The Smart Seed
About This Show
The Smart Seed is a podcast created to spark the imagination and ones’ excitement around everything food! Each post and podcast we will tell a story about one food. Through these stories we will, surprisingly, learn much about ourselves–our past and the reality of our present. Our hope is to reconnect you to your food–appreciate the staples while pushing ourselves to learn more of that which we do not eat. We are going on a food journey, through time and space, and welcome you to come along.
Most Recent Episode
Black Pepper: The Stories We Tell
We all have a story that we would like to tell. The stories we choose to tell to our friends, family, acquaintances, and coworkers say a lot about how we would like to be seen. In marketing terms, our stories help create our brand. There are some that we frequently repeat when there is a new person to meet. They can be about lost relationships, nightmarish jobs, and great adventures. Collectively, these stories shape a narrative that we have, perhaps, sub-consciously created. We choose to tell some stories over others and we often choose to embellish some details and leave other details out. In the end, we are our own writer, and why we choose to tell the stories we tell has a lot to do with our motivations. Do we wish to make friends? Do we wish to get a promotion? Do we need to gain new customers? Do we need to maintain a competitive advantage?
We have been telling our stories over thousands of years, and some have been utterly fantastical that you would be forgiven if you thought you had been plunged into the Game of Thrones. None more so than a few tall tales that were spun by some Arab Spice Traders hundreds of years ago. All in an effort to keep the origin of their spices secret from an entire continent.
In the Medieval ages, Europeans loved their spices and they went bat shit crazy over it. Some have argued that Medieval European food would actually be more closely associated with modern day North African or Indian cuisine compared to modern day European cuisine. And it just wasn’t one or two spices. Cooks tended to have twenty or so spices in their repertoire. The one spice that we will focus on, for it was about the most popular spice of the day and subsequently changed the power dynamics within our world was–pepper. And, when I say pepper I mean black peppercorns and not chili peppers which we can thank good old fuck-up Christopher Columbus for confusing us.
Europeans loved black pepper and back in the day it was expen