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Can you imagine risking your life to get your hands on some pepper? It has been said that in Europe, during the Middle Ages, a pound of ginger was worth a sheep, a pound of mace was worth three sheep, and a sack of pepper was worth a man’s life. That’s because pepper came from India, and India was a long, long, long way away. Pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, and turmeric originated in India, and today, pepper is still the most important commercial spice, accounting for 60% of the spice trade. India is still the top producer of spices globally and modern Indian cuisine relies heavily on the native spices of India but has also evolved to include spices from other parts of the globe.