Chapter 3


Hi Cranky Laowai,

About the travels of Odoric of Pordenone…
How is pepper had: and where doth it groweth?!?

Can you post this chapter up? My sister studies chili peppers and she’d probably find this real interesting

I’d like to send her to your website ( – that’s a cool site


Di dove viene questo nome? Ho passato qualche anno a Pordenone; dunque, sono un po’ curioso!



Ciao, paesano:

Odoric was a fourteenth-century traveler to China. You can find more at
The first poster used the name to get my attention. (LOL! And thanks for the kind words about my site, esp. since it’s still so obviously unfinished.)

How could I refuse such a request? I’ll try to get the chapter posted tonight. There’s not much about pepper, though there is more info about sacrificing virgins to idols &c.

Other sections of possible interest (that are more or less ready for public view) are for Taipei’s MRT, and Chinese New Year,


I dig your CSS and colors, cranky! And the fonts, too. Looking good, Mark

Folks, I highly recommend you visit


Thanks, Gus.

OK, pepper lovers, chapter three has been added. And I gussied up Odoric’s area a little. (I love CSS.)

Back in those days, many spices were literally worth more than their weight in gold. I’ve read that China got lajiao from the Portuguese. I wonder what people in Sichuan ate before then.