Exposing 丨 Pepper in ancient times was a luxury that nobles could afford?

Pepper has now become a condiments in our daily life. However, in the Tang Dynasty, it is quite rare and the price is comparable to gold.When the historical book records that the prime minister of the Tang Dynasty was copied, in order to emphasize his luxury and corruption, he did not list gold and silver, but only listed eight hundred stones in pepper.

Pepper is native to India.According to records, Zhang Jian, the Western Han Dynasty, knew the existence of pepper for the first time in the Western Regions. After that, he brought back a little pepper granules, but did not bring the planting method back to Changan.During the Tang Dynasty, it was introduced to China through the Silk Road.At that time, the Tang people called the people from the Western Regions as the Hu people and their diets were called Hu Shi.Hu Qiaotang is the most common breakfast in Henan today. One of the main ingredients used is pepper.

As a spices, pepper is stewed with mutton as auxiliary materials earlier.Since the Wei, Jin, and Northern and Southern Dynasties, China’s traditional nomadic nomadic people have continued to integrate with the farming people, and mutton consumption has gradually increased.But the lamb is heavy, and it needs to be used to fish with spices when cooking.Before introducing pepper, people mainly seasoned with peppercorns, ginger and dogwood, but the spicy taste of peppercorns is insufficient, ginger is easy to get angry, and dogwood has a certain toxicity.Only the pepper taste is spicy, the smell is fragrant, and it can also enhance appetite, so it is very sought after in the market.

Because pepper can only be imported, not only is it far away, but the transportation time is long and risky, so the price of pepper on the market is extremely high.Even many of the nobles of the officials replaced the family property with pepper to maintain value.

During the Tang Dynasty Zong Liyu, the prime minister Yuan Zai was copied by the emperor for corruption and bribery, and the party was privately copied. The officers and soldiers not only found a lot of gold and silver jewelry, but also copied eight hundred stone pepper.The stone of the Tang Dynasty was about 120 pounds. Eight hundred stones were filled with several containers. Such a large amount of pepper can be said to be valuable.

In the middle and early days of the Ming Dynasty, the pepper was still very expensive. During the Yongle and Xuande period, the court also used pepper to the silver to pay the two to pay the officials.

"Pepper pepper per catty one hundreds of money, Su Mumu is 50 per catty money, and the north -south two Beijing officials are given to the southern Beijing library."

It was not until Zheng He’s seven to the West, and the development of the Maritime Silk Road was booming that pepper began to be transported into China in large quantities."East and West Exam" records that Zheng He purchased a large number of pepper in the origin of the place of origin.Thousand times.Zheng He did not miss this rare business opportunity, and every time he went to the west, he would purchase pepper in large quantities.According to the analysis of the "Trade and Society of Indonesia", during the period of Zheng He’s going to Western Ocean, the total amount of pepper returned to the Ming Dynasty was not less than 50,000 bags each year, and the total should be more than 2.5 million kg or even 4 million kilograms.

In the middle and late Ming Dynasty, the supply suddenly increased, making the market price of pepper pepper falling all the way, and it turned from the luxury goods consumed by power to the daily seasoning of ordinary people.

★ Source: Xiamen Satellite TV’s "Secret Archives on Cross -Strait" column

Edit: Li Yan

Editor -in -chief: Yang Qing

Editor: Fang Huiping

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