As the European need for
the Asian spice trade grew, many Europeans began exploring
and colonizing the East Indies. The lure of spices such as
saffron, cardamon, and cinnamon gave many Westerners reason
to trade with Asia. We know of the well established land trading
route through Asia for spices, and Christopher Columbus’s
attempts to find a new route via the ocean to get to the East
Indies. When the British Empire began exploring and colonizing
India, they found a rare, beautiful, priceless
region called Kashmir.
This rich, verdant land boasted
spices, a unique culture, and vibrant cuisine. Today, the
region of Kashmir is still highly desired and prized. Even
the though British have relinquished claim on these region,
both India and Pakistan are fighting over this region for
its beauty, natural resources, and all of its unique cultural
Like other places in India and Pakistan, Kashmir
has a unique cultural vibe. Unlike India with its mostly Hindu population,
Kashmir boasts a high percentage of followers of the Nation of Islam.
Religious affiliations play a huge role in the best thing about
any ethnic groups—its food! Since Kashmir was and still a
part of the spice trading business, many of the local delicacies
are heavily spiced creations since cardamon, saffron, cumin seeds
are so abundant for the local cooks in this area. Any visitor should
a make a habit of eating like a local since the best way to understand
a particular culture.
Since this particular region was controlled by
the British, tourist should visit some of the villages that were
British strongholds. This will provide and excellent lesson about
the colonization period and its influence upon the people of Kashmir.
Kashmir has such a rich and bountiful history and cuisine that visit
should be on everyone’s travel list. Some other tips that
would be helpful to overseas travelers would be to remember that
the outlets are different, to pack light due to baggage fees on
airplanes, and to carry all reputable insurance cards from your
21st century insurance to your health insurance cards, you never
know what can happen on vacation. The best thing to do is be prepared.