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Download The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Taste of Conquest: The Rise and Fall of the Three Great Cities of Spice Audiobook, by Michael Krondl Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (161 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michael Krondl Narrator: Todd McLaren Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2007 ISBN: 9781400175451
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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 readers are off on a gastronomical tour that teaches them not only about food and spice but also about history and commerce. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Todd McLaren reads with a persuasive impersonation as he vicariously becomes the author. AudioFile
  • “With a dash of flair and a pinch of humor Michael Krondl mixes up a batch of well-researched facts to tell the story of the intriguing world of spices and their presence on the worldwide table. This is a book that every amateur cook, serious chef, foodie, or food historian should read.”

    Mary Ann Esposito, host/creator of the PBS cooking series Ciao Italia

  • “Michael Krondl’s new book on the spice trade peeks behind the usual histories of Venice, Lisbon, and Amsterdam—and tells a tale that is at once witty, informative, scholarly, and as consistently spicy as its subject. In short, it’s delicious!”

    Gary Allen, food history editor at Leite’s Culinaria and author of The Herbalist in the Kitchen

  • 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 of The Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink

  • “As a chef I have always been deeply intrigued by the mystique of spices. Michael Krondl’s book awakens and transports the reader into this mysterious world, showing us how our lives and history have been transformed by the sensuous odors of cardamom, nutmeg, and turmeric.”

    Gray Kunz, chef and owner of Cafe Gray and Grayz, coauthor of The Elements of Taste

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cjj | 7/7/2013

    " An interesting read. Light enough for bedtime reading, but informative enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 8/4/2012

    " The book is very interesting, but I get the feeling that the author doesn't think the reader is always paying attention. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liz | 6/16/2010

    " One of my favorite reads. It's a feast on travels to foreign places, their customs, their foods, their history. Fascinating! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Paul | 4/18/2010

    " Since I love spices, old cities and history, and have spent wonderful times wandering around Venice, Lisbon and Amsterdam, this book was pretty much the perfect bath time read for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vince | 10/1/2009

    " Interesting, and provided a lot of good info-but somehow the "story" part of the history was somewhat lacking-recommended for those who are interested in learning about the development of our modern palate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonathan | 8/7/2009

    " Spice and history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erik Bledsoe | 1/14/2008

    " Interesting. Listened to audio version, so I don't recall details. Debunks some myths. The morning after finishing it I made cinnamon toast. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karl | 11/17/2007

    " An interesting overview of the spice trade and its impact on three cities both past and present. However, the first section, on Venice, could have used some good editing. The last two sections are an enjoyable read. "

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About the Author

Michael Krondl is a chef, food writer, and author of Around the American Table: Treasured Recipes and Food Traditions from the American Cookery Collections of the New York Public Library and The Great Little Pumpkin Cookbook. He has published articles in Good Food, Family Circle, Pleasures of Cooking, and Chocolatier, and has contributed entries to The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice acting, where he has been heard on more than five thousand television and radio commercials, as well as television promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?