Today, we know pepper as America’s “master spice” with sales increasing more than 80 % over the last two decades. But did you know pepper has been valued for centuries
· In ancient times, pepper was weighed like gold and used to pay rent, taxes, and even dowries (I’ll bet some wish that could work today!)
· It was used as currency in ancient Greece and Rome
· It was mentioned in the world’s oldest cookbook written by a 1st century Roman epicurean
Several sources report that the first U.S. millionaire, Elias Haskett Derby, earned his fortune through black pepper imports. He then used the proceeds to endow Yale University. That makes pepper one smart spice!