fdb – Forschungsdatenbank der Europa-Universität Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)


Dr. Jutta Wimmler: Spicing Things Up: Ginger Imports through the Prussian Port Stettin in the 18th Century and their Impact on Consumption

VortagendeR Dr. Jutta Wimmler
Tagung Rural History Conference
Ort Leuven
Jahr 2017


Ginger was omnipresent in early modern European cooking and medicine, attested to by a number of cookbooks and pharmaceutical collections in multiple languages. Trade records indicate that it even surpassed better researched plant substances such as cinchona or lignum vitae in quantitative terms. The originally Asian ginger was cultivated by European planters in many regions of the Americas (notably the Caribbean and Virginia) to satiate European consumer demand for the substance. As a consequence, ginger imports grew more prominent in the course of the early modern period, which influenced consumer patterns. An important market for American-produced Asian ginger (as well as other “colonial” produce) was Central and Eastern Europe – regions that accessed these products not only through its major seaport Hamburg, but also through the Baltic. Using the sound toll registers as a source, this presentation investigates ginger imports through Stettin (today Szczecin in Poland), which the kings of Prussia intended to turn into the state’s most important port in order to undermine the central role played by non-Prussian Hamburg. The presentation offers some insights into the contours of ginger consumption in Prussia in the 18th century, and addresses the properties attributed to ginger in the early modern period and the changes underway at the time.

Einordnung in die Universitätsstruktur

Fakultät Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Lehrstuhl Vergleichende Europäische Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte