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Fri Aug 30, 2019, 08:06 AM

Pumpkin spice wars: The violent history behind your favorite Starbucks latte [View all]


Pumpkin-spice latte season is starting even earlier this year, with the famous drink spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves pouring into Starbucks coffee shops Tuesday.

But underneath those fuzzy-sweater vibes, the spices in “the PSL” have a dark history. Particularly nutmeg. It’s a story of war, genocide and slavery.

The variety of nutmeg we’re familiar with is native to the Banda Islands in what is now Indonesia. In the Middle Ages, the Bandanese became rich trading the spice — plus mace, which comes from the same plant, and cloves, which also grew there, according to Atlas Obscura. Nutmeg made it to the lips of Chinese and Malay elites, and to Europeans via Arab traders, who kept the location of the source secret.

All that changed in 1511, when Portuguese explorer António de Abreu became the first European to land on the Banda Islands, according to food historian Michael Krondl. Portugal, which was absorbed into the Spanish empire in 1568, had a foothold in the nutmeg trade for nearly 100 years, but the Bandanese resisted their efforts to gain more control.

The Dutch showed up in 1599, and everything got gruesome soon afterward. They seized the islands, built a fort and informed the Bandanese they were no longer allowed to trade with anyone else, according to historian Vincent C. Loth. The Bandanese signed contracts agreeing to the arrangement, though it is unclear if they understood what they were agreeing to, Loth wrote. They ignored the contracts anyway, continuing to trade with whomever they always had, plus a new partner on the scene — the English.

Good Morning DUers! Start your day off with some liberal guilt.

Then feel slightly better knowing there doesn't appear to be any nutmeg in it. It must be artificial flavorings since I don't see cinnamon, ginger, cloves, or allspice either. They even started using pumpkin puree and juice after some online shaming.

Milk, Pumpkin Spice Sauce [Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% Or Less Of Fruit And Vegetable Juice For Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto, Salt, Potassium Sorbate], Brewed Espresso.

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Reply Pumpkin spice wars: The violent history behind your favorite Starbucks latte [View all]
IronLionZion Aug 2019 OP
yardwork Aug 2019 #1
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TeamPooka Aug 2019 #11
Ms. Toad Aug 2019 #3
IronLionZion Sep 2019 #18
Bettie Sep 2019 #19
Ms. Toad Sep 2019 #21
IronLionZion Sep 2019 #22
Farmer-Rick Aug 2019 #4
yardwork Aug 2019 #7
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Coventina Aug 2019 #5
Bettie Sep 2019 #20
JCMach1 Aug 2019 #8
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Sapient Donkey Aug 2019 #10
Skidmore Aug 2019 #12
0rganism Aug 2019 #13
IronLionZion Sep 2019 #17
WhiskeyGrinder Aug 2019 #14
Ilsa Aug 2019 #16