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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'How to select, store, prepare and cook with herbs and spices - and enjoy them at their best.
'Add exciting and exotic flavours to your cooking with flair and creativity......
Features recipes from culinary traditions renowned for their sensational use of flavours - from Thailand and India through the Middle East to Mexico.'

Jill Norman is a respected food writer in her own right and was also involved with the late Elizabeth David's writings...
Published on 20 Aug 2007 by A Customer of AMAZON-UK

versus
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as expected
Thought this book would tell me what herbs and spices to use with different meats, but it was more about where they come from and how to prepare and store them.
Published on 21 April 2011 by spanishqueen :)


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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'How to select, store, prepare and cook with herbs and spices - and enjoy them at their best., 20 Aug 2007
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
'Add exciting and exotic flavours to your cooking with flair and creativity......
Features recipes from culinary traditions renowned for their sensational use of flavours - from Thailand and India through the Middle East to Mexico.'

Jill Norman is a respected food writer in her own right and was also involved with the late Elizabeth David's writings.
She has numerous small dedicated books on this subject, but this volume is an invaluable 'bible' on the use of herbs and spices and worthy of a place on any kitchen bookshelf.
Even the most experienced cooks might need some help from time to time and this book is the one you need!
So if 'Zedoary' is new to your cookery vocabulary, as it was to mine - then this could well be the book for you!

'The definition of what constitutes a herb or spice is not as straightforward as it might seem. Broadly, we think of herbs as plants used by cooks for their flavour and aroma.
The word herb derives from the Latin 'herba' meaning grass or, by extension, green crop: it was originally applied to a wide range of leaf vegetables in addition to the plants we now call herbs.
Most of the culinary herbs we use grow in temperate climates. Spices, on the other hand, are products of tropical plants aromatic roots, bark, seeds, buds and fruits, usually used in dried form, whether whole or ground.
Again out word derives from Latin, where 'species' means specific kind but, in later use, goods or merchandise - spices certainly being an important commodity even at the time of the Romans.......'

336 high quality shiny pages, spilt over main chapters:

1. Herbs
subdivided into sections:

* Introducing Herbs
* Fresh and Mild Herbs
* Sweet Herbs
* Citrus of Tart Herbs
* Liquorice or anise herbs
* Minty Herbs
* Oniony Herbs
* Bitter or Astringent Herbs
* Pungent and Spicy Herbs
* Preparing Herbs

2. Spices
subdivided into sections:

* Introducing Spices
* Nutty Spices
* Sweet Spices
* Acidic and Fruity Spices
* Citrus Spices
* Liquorice or Anise Spices
* Warm and Earthy Spices
* Bitter or Astringent Spices
* Pungent Spices
* Preparing Spices

3. Recipes
subdivided into sections:

Blending Herbs and Spices:
* Herb Mixtures
* Spice Mixtures
* Sauces and Condiments
* Marinades

Cooking with Herbs and Spices:
* Soups and Light Dishes
* Fish
* Meats
* Vegetables
* Pasta, Noodles and Grains
* Desserts and Drinks

plus a bibliography, 'Sources of Herbs and Spices' (nb book was written in 2002 so information may be out-of-date), and a full index. Full colour photography throughout although not of the recipes.

Each item has the following information:

* Name/Botanical equivalent plus other types
* Description
* Tasting Notes
* Parts Used
* Buying and Storing
* Grow your Own or Harvesting
* Culinary Uses, including 'Essential to', 'Good With' and 'Combines Well With'.

A taste of some of the recipes contained within:

* Tandoori Masala
* Pickling Spice Blend
* La Kama
* Italian Spice Mixture
* Cajun Seasoning
* Steak Recado
* Pesto
* Osso Bucco
* Thai Beef Curry
* Béarnaise Sauce
* Nam prik
* Lime and Chilli Sauce
* Bouquet Garnis
* Herbes de Provence
* Five Spice Powder
* Red Curry Paste
* Saffron Risotto
* Jambalaya
* Linguine with Herbs
* Mushrooms with Bacon
* Cinnamon Biscuits
* Vanilla Ice Cream
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous - I am so glad I bought this book, 8 Jan 2009
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
I love cooking with herbs and spices but felt that my lack of knowledge was limiting what I could do. I wanted to get an "idiot's guide" to herbs and spices to learn what complemented each other and the sorts of foods that went well with each flavour. This book was mentioned to me on a couple of occasions so I went for it. I am so glad I did - it is exactly what I am looking for. It's not an "idiot's guide" in that it doesn't go into much detail, but it doesn't assume any prior knowledge of the subject so starts at the very beginning. It covers hundreds of herbs and spices - not just the well-known ones.

The photos are beautiful and each page is clearly set out into the following categories:

History/background of the herb/spice
Tasting notes
Parts used
Buying and storing (this is useful as it says whether it's worth buying the herb ready-dried - something I've often wondered)
Grow your own
Culinary uses (including "good with.." and "combines well with [other herbs and spices]...".

The photos include the fresh herb/whole spice as well as the dried or ground product.

There are also recipe sections (including spices mixes such as garam masala and Chinese 5 spice) and tips on various preparation techniques.

I don't think it's just a reference book - I spent a happy hour reading this as a reading book yesterday!

A wonderful book - I can't recommend it highly enough, for both someone who is new to the subject of herbs and spices and a seasoned professional.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book about herbs and spices, 12 Feb 2006
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
Ever wondered what to do with that unusual spice you 'accidentally' bought? Well, here's the answer. This book covers any herb and spice you canthink of - both the common ones and the more unfamiliar ones.
It is a reference book, but it also has some recipes, not least recipes on how to make your own spice-blends and -pastes.
Jamaican Jerk-seasoning, green masala, Cuban adobo, Chinese five-spice powder, various curry pastes and -powders, za'atar, dukka, ras el hanout.......
All beautifully presented with good-quality pictures - showing the herbs/spices both in their natural form and prepared for use.

An invaluable book if you love your herbs and spices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What every good cook needs, 10 Sep 2009
By 
D. A. Collins (Helmond, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An excellent reference book that is also easy to read.
Up until now I've found all the information that I need and it has helped me to experiment with new flavours.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a gem!, 1 July 2009
By 
Ruth W "Fernsong" (Haute-Vienne, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
This book is a must-have for those of us who love growing and cooking with herbs. Each page contains stunning photographs, along with clear and concise text. And it's great to find there's a paragraph on not only which food each herb complements, but also which other herbs each combines well with.
Packed full of related information, recipes and mouth-watering images, I can't rate this book highly enough - I pick it up every chance I get!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best spice book, 10 Feb 2009
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
Herb and Spice: A Cook's ReferencePart of her indoors Xmas pressy. So far she hasn't stopped singing the books praises, as she hasn't found anything that it doesn't cover. With shelves and shelves of cookbooks already I was expecting a luke warm response but this book definitely does what it says on the cover. If you enjoy cooking with spices and herbs then this is the book for you.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute must for everyone no matter what your skill in the kitchen, 19 Aug 2009
By 
Mrs. K. A. Gillespie "Puddles" (Wiltshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
I cna only echo the posts of previous reviewers and confirm it is indeed the only book you will need. Everything about herbs and spices all in one volume and well indexed for ease of use too!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have book for herbs & spices, 13 Mar 2009
By 
D. R. Prew - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
I think everything that needs to be said has been said in the reviews before. If you want to know about herbs and spices this is the book to get, a fantastic book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and detailed, 27 May 2010
By 
Kindle Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
This is an excellent reference book for anyone who wants to know more about herbs and spices. It is both comprehensive and detailed. Each herb or spice is given at least a page with clear photographs, tasting notes, buying and storing guides details of the parts of the plant used, and information where applicable of how to grow it yourself. There are also detailed details of culinary uses of the plants. The book covers everything from parsley, through lesser used herbs such as claytonia and annatto, to things I have never heard of such as rau ram, zedoary and amchoor, which I am now dying to try. The book lists 120 different herbs and spices as well as giving recipes for making your own pastes, seasonings and spice mixes. As well as all of this the book is full of anecdotes which makes it a lovely book to just sit and read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Herbicious, 5 May 2010
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This review is from: Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference (Paperback)
I needed to find out the various facts surrounding the growing, care and use of Herbs and this book appears to satisfy all the areas that I was seeking. I have started to read it but it cointains so much information that I will need some time to read it all, I am looking forward to finding the time to read more.
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Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference
Herb & Spice: A Cook's Reference by Jill Norman (Paperback - 4 Nov 2004)
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