The voyages of
the Spanish and the Portuguese to the Americas ensured that
they would play an important part in the spice trade from
the New World. t was essential for the economy of England
that they would also be included in the search of the new
found spices and other treasures from the New World. For
specific facts and information about America please refer to Colonial America .
Demand for Elizabethan Foods
from the New World
The demand for the spices and new foods were huge but only from the
Elizabethan Upper Classes. The prices of Sugar and Spices were extremely
high and could not be afforded by the lower classes.
The use of Spices in Elizabethan cooking recipes therefore became a
matter of both social fashion and social prestige. Spices used in
Recipes from the Elizabethan Era were a sign of wealth and high social
The reason for the high prices were due
to the cost of transportation and distribution and for the monopolies
held by various countries. It was hoped that similar spices found in the
East would be found in the new lands of the Americas.
Elizabethan Foods from the New
World introduced during the Elizabethan era
Imported sugar and spices including pepper, cloves, and cinnamon
explains the taste for sweet and spicy flavors of Elizabethan food. The
early Crusaders brought to England elements of Eastern cookery requiring
spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, raisins, and sugar. But during
the Elizabethan era explorations to the New World brought a whole new
range of foods to satisfy the Elizabethans taste for sweet and spicy
food. Some of the foods introduced from the New World were as follows:
including red peppers, cayenne, paprika and chilli
Tea* was introduced
by Jesuit priest who had travelled to the Far East
* Elizabethans did not drink
their beverages hot. Chocolate, coffee and tea were used as medicines in
the Elizabethan period.
One of the most sought-after
spices was pepper. The discovery of Chilli peppers
including red peppers, cayenne, paprika and chilli in the New World
must have been highly encouraging for the Elizabethan Explorers.