This is an excellent reference book on all kinds of flavorings. It doesn't give you recipes--those you can find in cookbooks. This supplies information on origins and uses of a huge range of herbs, spices, and other flavoring ingredients. The "kitchen chemist" will find this not only a useful reference, but even a book to sit down and read. Lots of wonderful facts and lore to drop into dinner-table conversations! There are only two slight quibbles I have with the book. The first is that it is somewhat Anglo-centric, frequently mentioning whether something was or is used in England. Secondly, with the blossoming of interest in cuisines of all sorts during the last decade, it could use some slight updating as to some contemporary uses of some of the items. All in all, thought, a really useful and well-done tome.