Spices and aromatics are at the centre of human history. Since antiquity they have had pride of place in the markets of the world for their irresistible contribution to food, drink, health, perfume, sex, magic and ritual. Hunger for spices lies behind some of the great explorations and has produced wealth, conquest and genocide. It was in search of Eastern spices and drugs that the Portuguese opened up the sea route to India and the East Indies. Columbus sailed westwards in search of another route to the Indies and discovered a New World with aromatics of its own. Colonial powers fought, enslaved and killed to control this rich trade. 'Dangerous Tastes' offers a fresh look at the way trade and the search for exotic spices are woven into human history. The author shows how each region became part of what is now a worldwide network of trade - and how man`s desire for these seemingly harmless substances brought consequences with local consequences ranging from triumph to disaster.