The overall diffusion of foodstuff s, dishes and cooking styles of foreign origin, which are partially or entirely regarded as exotic, constitutes one of the most conspicuous phenomena of cultural globalization. Th e multicultural diversifi cation of food supply is intertwined, among other things, with a shift in the sources of immigration and the transformation of modes of social integration typically expected from immigrants, the growth of tourism to the third world and its presence in the media, the production and trade of exotic ingredients, as well as the phenomenon of "omnivorousness" id entifi able in all forms of cultural consumption. Nevertheless, similar global processes have already shaped the foodways of distant but relatively well-connected societies and social groups for centuries. The article examines earlier forms of culinary globalization and attempts to identify their diff erences from the present one through the analysis of changes in the use of spices, especially hot spices. It describes the characteristics of fl avouring food in Middle Ages and its divergence from modern culinary taste as perceivable from the seventeenth century onwards and now undergoing radical changes again; then, concentrating on one single spice, chilli pepper, the article reconstructs the processes of its early diff usion and those of its becoming an exotic, as well as a national (multinational) seasoning. 

Keywords: Use of Spices, Heterophilous Diffusion, Culinary Taste, Culinary Globalisation, Food Culture

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