Spices were of very great value in the medieval and ancient times and some of the prominent spices were the black pepper, turmeric, and ginger. Cinnamon grew in abundance in Kannur. Ancient Romans traded these items regularly using the Red sea as a trade route and these spices were in enormous demand. The climate was favorable and the trade flourished.
This brought the Portuguese to locate the sea route to reach India and they introduced the cashew tree which is popular today and is one of the major exports is the cashew nut.