The Book of Spice - by John O'Connell (Paperback)
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About the BookAt once familiar and exotic, spices are rare things, comforting us in favorite dishes while evoking far-flung countries, Arabian souks, colonial conquests, and vast fortunes.
At once familiar and exotic, spices are rare things, comforting us in favorite dishes while evoking far-flung countries, Arabian souks, colonial conquests and vast fortunes. A tasty compendium of the world's favorite flavors, The Book of Spice: From Anise to Zedoary combines history with insights into art, religion, medicine, science, and is richly seasoned with anecdotes and recipes.
Discover why Cleopatra bathed in saffron and mare's milk, why wormwood-laced absinthe caused eighteenth century drinkers to hallucinate, and how cloves harvested in remote Indonesian islands found their way into a kitchen in ancient Syria. Almost every kitchen contains a bottle of cloves or a stick of cinnamon, and almost every dish needs a pinch of something. The Book of Spice is culinary history at its most appetizing.
"A fun read. Intriguing discussions of the origin and purpose of spices run throughout, such as how Greek physician Dioscorides advised troops to use licorice to relieve thirst, if they lacked water. A piquant perspective that makes readers want to get in the kitchen and start cooking."--Library Journal
"O'Connell's easy charm and flair for narrative make for an entertaining look at the seeds, roots, and barks that today we look on as everyday flavorings but at one time started wars and launched explorers. A fine read."--Booklist