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In European cooking, salt reigned supreme, and pepper was one of many spices used in heavily seasoned dishes. When they met, they were destined to be. Or, rather, it was destined that they would meet. Theo Crazzolara/Flickr hide caption

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Theo Crazzolara/Flickr

A typical masala soda shop in Mumbai. Flavors sold here range from traditional Indian ones with mango, pineapple and lemon, to more westernized flavors, like strawberry, kiwi and mojito. Leena Trivedi-Grenier for NPR hide caption

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Leena Trivedi-Grenier for NPR

Vanilla is seemingly a prima donna spice because its pods have to be hand-pollinated and then boiled and dried in the direct sun for only one hour. iStockphoto hide caption

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Vanilla, Nutmeg Spice And Everything Nice On A Zanzibar Farm

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At about $15 a gram, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Rumi Spice has a unique model of employing Afghan farmers who are growing it that aims to double or even triple their annual income. Cristina Hirschkorn/Courtesy of Rumi Spice hide caption

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Cristina Hirschkorn/Courtesy of Rumi Spice

Pepper is the spice most commonly contaminated with salmonella and other pathogens. iStockphoto.com hide caption

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