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Weird Facts about McCormick® Black Pepper

  • In 1889, 25-year-old Willoughby McCormick founded McCormick & Company—crafting fruit syrups, root beer, and nerve and bone liniment in his Baltimore home—and hired three salesmen to peddle his wares door-to-door. A year later, the company was making food coloring, cream of tartar, and blood purifier.
  • In 1896, McCormick bought the F.G. Emmett Spice Company of Philadelphia, firmly committing itself to the spice industry.
  • By the turn of the century, McCormick was regularly trading with the East and West Indies, South Africa, Europe, and Central and South America. The company achieved coast-to-coast distribution in 1947 with the acquisition of A. Schilling & Co., producers of spices and extracts.
  • In 80 B.C.E, Alexandria, Egypt, became the greatest spice trading port of the Eastern Mediterranean, with one of its entrances known as "Pepper Gate."
  • In 410 C.E., Alaric the Visigoth demanded one and a half tons of pepper as ransom from Rome. Two years later, he started receiving three hundred pounds in pepper annually from the city.
  • During the Middle Ages in Europe, pepper was counted out peppercorn by peppercorn.
  • In the eleventh century, many towns kept their accounts in pepper. Taxes and rents were assessed and paid in pepper. A sack of pepper was worth a man's life.
  • Between 1784 and 1873, the pepper trade furnished a huge portion of the import duties collected in Salem, Massachusetts, at one point financing five percent of the entire United States government's expenses.
  • At the turn of the century, unscrupulous spice dealers would cut shipments of peppercorns with mouse droppings.
  • The Russians sprinkle pepper on vodka.
  • McCormick is the world's largest spice company.
  • McCormick also makes Cream of Tartar, Food Coloring, Spices, Seasoning, and Vanilla Extract.
Copyright © 1995- Joey Green. "McCormick" is a registered trademark of McCormick & Company, Incorporated.
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