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Herbs: A Global History (Reaktion Books - Edible) Hardcover – May 15, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Reaktion Books - Edible
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861899254
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861899255
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #460,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gary Allen is on the board of directors at the Unison Arts and Learning Center in New Paltz, New York. He has written many food-related articles in the past and is the author of The Herbalist in the Kitchen.


More About the Author

Gary Allen (who was once an illustrator) now cooks, eats, dreams, talks, and writes about food.

After writing The Resource Guide for Food Writers (1999), he edited Remarkable Service for The Culinary Institute of America (2001). He's contributed articles to Culinary Biographies (2006), and Scribner's Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (2003). He was Associate Editor of, and contributor to, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (2004) and The Concise Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America (2007).

The Herbalist in the Kitchen, a reference work on herbs and spices, was published by the University of Illinois Press (July, 2007). He also co-edited, with historian Ken Albala, The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries for Greenwood Press (October 2007). He has also written articles for other encyclopedias from Greenwood: Entertaining from Ancient Rome to the Super Bowl: An Encyclopedia (2008), and They Eat That?: A Cultural Encyclopedia of Weird and Exotic Food from around the World (January 2012).

His anthology of writings about cannibalism -- humorous, scary, thoughtful, disgusting, and touching -- was published in 2008. Its called Human Cuisine, and it was also co-edited with Ken Albala.

He's even written occasional stories -- of a nostalgic/humorous nature -- that have appeared in others' anthologies such as The Anxious Groom (2004), Prima Materia Volume 4 (2005), Fear and Loathing of Boca Raton (2007), and Let Them Eat Crepes (2010).

His latest book, Herbs: A Global History, for Reaktion Press (scheduled for publication May 2012 -- in hard cover and Kindle). He recently completed the next book in the series, this time on sausage.

Occasionally, 'midst chewing and swallowing, he writes for magazines, e-zines, and symposia, including that of the Association for the Study of Food and Society, for which he's been their web master and newsletter editor. He is food history editor at LeitesCulinaria.com. He has also published, for ten years, a monthly electronic newsletter about online resources for food writers, which is now part of his blog (http://justserved.onthetable.us).

In his spare time, he teaches food writing, plus various courses on food history and culture, at Empire State College (part of the State University of New York).
You'll find a directory of his online writings at "A Quiet Little Table in the Corner" (http://tinyurl.com/2duwe93) or visit his own website: "On the Table" (http://onthetable.us).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura B. Weiss on June 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I love all of Gary Allen's books. He's entertaining but informative. Herbs is a great read, too, and the illustrations are gorgeous. I loved finding out interesting facts like basil was once considered vile and dangerous and that marijuana was used instead of hops to make beer! I'll regard my collection of herbs with new respect and awe after reading this delightful book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By esther reese on May 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A concise and entertaining overview of the history of herbs, with lots and lots of very nice illustrations, many from historical herbals, and in color. A terrific starting point for those interested in the history of herbs and herb lore, from an historical (and culinary) POV.
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Format: Hardcover
With Herbs: A Global History, Gary Allen offers readers an erudite and informative treatise on the history of the use of herbs. Although most of the book concerns European culinary aspects of herbs, Allen also includes some highly fascinating comments on herbal use in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. One particularly beguiling chapter - "The Sisterhood of the Travelling Plants" - tells the tale of herbal migration, of how certain herbs crossed the great oceans, and made their way into the pots and pans of cooks thousands of miles away. The wonderfully comprehensive bibliography allows the curious reader to dig deeper into the subject of herbs. Most of the colorful photographs were taken by the author and come from Allen's keen artistic sense. A perfect gift for any cook, at any time of the year, Herbs: A Global History includes a number of tantalizing recipes as well. Basil-scented strawberries, anyone?
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