The Taste of Conquest

  • by Michael Krondl
  • Narrated by Todd McLaren
  • 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this engaging, anecdotal history of food, world conquest, and desire, a chef-turned-journalist tells the story of three legendary cities, Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam, that transformed the globe in the quest for spice. Written in a colorful style that will appeal to fans of Mark Kurlansky and Michael Pollan, this ambitious yet accessible book travels effortlessly from the Crusades to the present day. Michael Krondl explains that it was the desire for spices that got international trade up and running on a scale that had never occurred prior to that time. This explosive growth of the spice trade led to the successive rise and fall of Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam.
Krondl, a gifted food writer, travels to each of these great cities and begins his visit with a great meal. Gradually, he merges the menu he's enjoying with the city's colorful past, and listeners are off on a gastronomical tour that teaches them not only about food and spice but also about history and commerce.

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What the Critics Say

"The Taste of Conquest is the savory story of the rise and fall of three spice-trading cities. It is filled with rich aromas and piquant tastes from the past that still resonate today. Michael Krondl serves up this aromatic tale with zest and verve. This book isn't just for historians and spice lovers - it's for all who love good writing and great stories." (Andrew F. Smith, editor, The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not spicey.

With a subject as interesting as the history of spice, this was unfortunately a bit of a dull listen. However the pronunciation of the reader was annoying at times especially with the Dutch words which could not even be recognized by a native speaker. Why not check with someone prior to venturing out on a project like this?
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- Elza

not so tasty

Although I heard the author interviewed on the radio where he and the subject sounded fascinating, we were not enthralled with the book or the reader. The book seemed in serious need of an editor. And the reader had such strange pronunciations on words in French, Italian, Spanish and - yes - even English that we were being constantly thrown off balance. After about an hour, we gave it up as a loss. Alas.
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- Mair

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-05-2007
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio