Field Guide to Herbs and Spices Takes Mystery Out of Seasoningsby Larry Cox on Oct. 26, 2012, under Uncategorized
Field Guide to Herbs & Spices: How to Identify, Select, and Use Virtually Every Seasoning on the Market by Aliza Green (Quirk Books, $15.95)
Nothing is more confusing than standing in front of the herb and spice display at the local supermarket and having no idea how and when to use most of the ones you see. Alas, I grew up in a household where our spices were mostly limited to salt and pepper. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the magic of such spices as fennel, cloves, ginger and Chinese hot mustard powder, and herbs such as basil, chives, dill and cilantro.
Simply put, this dandy little guide should be in every American kitchen. It is that essential and user-friendly. More than 200 entries are catalogued in a format that is compact and both easy to use and carry. It contains everything you need to know about seasonings. In addition to general descriptions and names, there are tips on purchasing herbs and spices, how to store them, and what to avoid.
Aliza Green, an award-winning chef, food writer and teacher based in Philadelphia, has divided her book into three basic parts: Herbs, Spices, and Spice Mixtures. There are also recipes that run the gamut from easy-to-prepare dishes as basil pesto to more complex main courses choices such as Saltimboca alla Romana. There are even spiced drinks and desserts.
I love this guide and plan to keep it handy in my kitchen. At under $15, it is a bargain.