How a herb conquered an empire…

The Legend

At the height of the Moghul dynasty, only the Ottomans stood between India and open trade with Europe and the Mediterranean.

The wise Shah Jahan, knowing the Ottoman empire could not be beaten on the battlefield, sent an emissary to his female rival, Hürrem Sultan. Instead of threats or demands, the emissary laid before Hürrem a banquet.Legend tells how dishes of such exquisite delicacy and complexity instantly conquered Hürrem’s heart.”I must know the name of that singular flavour,” implored Hürrem, “that rises above all others, and lifts me to heaven.”

“Your Highness, it is my master’s most treasured,” said the Emissary, bowing deeply, “and he desires you to know that he shares it only with you.””If I will have the name,” declared Hürrem, “the Moghuls shall have their trade.””Empress,” replied the emissary, “the flavour is that of the Blue Cilantro, but only the great Shah Jahan knows its true source.”Although Hürrem’s navy by sea and her armies by land never found the origin of Blue Cilantro, trade between the Ottomans and the Moghuls flourished. It was never forgotten, however, how the extraordinary power of a flavour brought together East and West. THE BEGINNING….

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