Located at the juncture of three major continents—Africa, Asia, and Europe—the Middle East has long been a crossroads of the world. Evidence shows that spices were a commodity in the Middle East as long as 4,000 years ago, both as medicine and as flavoring agents. Spices traveled the Silk Road, which also saw the trade of gems, ivory, rice, silk and other fabrics, and cross-cultural ideas and knowledge. This unabashed exchange of interests opened the door for the Middle Eastern countries—smack-dab at the crossroad between east and west—to adopt a vast array of spices into their cultural palates. The richly-scented spices that were carried in caravans across the Middle East were also mixed into seasoning blends, which help to transform Middle Eastern food from humble fare to enticing dishes full of influence and promise.