For centuries herbs and spices have been an integral part of many of the world’s great cuisines. But spices have a history of doing much more than adding life to bland foods. They have been the inspiration for, among other things, trade, exploration, and poetry. Priests employed them in worship, incantations, and rituals, and shamans used them as charms to ward off evil spirits. Nations fought over access to and monopoly of certain spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, when they were rare commodities. Not only were many men’s fortunes made in the pursuit of spices, spices at many periods throughout history literally served as currency.
In Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World, Ben-Erik van Wyk offers the first fully illustrated, scientific guide to nearly all commercial herbs and spices in existence. Van Wyk covers more than 150 species—from black pepper and blackcurrant to white mustard and white ginger—detailing the propagation, cultivation, and culinary uses of each. Introductory chapters capture the essence of culinary traditions, traditional herb and spice mixtures, preservation, presentation, and the chemistry of flavors, and individual entries include the chemical compounds and structures responsible for each spice or herb’s characteristic flavor. Many of the herbs and spices van Wyk covers are familiar fixtures in our own spice racks, but a few—especially those from Africa and China—will be introduced for the first time to American audiences. Van Wyk also offers a global view of the most famous use or signature dish for each herb or spice, satisfying the gourmand’s curiosity for more information about new dishes from little-known culinary traditions.
People all over the world are becoming more sophisticated and demanding about what they eat and how it is prepared. Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World will appeal to those inquisitive foodies in addition to gardeners and botanists.
Created as the ideal reference for anyone with a serious interest in cooking with herbs, spices, or related plant materials, The Herbalist in the Kitchen is truly encyclopedic in scope. It provides complete information about the uses, botany, toxicity, and flavor chemistry of herbs, as well as a listing for nearly every name that an ingredient is known by around the world.
Even including herbs and spices not yet seen in the United States (but likely to be featured in recipes for adventurous cooks soon), The Herbalist in the Kitchen is organized into one hundred and four sections, each consisting of a single botanical family. The book provides all available information about the chemical compounds responsible for a plant's characteristic taste and scent, which allows cooks to consider new subtleties and potential alternatives. For instance, the primary flavoring ingredient of cloves is eugenol; when a cook knows that bay leaves also contain eugenol, a range of exciting substitutions becomes clear. The Herbalist in the Kitchen also provides guidance about measuring herbs, enabling readers to understand the dated measuring standards from antique cookbooks.
A volume in The Food Series, edited by Andrew W. Smith
Herbs: A Global History
Gary Allen Reaktion Books, 2012 Library of Congress TX819.H4A44 2012 | Dewey Decimal 641.65709
Salsa and guacamole wouldn’t be the same without cilantro, and you can’t make pizza without oregano or a mojito without mint. You can use peppermint to settle an upset stomach, ease arthritis pain with stinging nettle, and heal burns and wounds with aloe vera. And then there is cannabis—perhaps the most notorious and divisive herb of all. Despite the fact that herbs are often little more than weeds, cultures around the globe have found hundreds of uses for them, employing them in everything from ancient medicines to savory dishes. While much has been written on cooking and healing with herbs, little has been told about the history of the plants themselves and the incredible journeys they have made.
This book elucidates how these often overlooked plants have become a staple in our lives. Unlike spices that quickly traversed the globe through trade, Gary Allen shows that herbs were often hoarded by their cultivators and were central to distinctive regional dishes. He draws on his extensive knowledge of food history to examine herbs in new ways, making Herbs essential reading for any serious foodie. Filled with beautiful illustrations and delicious recipes, this book will complete the kitchen library.
The rise of the slow food movement and the return to home gardens mean cooks are donning gardening gloves as often as oven mitts. Modern cooking is heading back to its roots, with home cooks embracing local ingredients and down-to-earth recipes. With more and more of us discovering the delight of preparing and eating freshly harvested food, Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener is the indispensable guide to what to grow, cook, and eat.
A feast for the eyes and the table, this user-friendly resource traverses the realms of both the garden and the kitchen, addressing the cultivation, storage, and preparation of more than sixty herbs. Practical growing tips, fascinating histories, nutritional information, and classic recipes appear alongside botanical illustrations drawn from the Royal Horticultural Society’s cherished collection. With both familiar varieties and novel options, Herbs for the Gourmet Gardener will inspire you to create a world of new shapes, colors, and tastes.
Michigan Herb Cookbook
Suzanne Breckenridge and Marjorie Snyder University of Michigan Press, 2001 Library of Congress TX819.H4B695 2001 | Dewey Decimal 641.657
If you're interested in cooking with herbs and want to use the best of Michigan and the Midwest's seasonal foods, then this is the cookbook for you.
The recipe section is written for both the novice and the more experienced cook. Each recipe has helpful information about serving suggestions and menu ideas. Scattered throughout the book are handy tips related to foods, herbs, and cooking. In addition, Michigan Herb Cookbook includes a section on herb growing and designing in which planting, growing, freezing, drying, and storage tips for over thirty herbs are explained in detail.
You will find over 150 recipes in the book's seven chapters. More than half are low-fat, and there are many vegetarian favorites. Also, a chapter devoted to condiments and "little extras" contains various herb blend, vinegar, chutney, pesto, and sauce recipes, such as Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Sage Sauce.
Suzanne Breckenridge, formerly a ceramics and cooking instructor, is now a food stylist and caterer. Marjorie Snyder is a freelance food writer, a cooking teacher at a junior college, and cofounder and president of the Madison Wisconsin Herb Society.
Whether grainy or smooth, spicy or sweet, Dijon, American, or English, mustard accompanies our food and flavors our life around the globe. It has been a source of pleasure, health, and myth from ancient times to the present day, its tiny seed a symbol of faith and its pungent flavor a testimony to refined taste. There are stories of mustard plasters used to treat melancholy, runners eating mustard to prevent cramps, and Christians spreading mustard seeds along pilgrimage trails.
In this delightful global history of all things Grey Poupon and gleaming yellow, Demet Güzey takes readers on a tour of the ubiquitous mustard, exploring its origins, its use in medicine and in the kitchen, its place in literature, language, and religion, and its strong symbolism of sharpness, perseverance, and strength. Packed with entertaining mustard facts and illustrations as well as a selection of historic and modern recipes, this surprising history of one of the world’s most loved condiments will appeal to all food history aficionados.
Explore the dramatic history of the world’s most expensive spice in Saffron: A Global History. Literally worth their weight in gold, sunset-red saffron threads are prized internationally. Saffron can be found in cave art in Mesopotamia, in the frescoes of ancient Santorini, in the dyed wrappings of Egyptian mummies, in the saffron-hued robes of Buddhist monks, and in unmistakable dishes around the world. It has been the catalyst for trade wars as well as smuggling schemes and used in medicine and cosmetics. Complete with delicious recipes and surprising anecdotes, this book traces the many paths taken by saffron, revealing the allure of a spice sought globally by merchants, chefs, artists, scientists, clerics, traders, warriors, and black-market smugglers.
The scent of oregano immediately conjures the comforts of Italian food, curry is synonymous with Indian flavor, and the fire of chili peppers ignites the cuisine of Latin America. Spices are often the overlooked essentials that define our greatest eating experiences. In this global history of spices, Fred Czarra tracks the path of these fundamental ingredients from the trade routes of the ancient world to the McCormick’s brand’s contemporary domination of the global spice market.
Focusing on the five premier spices—black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and chili pepper—while also relating the story of many others along the way, Czarra describes how spices have been used in cooking throughout history and how their spread has influenced regional cuisines around the world. Chili peppers, for example, migrated west from the Americas with European sailors and spread rapidly in the Philippines and then to India and the rest of Asia, where the spice quickly became essential to local cuisines. The chili pepper also traveled west from India to Hungary, where it eventually became the national spice—paprika.
Mixing a wide range of spice fact with fascinating spice fable—such as giant birds building nests of cinnamon—Czarra details how the spice trade opened up the first age of globalization, prompting a cross-cultural exchange of culinary technique and tradition. This savory spice history will enliven any dinner table conversation—and give that meal an unforgettable dash of something extra.
Intoxicating and evocative, vanilla is so much more than a spice rack staple. It is a flavor that has defined the entire world—and its roots reach deep into the past. With its earliest origins dating back seventy million years, the history of vanilla begins in ancient Mesoamerica and continues to define and enhance today’s traditions and customs. It has been used by nearly every culture as a spice, a perfume, and even a potent aphrodisiac, while renowned figures from Louis XIV to Casanova and Thomas Jefferson have been captivated by its aroma and taste. Featuring recipes, facts, and fables, Vanilla unravels the delightfully rich history, mystery, and essence of a flavor that reconnects us to our own heritage.