Franks, locals and sugar cane: A case study of cultural interaction in the latin kingdom of Jerusalem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines influences and cultural interactions between Frankish settlers and the local populations in the Latin kingdom of Jerusalem through the prism of sugar cane, a local food crop unfamiliar to many crusaders and Latin settlers. Combining textual and archaeological evidence for sugar cane cultivation, production and consumption, the article explores the extent to which the Latin population – a numerical minority and the ruling elite – was influenced by and influenced their new environment and the local inhabitants. It focuses on sites near Acre for which there is historical and archaeological evidence of sugar production from before the arrival of the crusaders, and during Frankish period (twelfth and thirteenth centuries). After acquainting themselves with the new land and its products, the Franks became largely involved in the production of sugar, one of the kingdom’s most lucrative cash-crops, which brought significant technological developments and changes in the lives of local inhabitants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-330
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Medieval History
Issue number3
StatePublished - 27 May 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Judith Bronstein is Assistant Professor of History in the Department of Israel Studies and in the School of History, University of Haifa. Her fields of research are the Military Orders, the crusade movement and the Latin East. She is currently engaged in a research project titled ‘Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095‒1291’, funded by the Israel Science Foundation.

Funding Information:
We would like to express our gratitude to the Israel Science Foundation for funding our project ‘Food and Food Habits in the Crusader Context, 1095–1291’ (Grant Number 1327/16), which has led to this article.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Agriculture
  • Cross-cultural encounters
  • Food history
  • Intercultural exchange
  • Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem
  • Sugar cane
  • Sugar moulds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History


Dive into the research topics of 'Franks, locals and sugar cane: A case study of cultural interaction in the latin kingdom of Jerusalem'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this