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Medieval Spices

The criteria for being listed as a spice source on this page are a bit complicated. Of the spices commonly used in medieval European cooking, there are seven that are not usually found in local US grocery stores. If a spice merchant carries at least four of these seven spices then they will be added to the list.

The seven "Must Have" spices are:

ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
cubebs (Piper cubeba)
galingale (Alpinia officinarum)
grains of paradise (Aframomum melegueta)
hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
saffron (Crocus sativus)
saunders / red sandalwood (Pterocarpus santalinus)

(see the list of spice merchants included in this directory)

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Cubebs - Wikimedia Commons

Cubeb berries -


(Piper cubeba)

Available from:

Lhasa Karnak Herb Company (US)
Monterey Bay Spice Company (US)
Mountain Rose Herbs (US)
The Pepperer's Guild (US)
Whole Spice (US)

Herbie's Herbs (Canada)
Silk Road Spices (Canada)

Aromatiques Tropicales (France)

JustIngredients (UK)
The Spice Shop (UK)
The Spicery (UK)
Steenbergs Organic (UK)

Another spice, known as Ashanti pepper (Piper guineese or Piper clusii) is often confused for cubebs. Ashanti pepper does not have the same flavor as Cubebs, and is no better than black pepper as a substitute.

Search: Find recipes that reference Cubebs in medieval cookbooks.

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