The Brazilian Spice Trade

(exotic fruits, etc, from the Amazon)

In the 15th century, Europeans were trying to find a route to India in order to take part in the valuable spice trade. By the 16th century, though, the Americas had already been discovered and, with it, a way to secure other kinds of exotic items. The Portuguese exploration of the mighty Amazon region opened up a whole new area of trade with what became known as “drogas do sertão”, only they weren’t necessarily drugs and they weren’t exactly from the sertão (used today to refer to the semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil).