Spice Market: Essential Information on Spices, Spice Mixes and Spice Pastes plus more than 250 recipes Paperback – 16 Jun 2008
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|Paperback, 16 Jun 2008||
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A perfect kitchen companion to "Grower's Market", "Spice Market" is a comprehensive guide to the history and culinary uses of 45 spices from around the globe and an extensive collection of recipes that best convey their characteristic flavours and aromas. In addition, "Spice Market" features a selection of popular spice mixes from curry powders to zaataar, as well as a range of spice pastes. Spices are presented according to the plant parts from which they are derived: seeds and pods, berries and flowers, roots and bark.
Top customer reviews
The book delivers on its title - as well as providing information and spices, mixes and pastes it provides excellent recipes for how to make use of those spices. The book is very up-front about the fact that some of the spices may be more difficult to acquire than others, and that you may need to go to specialist shops for some of them. Spices are from many parts of the world - India, north Africa, the Far East, southern America, and the Middle East.
The book is divided into the following:
- Storage notes
- Seeds and pods
- Berries and flowers
- Roots and bark
- Spice pastes
- Spice mixes
It is well worth reading the Introduction and Storage Notes, both of which give very useful information about how to purchase and preserve spices.
Under each of the main chapters each spice is dealt with in alphabetical order (Seeds and Pods begins with Ajowan, Aniseed, Annato seed etc). For each the book says what other spices the spice is related to and gives it's other names (ajowan, for example, is also known as carom) and then describes where it is native to, what it looks like and how it is used. Following the description there are then recipes. Sticking with ajowan for the moment, the two recipes that follow are beeef in indian spice paste and tandoori lobster. More common spices like pepper or saffron have many more recipes associated with them (saffron, for example, has nine). Each recipe consists of a list of ingredients in the margin of the page, a serving estimate (usually for 4) and a step by step description of how to assemble and cook the dish. Many, but by no means all of the recipes, are accompanied by photographs.
Because the spice mixes, berries, seeds, roots etc have so many different flavours the variety of recipes is excellent and there is a good mixture of starters, main courses, desserts, sauces, jams and accompaniements. There is a good selection of fish, meat and vegetable dishes as well.
It is difficult to know where to start with examples of dishes provided in the book because there are so many, so here's a random sample of recipes from each section: cayenne chicken pieces, cypriot pork and coriander stew, tortellini filled with pumpkin and sage, peach and custard tart, deep-fried whole fish with taramind sauce, duck confit, fragrant poached chicken with sichuan seasoning, salt and pepper squid, chicken in saffron stew, prawn with tomato and saffron tagliatelle, vegetale bhaji, gingerbread, roasted potato cake, prawn pulao, turmeric fishcakes on lemon grass skewers, sardines with chermoula stuffing, balti style lamb, baked fish with tomato and harissa, flat bread with dukkah, lamb koftas in spicy tomato sauce, hot cross buns, rabbit and mushroom rillettes, chicken and quince tagine and cucumber and olive salad with za'atar.
I've given it four rather than five stars because not all recipes are accompanied by photographs - but that's a very minor criticism.
This is one of those books that you hold on to for life, because the recipes will never get old and the information it contains will never cease to be useful.
Saffron poached pears
Slow roast lamb shoulder
Fennel sausage baguette
many many more
Worth checking out for the medicinal propeties of spices also