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Cook's Encyclopedia of Spices Hardcover – September 8, 2003


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Product Details

  • Series: Cook's Encyclopedia of
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Lorenz Books (September 8, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754812286
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754812289
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.9 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,813,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By B. Marold HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on November 22, 2005
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`The Cook's Encyclopedia of Spices' by English authors, Sallie Morris and Lesley Mackley appears, on the surface, to be a very attractive and informative book on spices and how to use them. Unfortunately, it stumbles on a couple of important points and it is up against some first class competition.

It's primary shortcoming is that it limits itself to only spices and does not deal with what most people on both sides of the Atlantic would call herbs. I consider this a shortcoming because the authors include many recipes for `spice mixes' which are mixes as much of dried herbs as they are of spices. The Cajun spice mix, for example, includes dried thyme. The barbecue spice mixtures include dried marjoram. And, the `Old-fashioned Philadelphia Spice Powder includes both dried basil and dried thyme. The coverage is even more confusing in that the book does cover both bay leaves and fenugreek leaves. By virtually everyone's definition, any leaf used in cooking is an herb, not a spice.

A second annoying shortcut is that the articles on spices are arranged in alphabetical order by their scientific name. Sacre Bleu! I am all in favor of stressing the importance of knowing the scientific names of plants giving us culinary products, but arranging things by scientific name which no one except a biologist is likely to know is foolish. The authors repair their error somewhat by giving us a table of contents in common name order, but who wants to take two lookup steps when one should do.

A third annoyance is the fact that almost half of the book is dedicated to recipes that use spices. In a very attractively photographed book with decent text on its subject, this is a total waste of space, especially for someone who has even the most modest collection of cookbooks.
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I bought this book as a wedding present for a friend who loves food. This is the same edition that I purchased many years ago. She loves the present and can't wait to start using it.

This book breaks down every spice and spice blend with uses culinary and medicinal and recipes in the back of the book.
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