grains of paradise

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English[edit]

Grains of paradise.
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Etymology[edit]

From medieval spice traders claiming that the spice grew only in Eden, in order to inflate prices.[1]

Noun[edit]

grains of paradise

  1. The seeds of a plant (Aframomum melegueta) in the ginger family native to West Africa used as a spice.
    • 1844, Jonathan Pereira, “On Grains of Paradise”, The American Journal of Pharmacy, page 97: 
      "Gærtner has figured the fruit and seeds of a scitamineous plant under the name of Zingiber Melægueta, and which he considered to be identical with the Grains of Paradise."
    • 1994, Anthea Bell, A History of Food, Wiley-Blackwell, translation of original by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat, ISBN 0631194975, page 495:
      "In fact this spice was making a second appearance in Europe: it was Guinea pepper, mentioned by Pliny as 'African pepper', and also known as Malaguetta pepper or grains of Paradise. Grains of Paradise had been very popular in the thirteenth century and again in the sixteenth; its popularity may have been due to the brilliant name thought up for it by some advertising genius born before his time."
    • 2006, Susheela Raghavan, Handbook of Spices, Seasonings, and Flavorings, edition 2nd Edition, CRC Press, ISBN 084932842X, page 119:
      "Also called Melegueta or Malagueta pepper, guinea grain, or guinea pepper, grains of paradise were prized as a spice and as a substitute for black pepper in Europe during the Middle Ages."

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Grains of Paradise", URL accessed on 2009-06-08.