Food - Drink
The Common Spice That Was Once So Valuable It Was Called 'Black Gold'

Spices are often added to foods and beverages to enhance flavor and aroma, alter their texture, and offer a slew of convenient nutrients and health benefits. One particular spice, which is now commonplace in many parts of the world, was once considered incredibly valuable.
Black pepper (Piper nigrum) was once known as "black gold" or the "king of spices." Pepper grinders and shakers can be spotted in most kitchens and on most restaurant dining tables, typically alongside salt, pepper's tangy partner in crime; however, this wasn't the case a few thousand years ago.
Black pepper was once so expensive and precious that it was used as currency to pay taxes, rent, and dowries. When Rome was captured by the Visigoths around 410 AD, the Romans paid 3,000 pounds of black pepper as ransom, along with 5,000 pounds of gold and 30,000 pounds of silver.