Francesco Pegolotti love

Francesco Pegolotti

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  • "The longest such list appears in a commercial manual composed shortly before 1340 by Francesco Pegolotti, a Florentine banker who had experience in Cyprus, a great center for European imports of Eastern spices. Pegolotti's La pratica della mercatura itemizes 288 spices (speziere) amounting to 193 separate substances (many come in several forms: three kinds of ginger, two grades of cinnamon, and so on). For our purposes we can leave aside some of the so-called spices such as alum (used to fix dyes so that the colors won't run) or wax (eleven varieties). Pegolotti included these because he tended to consider any nonperishable imported good as a spice."

    Paul Freedman, Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 11.

    October 9, 2017