250 year Trade Route – Manila – Mexico – Spain, from 1565 to 1815.

In 1565 Andrés de Urdaneta, and Alonso de Arellano made the first successful return voyage from Acapulco, Mexico to Manila, in the Philippines across the Pacific Ocean making it possible to make one or two return trips within a year.

The Manila Galleon route connected Asia, America, and Europe. The cargo from the Philippines was loaded on mules in Acapulco to go to Veracruz, then shipped on the Spanish Treasure Fleet from Veracruz to Spain.

This is known as “The Columbian Exchange”, and it is the reason now you see Vanilla from Mexico coming from Madagascar, Cinnamon from Ceylon coming from Mexico, Chicle from America coming from Vietnam, Pineapple from the Caribbean coming from Hawaii, Rice from the Carolinas, sugar from the Caribbean, just to mention a few. It also brought diseases that killed millions of indigenous people.

The majority of merchandise shipped from Acapulco to Manila were from the Americas – silver, cochineal, seeds, sweet potato, vanilla, chicle, pineapple, tobacco, chickpea, yams, chocolate and cocoa, watermelon, vine, and fig trees.

In 2015 the Philippines and Mexico began preparations for the nomination of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon Trade Route in the UNESCO World Heritage List, with backing from Spain. Spain has also suggested the tri-national nomination of the Archives on the Manila-Acapulco Galleons in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. [en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UNESCO]

The chiles from Mexico took a different flavor from the minerals in the lands they were planted on, like Hungarian peppers, and Piquillos from Spain, or Calabrian peppers in Italy. The xitomatl – tomato that Europeans thought was poisonous at first, became the ingredient most used in Italy.

Hernan Cortez took the Tomato seeds to Spain in 1519, the tomato was grown in England by 1590 for ornamental purposes only. In Italy they called it poison apple because many wealthy people would get sick after eating them. The real reason was lead poisoning. Wealthy people ate on pewter plates and the acidity of the tomatoes and the pewter plates resulted in lead poisoning. – It was not the tomatoes -What do you think about that?

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