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Ian (Herbie) Hemphill spent his childhood surrounded by the fragrances and flavours of herbs. It should come as no surprise then to know that his life has been peppered with fascinating adventures, culinary experiences and cultural insights in his quest for spices. Spice Travels Ė (a spice merchantís voyage of discovery) is a charming account of Ian Hemphillís travels in search of spices, their origins and processes, and the fascinating people who are engaged in this ancient trade.
Spice Travels begins with Ianís awakening to the significance of how interesting the spice trade is when he attends an international spice meeting in
New Delhi and discovers that there really is a brotherhood of spice merchants. Ian and his wife Elizabeth take a group of tourists to
Sri Lanka in search of cinnamon quills, a spice that is still produced commercially in exactly the same way as it has been done for centuries. They have a breathtaking experience with chillies in Gujerat and later follow in the footsteps of the Conquistadores to learn the magical alchemy that is involved in curing vanilla beans.
Not content with numerous visits to spice plantations and factories around the world, Ian and Liz take a month-long spice sabbatical in
Cochin. In this ancient trading port that has seen Vasco DaGama, Bartholomew Diaz and Christopher Columbus pass through it, they experience the rich history and culture of spice production.
Spice Travels is an entertaining blend of travel experiences, spice facts, anecdotes and taste sensations that range from
Mexico and the red centre of
Australia. It will make your mouth water.