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.
Scandalous, Romantic and Intimate Biographies of the World's Most Notorious Ingredients
Author: James Moseley
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
The Mystery of Herbs and Spices offers 53 tell-all biographies of celebrated spices and herbs. Tales of war, sex, greed, hedonism, cunning, exploration and adventure reveal how mankind turned the mere need for nourishment into the exaltation of culinary arts. Is it a spice or herb? Where does it come from and what causes its taste? What legends or scandals embellish it? To what curious uses has it been put? How can you use it today? Neither a cookbook nor dry scholarship, the book employs anecdotes and humor to demystify the use and character of every spice or herb. Sample chapters from The Mystery of Herbs and Spices follow. INTRODUCTION ?Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred.? ? Proverbs 15:17 Herbs and spices. They impart glory to food, and variety to life. They are what separate the mere cook from the gourmet. But they can be confusing. What is the difference between a herb and a spice? What foods do they go with? And don?t you feel silly, not knowing if you are supposed to say ?herb? or ?erb?? You might think a gourmet, who understands such things, is a sort of wizard ? that?s what people thought in the Middle Ages, when users of herbal medicines were accused of witchcraft and burnt! But to people who grow up in India or Thailand, exotic spices are common. They use a wealth of seasonings as casually as we scatter ketchup and pepper. Cooking with cardamom or cumin might seem a mystery of subtle kitchens, but did you know that ordinary pepper was once precious and rare? If you lived in Europe seven hundred years ago, you could pay your rent or taxes in peppercorns, counting them out like coins. You could have bought a horse for a pound of saffron; a pound of ginger would get you a cow; and a pound of nutmeg was worth seven fat oxen. If you were an exceptionally lucky bride, your father might give you peppercorns as a dowry. Now consider how casually we dash a bit of pepper over a fried egg today! Like anything else, herbs and spices are easy to use when you are familiar with them. But, like nothing else, the story of spices is laced with adventure. Ferdinand Magellan launched the first voyage around our planet. By the time he reached the Pacific Ocean, he had been out of touch with civilization for a year. Sailing from the west coast of South America, he headed out onto a briny desert of burning glass. He had no maps. He had no radio. He had ridiculously small and leaky ships. He was going where no one had ever gone before. The hissing swells of the Pacific would take him four frightening months to cross, without laying eyes once on land. There would be nothing like this adventure for another five hundred years ? not until our exploration of space. Magellan died out there in the unknown. Only eighteen of his 237 sailors straggled back to Spain. What did they have to show for it? Silver? Gold? Scientific discoveries? No?nutmegs and cloves! Twenty-six tons of them ? enough to pay for the entire cost of the voyage and make a profit of 500 gold ducats for every shareholder. No one doubted for one second that the whole adventure had been worth it! Spices. They enhance our food. That?s all. But, since the human race began to dream, the story of spices has enchanted our fantasy as well. Where do they come from? Why are they so enticing? In what new ways can we use them? This is a book of discovery. Unfurl your sails, like Magellan, and follow the fragrance of spices and herbs to their source, gather their lore, and let them not only season your cooking, but enrich your enjoyment of life. PETER PIPER If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, How many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick? It might seem funny now, but it wasn?t funny at the time. Pierre Poivre of Lyons, France, otherwise known as Peter Pepper or Peter Piper, was a real person. Born in 1719, he started his career as a Christian missionary, and founded a bank in Vietnam. In 1766 he became Governor of Isle de France (Mauritius), the French colony far off the southeast coast of Africa. The eponymous tongue-twister made fun of the Pierre?s hare-brained schemes. On his lovely but lonely tropical island, far from the glitter of Paris, Peter Piper watched Dutch ships freighting precious cargoes of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon right under his nose from the Far East to Amsterdam. The spice trade created fabulous wealth. Spices were cheap to grow. They were compact and lightweight, so that huge loads could be crammed into a ship?s hold. Prices in Europe were high, so that an Indiaman could realize a 4,000 per cent profit in a single voyage! No other cargo could compare. Now why, thought Peter Piper, couldn?t those spices be grown in his colony? Of course, the Dutch wouldn?t just hand them over. But if one could sneak into the Dutch colony of Indonesia and smuggle out a seedling or two ? what wealth for France! What gloire for Pierre Poivre! And he did it. In 1769, Governor Poivre equipped two fast ships that slipped through the Dutch blockade into a lonely harbor on the island of Jibby in the Moluccas. The French expedition persuaded the local rajah to sell sixty clove plants. The Dutch found out, but could not outsail the swift French corsairs. Two of the pilfered trees bore fruit in 1775. In 1776, Peter Piper presented the first French-grown cloves to His Christian Majesty, King Louis XVI. Cloves were planted in the other French colonies of Reunion, Cayenne, and Martinique. But historical events foiled Peter?s Piper?s plan for a new French monopoly. Napoleon occupied Holland in 1800. In a counter-move, France?s enemy, England, seized the Dutch colonies in the East. They sent clove and nutmeg plants to the British colonies of Malacca and Ceylon, to the West Indian islands of St. Vincent, Trinidad, Grenada, and, in Africa, to Zanzibar, which became the most important source of cloves on earth, even to this day. So the greatest harvest of Peter Piper?s pilfered plants came long after he left Mauritius in 1776. And what glory did Peter Piper get? An inaccurate nursery rhyme about picking pickled peppers! CINNAMON AND CASSIA The Greeks thought that cassia, cinnamon?s cousin, was collected from a swamp infested by giant, shrieking bats. Cinnamon is probably the oldest spice known to man. Twenty-five centuries before Christ, Pharaoh Sankhare sent a sailing expedition down the African Coast looking for it. And Moses used cinnamon to make the anointing oil of Hebrew worship. Herodotus wrote that somewhere near the fabled city of Nosa in Arabia, giant birds made nests of cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon harvesters would lay carcasses of donkeys and oxen out for the birds, who would swoop down and carry the meat up to their nests. The weight of these carcasses would snap bits off the nests, and the cinnamon hunters would gather the scattered cinnamon quills below. The Greeks also thought that cassia, cinnamon?s cousin, was collected from a swamp infested by giant, shrieking bats. Tragically, neither story was true. Arab merchants spread these tall tales to keep their sources of cinnamon secret, for Europeans dreamed of finding the source of this spice. Diodorus, the Sicilian historian who flourished in 50 BC, wrote tantalizingly that there was so much cinnamon in Arabia that Bedouins used it for campfires! Although both cinnamon and its close cousin, cassia, are mentioned often in the Bible, neither ever grew in the Holy Lands. From the faraway tropics of Asia, daring Indonesian sailors followed seasonal winds, called monsoons, to the coast of Africa. Their cinnamon cargo was freighted by Arab sailors up to the Red Sea, or carted by land caravans through Kenya, 2,000 miles along the Nile, until it reached the Mediterranean shores. Cassia, which is so like cinnamon but grows in China, was packed along the famous Silk Route, from South China, through the Gobi Desert, over the Himalayas, and to Antioch, Syr
A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature's Most Powerful Plants
Author: Michael Balick
Publisher: Rodale Books
Category: Health & Fitness
It turns out that Mother Nature is a brilliant chemist. Our ancestors have used indigenous herbs in daily life for thousands of years due to these plants' ability to heal and promote good health. Now modern science has identified the compounds that give herbs their medicinal qualities, scent, and flavor. The extraordinary diversity of herbal plants has the potential to improve our health and well-being, and we are wholeheartedly incorporating herbs, both fresh and dried, into our lifestyles—for well-being, healing, gardening, beauty, ceremony, and a richer, fuller life. Presented in three parts, Rodale's 21st-Century Herbal first explores the historical relationship between people and herbal plants and how it has evolved over time. In the second part, readers will delve into an A-to-Z encyclopedia of 180 of the most useful herbs from around the globe, not only familiar herbs like bilberry and nasturtium, but also cutting-edge herbs from other cultures, like red bush tea and maca, that are now available in the West. The final section highlights how herbs create a "fuller" life and features herbal cooking techniques, ways to use herbs for beauty and the bath, ideas for daily herbal use (such as green cleaning, fragrances, decor, smudging, and dyeing), gardening and growing how-tos (with illustrated garden designs), and advice for holistic herbal pet care.
A Handbook of Culinary Herbs, Spices, Spice Mixtures and Their Essential Oils
Author: Eberhard Teuscher
Publisher: Medpharm Gmbh Scientific Pub
Category: Health & Fitness
Taking you on a journey into the world of spices, the author describes 300 plants and the spices that are obtained from them from the perspective of a natural scientist. 84 extensive monographs of culinary herbs are presented here, with details of their cultivation, production, constituents, sensoric properties, pharmacological actions, their potential toxicity and their culinary and medicinal uses.
Plants have been used to treat disease throughout human history. On a clay slab that dates back approximately five thousand years, the Sumerians recorded medicinal recipes that made use of hundreds of plants, including poppy, henbane, and mandrake. During the Middle Ages, monks commonly grew and prescribed plants such as sage, anise, and mint in their monasteries. And as the market for herbal remedies and natural medicine grows, we continue to search the globe for plants and plant compounds to combat our various ailments. In Phytomedicines, Herbal Drugs, and Poisons, Ben-Erik van Wyk offers a richly illustrated, scientific guide to medicinal and poisonous plants, including those used for their mind-altering effects. Van Wyk covers approximately 350 species—from Aloe vera and Ephedra sinica to Cannabis sativa and Coffea arabica—detailing their botanical, geographical, pharmacological, and toxicological data as well as the chemical structures of the active compounds in each. Readers learn, for example, that Acacia senegal, or gum acacia, is used primarily in Sudan and Ethiopia as a topical ointment to protect the skin and mucosa from bacterial and fungal infections, and that Aconitum napellus, more commonly known as aconite, is used in cough syrups but can be psychedelic when smoked or absorbed through the skin. With 350 full-color photographs featuring the plants and some of their derivative products, Phytomedicines, Herbal Drugs, and Poisons will be an invaluable reference not only for those in the health care field but also for those growing their own medicinal herb gardens, as well as anyone who needs a quick answer to whether a plant is a panacea or a poison.
Annotation CONTENTS Part 1 General issues: The functional role of herbal spices; Herbs and spices and antimicrobials; Screening for health effects of herbs; Under-utilised herbs and spices. Part 2 Particular herbs and spices: Ajowan; Allspice; Chervil; Coriander; Geranium; Lavender; Mustard; Nigella; Oregano; Parsley; Rosemary; Sesame; Star anise; Thyme; Vanilla.
The new edition of the IACP-award-winning book on spice. Cooks everywhere use spices and herbs to enhance food flavors and to create new taste combinations and sensations. From bay leaves to lemongrass to vanilla beans, a well-stocked kitchen must have a wide selection of herbs and spices. This expanded and completely revised new edition is the culmination of Ian Hemphill's lifelong experience in the spice industry. It is a fascinating and authoritative guide. Hemphill describes a wide range of global herbs and spices used in modern kitchens either alone or in wonderful blends. He completely demystifies the art of combining herbs and spices and home cooks can meet and enjoy a world of flavors previously found only at internationally inspired restaurants. He provides the "inside story" based on his extensive experience in this ancient and stimulating industry. The third edition features 6 new spice entries (for a total of 97), 102 new recipes, 33 new curry spice blends and 17 new spice blends. There is also a new and fascinating section, "Travels in the Spice Trade," that includes his personal anecdotes and travel stories. The interior pages have been completely redesigned and reorganized with full color throughout. All the entries are listed alphabetically with a detailed color photo of every herb and spice. There are also comprehensive and handy storage suggestions with details for every herb and spice. A full-circle culinary experience in the world of herbs and spices, this new edition is still the definitive reference in its field.
From the Emmy-nominated host of the award-winning Top Chef, an A-to-Z compendium of spices, herbs, salts, peppers, and blends, with beautiful photography and a wealth of explanation, history, and cooking advice. Award-winning cookbook author and television host Padma Lakshmi, inspired by her life of traveling across the globe, brings together the world’s spices and herbs in a vibrant, comprehensive alphabetical guide. This definitive culinary reference book is illustrated with rich color photographs that capture the essence of a diverse range of spices and their authentic flavors. The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs includes complete descriptions, histories, and cooking suggestions for ingredients from basic herbs to the most exotic seeds and chilies, as well as information on toasting spices, making teas, and infusing various oils and vinegars. And no other market epitomizes Padma’s love for spices and global cuisine than where she spent her childhood—lingering in the aisles of the iconic gourmet food store Kalustyan’s, in New York City. Perfect for the holiday season and essential to any well-stocked kitchen or cooking enthusiast, The Encyclopedia of Spices and Herbs is an invaluable resource as well as a stunning and adventurous tour of some of the most wondrous and majestic flavors on earth.
Native and Exotic Plants Grown for Scent and Flavor
Author: Charles R. Boning
Publisher: Pineapple Press Inc
Florida's warm climate provides residents with the opportunity to raise herbs and spices from around the globe. This book introduces gardeners to 89 herbs and spices suited to cultivation in Florida. Each plant is covered in a detailed profile, which includes illustrations, growing techniques, climate requirements, and distribution maps. Unique tropical plants such as vanilla, pandanus, and curryleaf grow in southern portions of the state. By making minor adjustments, the Florida gardener can raise nearly any popular northern herb, such as parsley and basil. You will find herbs and spices, both native and exotic, suitable for planting in every region of Florida. Find familiar plants along with those that are rare or obscure. Discover a unique mix of scents, flavors, textures, and colors. Growing your own herbs and spices will bring plants into your garden that look and smell good as well as providing fresh, interesting, and chemical-free tastes for your cooking. You can also save money as you add flavor. We at Pineapple Press are confident that this book, like its companion volume, Florida's Best Fruiting Plants, will be regarded as a gardening classic.