th and 16th century was the Ragusans from the maritime republic of Dubrovnik in southern Croatia; the military prowess of Afonso de Albuquerque allowed the Portuguese to take control of the sea routes to India. In 1506, he took the island of Socotra in the mouth of the Red Sea and, in 1507, Ormuz in the Persian Gulf. Since becoming the viceroy of the Indies, he took Goa in India in 1510, Malacca on the Malay peninsula in 1511; the Portuguese could now trade directly with Siam and the Maluku Islands. With the discovery of the New World came new spices, including allspice, chili peppers and chocolate; this development kept the spice trade, with America as a late comer with its new seasonings, profitable well into the 19th century.
One issue with spices today is dilution, where spices are blended to make inferior quality powdered spices, by including roots and other admixture in production of spice powder. A spice may be available in several forms: pre-ground dried. Spices are dried. Spices may be ground into a powder for c