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Silk Road Map

Discover the Silk Road with us...

The Silk Road gets its name from the lucrative Chinese silk trade during the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). This much travelled series of trade routes connecting East and West was a significant factor in the development of the civilisations of China, India, Ancient Egypt, Persia, Arabia, and Ancient Rome. Although silk had been produced in China for more than 3,000 years it was unknown to Western Asia and the Mediterranean and became the most celebrated and lucrative commodity to be traded. Silk came to symbolise the link between continents when the world first began to discover itself and visionary rulers, explorers, merchants and pilgrims ventured further afield.

The name Silk Road (Seidenstraße) was coined in the 19th century by German geographer Ferdinand von Richthofen to describe the network of trade routes extending for 5,000 miles passing through mountains and deserts and different oasis settlements. The many arteries of the routes changed according to the season, water supply, shifting sand dunes, earthquakes, migration, wars and banditry. The early merchants would have been intrepid travellers seeking the easiest and safest terrain across a perilous landscape.

These trade routes served not only to transfer silk but other precious goods such as gemstones, raw materials and spices. In the ancient world the silk trade was closely rivalled by the spice trade and pepper, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were equal to the value of gold. The most important aspect of spice was that it was not perishable and could be transported for many months from merchant to merchant without losing its intense flavour and aroma.

The spice trade played a significant part in cultural exchanges between the major centres of Europe and Asia as it opened up a world of new and exotic flavours and fragrances to many different countries.

Chadha Oriental Foods has embraced the spirit of the Silk Road to bring you the best Asian and Oriental food and drink products from around the world.