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What is the black gold of India and its history? Know more here

This is not about Coal and Petroleum, but it is a kitchen ingredient. Yes India’s black gold is

‘BLACK PEPPER

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Traders in India have been trading black pepper for more than 4000 years now. It is called black gold because of its high demand back in the day.

Black Pepper originated at the Malabar Coast of India. It is popular as a cooking ingredient and also as a medicine because of its therapeutic properties.

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Did you know Black Pepper was also used as a currency? Some say that a building in Bermuda has a 200 – year old contract that is still paid in peppercorn or Black pepper.

Along with its amazing flavour, it is also used in Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani medicine. It is very beneficial for our body as it strengthens the nerves; it is used in massaging the abdomen and muscles.

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If you read the history and politics of that time, you will see that Pepper is from the Western Ghats that is mostly Kerala and South-west Karnataka now. The trade routes carried spices on land to the Himalayas, Arabia and south-east Asia and China. This long journey indicates that it is a super-premium commodity.

This went on for a long time until a sea route was discovered by traders of Kerala. The route was from Malabar Coast to the Red Sea Canal; from there it was distributed to the rest of Europe. Such direct access to pepper made the roman states like Genoa rich and powerful as they controlled most of the spices from India. They then started to explore alternate routes which led to the famous expedition of 1947 of Vasco Da Gama. Amazing isn’t it?

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Some term the black gold as Coal and petroleum and they are very famous for that. Not everyone knows about Black Pepper on the other hand. Today pepper is a part of 20% of the global spice trade. India is one of the biggest producers of pepper in the world; we produce around 273.000 tonnes every year and export 142,000 tonnes. The global market of pepper is worth $4.1 billion.

To take a look it is just another spice that you use in your daily life, but it is so much more than that. It has a vast history internationally and has played an important role to shape the history of the world.

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