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.
“A beautiful book by Padma Lakshmi featuring an extensive catalogue and helpful recommendations on how best to use these ingredients to create full-flavored dishes. A great resource for any chef or home cook.” -- Eric Ripert
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.
The variety of the earth's herbs and spices is nearly as vast as Lakshmi's r sum . A memoirist, actress, fashion model, jewelry designer, philanthropist, and food show host, she now adds encyclopedia author to her credits with this handy and knowledgeable look at the wide world of seasonings. Flavorings both familiar and obscure are presented alphabetically, from advieh, a Persian spice blend, to zedory, a gingerlike rhizome. Each entry includes the proper botanical name of the ingredient, a history and description (which can range in length from a few sentences to a few pages), and a brief mention of any medicinal uses. Many an unexpected and delightful tidbit of information awaits the reader: the botanical name of nutmeg is Mystica fragrans; the fruit that provides cardamom must be harvested by hand before it ripens, lest it split open and the seeds escape; saffron has been prescribed for both urinary tract disorders and asthma. The more common the spice, the more complicated it can be to fully explore. Salt is broken out into 24 different types, and pepper can come from any of four different colors of peppercorn grown primarily in India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Filling out the work, a handful of info boxes cover topics such as the Scoville heat index and smoked sea salts, and color photos highlight the vast inventory at Kalustyan's, a specialty food shop in Manhattan.