Lead: Five years after Columbus’ epic voyage of discovery, another Italian sailed across the North Atlantic in search of a passage to China.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: John Cabot was probably born in Columbus’ hometown of Genoa at about the same time as his famous contemporary. He grew up in the Republic of Venice and by 1484 he had married and was engaged in the buying and selling of real estate. By the 1490s Cabot was a sailing master and had moved into commercial shipping of spices between the Middle East and Europe. It was a lucrative business. Spices, particularly pepper, cloves, and nutmeg, were household necessities in a pre-refrigeration era. One of their uses was to disguise the flavor of rotten meat.