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European armies who on eight occasions, (nine if the failed Children"s Crusade is counted), tried to free Palestine from Muslim rule, and restore it to Christianity.

The dates involved stretch from 1095-1272; but for culinary purposes, the returning crusaders brought the taste and knowledge of many Middle Eastern spices with them on their return. The first taste of sugar was also introduced, although for many years it was used solely for medicinal purposes.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton French Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards. Small classes.

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