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Spicy Organic LLC: Modern Day Spice Merchants

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When sprinkling red pepper on a pizza or indulging in a cinnamon roll, most people probably don’t give a second thought to the spices on their food and where they originated. Often taken for granted in modern times, spices were extremely difficult to obtain at one time, and the measures taken to secure them played a profound role in shaping human history. Some spices were once more valuable than gold and gems. Pepper was even used to pay Roman soldiers or rent in ancient times. Although spices are extremely affordable and accessible today, the undertakings that made this possible shaped economies and cultures, even leading to the discovery of new continents.

In Ancient times, Arabian spice merchants would tell stories of the mythical origins of the cinnamon and cassia they sold to maintain an aura of mystery surrounding the origins of their products and keep their foothold on the market. They dominated the market for 5000 years until the Middle Ages. In modern times, however, the spice trade looks different. One family whose story began in India and has crossed the globe, are extremely transparent about the origins of their products, making it a point for them to be traced back to the source.

What began as a small spice shop opened by Sunil Kumar and his family in 1980 in the Village of Lisora in Uttar Pradesh, India has since become a transnational company and the largest supplier of wholesale and bulk organic spices in North America. Just like the explorers and spice merchants of the times gone by, the Kumars help distribute spices across land and water, always maintaining their mission to provide organic and sustainable products. They have relationships with over 10,000 organic farmers and growers, and their legacy spans over 40 years.

How the Spice Trade Shaped History

Spices were the first globally traded product. Archaeologists believe humans have been using spices to season their food since 50,000 B.C. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and cassia were some of the first to be traded across different lands. Records show cinnamon and cassia arrived to the Middle East more than 4000 years ago. Ancient Arab traders would tell stories of cassia growing in shallow lakes and guarded by winged animals.

Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) and the Spice Islands (modern-day Indonesian Moluccas) served as important trading points at one time. Later on, Alexandria, Egypt became the world’s largest center of trade when it fell under Roman rule. Indian spices traded in Alexandria reached other territories of the Greek and Roman empires. For 300 years after Ptolemy XI gave Alexandria to the Romans in 80 BCE, trade between India and the Romans flourished.

In the 10th century, the trade rivalry between Venice and Genoa led to the Naval War of Chioggia in 1378. Venice emerged as the victor, which allowed them to dominate trade in the Levant for the next 100 years.

Age of Exploration

As shipbuilding technology evolved, the British, Spanish, and Portuguese sailed in search of the fabled spice lands, with the goal of finding alternative trade routes and eliminating the middleman. Christopher Columbus, sailing for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain, famously failed to reach the Spice Islands but discovered the Americas instead. Portuguese explorers successfully found a route to Asia and reached India in 1498. For the next century, they dominated the market.

Fleets from Holland set sail for the Spice Islands in the late 1500s, which led to the establishment of the Dutch East India company in 1602. Other European countries soon followed and established their own East India Companies. Although Portugal dominated the spice trade at one point, it was surpassed by the British and Dutch. The pursuit of spices fueled globalization, technology, and established empires. There was a dark side to their success, however. During this period, European countries established their colonial presence in Asia and other parts of the world at the expense of indigenous peoples, leaving a legacy marked by violence and oppression.

Evolution of Tastes in the Western World

Some may wonder why spices were in such high demand in Europe. Modern European cuisine is not known for incorporating many different spices. Other cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, are known to be more layered and complex, with contrasting flavors, whereas western European dishes combine similar flavors. One example is the use of cinnamon; its sweet aroma is typically used to enhance sweet dishes in the west, whereas in India and the Middle East it is common to use in savory dishes. Western food is known for being less seasoned than other cuisines. However, this was not always the case.

At one time, Europeans incorporated more spices in their dishes. A beef pie recipe from 15th-century Germany, for example, includes meat, butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.

A 16th-century English recipe for custard-  a savory quiche with meat, includes veal, red wine, parsley, sage, hyssop, savory, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace, saffron, salt, dates, prunes, and ginger.

So what changed? How did European access to spices change their palate? While affording spices was a status symbol at one time, as spices became increasingly common, it became more elegant to do the opposite of what the masses were doing. So instead of masking food in spices, it became popular for the upper classes to bring out the natural flavors of foods by using minimal seasonings. This is why European food tends to uses fewer spices, preferring herbs, salt, and pepper instead to enhance the natural flavors. However, in the last few decades, the popularity of spices have made a revival as a result of globalization and immigration. One prime example is chicken tikka masala, which is considered to be the national dish of England and a symbol of its multiculturalism.

The Kumar Family’s 40-year legacy

As the largest wholesale and bulk distributor of organic spices and herbs in North America, the Kumar family delivers the tastes of India to North America. They allow Indians abroad to enjoy the tastes of home and non-Indians alike to discover the flavors of India without compromising on quality or price. They help people across the globe continue their family culinary traditions by bringing organic, high-quality spices, making them affordable and accessible.

Since 1980, Sunil Kumar and his family continue their spice trade across land and sea and show us what the modern-day spice trade looks like. So although we may take the accessibility of spices brought to us by companies like Spicy Organic for granted, they helped shape much of history, making huge impacts on economies, cultures, and history. Wars were fought, empires gained and lost power, technology improved, and society became more interconnected.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Outsourcing Front-End Development Services: Insider’s Guide

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Outsourcing front-end development services has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies look to access specialized skills and expertise, and save on labor costs. According to the Global Outsourcing Survey made by Deloitte, the top reasons for outsourcing front-end development are to access specialized skills (57%), cost savings (50%), and to free up internal resources (49%).

This article will cover some frequently asked questions (FAQs) in a Q&A way to help you make an informed decision when considering outsourcing front-end development services. We’ll address concerns such as how to find the right vendor, how to communicate effectively, and how to manage the project to ensure success. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of the considerations and best practices for outsourcing front-end development services.

What is front-end development?

Front-end development, or client-side development, refers to designing and implementing a website’s or application’s user interface (UI). It involves creating the layout, visual design, and interactive features that users interact with when they visit a website or use an app.

Front-end developers use a variety of programming languages and technologies to build the UI, including HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They also need to have a strong understanding of user experience (UX) design principles and be able to create visually appealing and intuitive interfaces that meet the needs of the target audience.

Front-end development plays a crucial role in the user experience of a website or application, and it’s an essential part of any digital product. The work of a front-end developer often intersects with that of a UX designer and a back-end developer.

Why should I consider outsourcing front-end development services?

As mentioned in the intro, there are several reasons why outsourcing front-end development services may be an excellent option for your company. One of the main reasons is cost savings. Outsourcing is often more cost-effective than hiring in-house developers, especially if you only need front-end development services for a specific project. 

Also, a company can benefit from a vendor’s specialized skills and experience and the ability to scale its development resources as needed. This can be especially useful for companies with fluctuating project demands or in need to quickly ramp up or down their development efforts.  

In addition, outsourcing front-end development can allow a company to focus on its core competencies and improve the overall quality of the product, as well as save time by delegating the development work to a vendor. 

How do I find the right front-end development company to work with?

Finding the right front-end development company to work with is crucial for a successful project. Start by defining your project goals, timelines, and budget, and research potential vendors with experience in the technologies and frameworks relevant to your project. 

Review the company’s portfolio and case studies to get a sense of their past work and the types of projects they have experience with. Glassdoor, Trustpilot, LinkedIn, GoodFirms or Clutch are some platforms to do this. Consider the company’s culture and values. You can also request references and speak with past clients to get an idea of the company’s track record and how well they handle challenges like yours. 

What should I consider when choosing a front-end development company?

There are several factors to consider when choosing a front-end development company. Technical skills and experience are crucial, as the company will be responsible for building and implementing the UI of your website or application. Check if the company has experience with the technologies and frameworks you need for your project.

Effective communication and collaboration are also essential. Verify that the vendor has a track record of working well with clients and can effectively communicate and collaborate with your team. Cultural fit is also important, as you will be working closely with the vendor for the duration of the project. It’s a good idea to have a face-to-face or video call meeting to get a sense of the company’s culture and see if it aligns with your own.

Finally, consider the company’s pricing and business model. Make sure the company is transparent about its rates and fees and that they align with your budget. Also, consider whether the company offers flexible pricing options or packages that may be more suitable for your needs.

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s a good idea to request proposals from a few different vendors. This will allow you to compare and contrast their approaches and determine the best fit for your project. 

Bringing it all together

In summary, outsourcing front-end development services can be an easy, cost-effective, and efficient way to access specialized skills and expertise. By carefully considering factors such as technical skills, communication and collaboration abilities, cultural fit, pricing, and business model, you can find the right vendor to meet your needs and achieve success with your project.

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