The Spice Trail – Pepper and Cinnamon (BBC HD Documentary)
Kate Humble retraces the steps of 15th-century explorers as she sets out on a spice trail that takes her to India and Sri Lanka, the birthplaces of pepper and cinnamon.
She begins her travels on India’s ‚Spice Coast‘, where she uncovers the story of pepper, once known as black gold and now the most consumed spice in the world. She does the pepper dance to shake the berries from their stalk, meets farmers fighting back against a disease that is devastating pepper crops, and is taught the centuries-old secret language still used by the traders who wheel and deal in the spice.
From India, Kate heads south to Sri Lanka, the land of cinnamon – a place shrouded in mystery to Europeans until the Portugese accidentally landed on its shores. She attends the spectacular Buddhist festival, or Perahara, which celebrates local resistance to the invaders, and takes part in the delicate process of harvesting the spice and making a cinnamon quill. Finally, she witnesses the crucial make-or-break negotiations of local farmers trying to sell their crops.