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Culinary Herbs & Spices of the Worldby Ben Erik Van Wyk
Synopses & Reviews
For centuries herbs and spices have been an integral part of many of the worldandrsquo;s great cuisines. But spices have a history of doing much more than adding life to bland foods. They have been the inspiration for, among other things, trade, exploration, and poetry. Priests employed them in worship, incantations, and rituals, and shamans used them as charms to ward off evil spirits. Nations fought over access to and monopoly of certain spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, when they were rare commodities. Not only were many menandrsquo;s fortunes made in the pursuit of spices, spices at many periods throughout history literally served as currency.
In Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World, Ben-Erik van Wyk offers the first fully illustrated, scientific guide to nearly all commercial herbs and spices in existence. Van Wyk covers more than 150 speciesandmdash;from black pepper and blackcurrant to white mustard and white gingerandmdash;detailing the propagation, cultivation, and culinary uses of each. Introductory chapters capture the essence of culinary traditions, traditional herb and spice mixtures, preservation, presentation, and the chemistry of flavors, and individual entries include the chemical compounds and structures responsible for each spice or herbandrsquo;s characteristic flavor. Many of the herbs and spices van Wyk covers are familiar fixtures in our own spice racks, but a fewandmdash;especially those from Africa and Chinaandmdash;will be introduced for the first time to American audiences. Van Wyk also offers a global view of the most famous use or signature dish for each herb or spice, satisfying the gourmandandrsquo;s curiosity for more information about new dishes from little-known culinary traditions. and#160;
People all over the world are becoming more sophisticated and demanding about what they eat and how it is prepared. Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World will appeal to those inquisitive foodies in addition to gardeners and botanists.
Phytomedicines, Herbal Drugs, and Poisons presents a succinct yet comprehensive overview of medicinal and poisonous plants with more than 350 colorful illustrations. Covering more than 280 well-known herbal medicines and plants, this volume provides easy reference and quick answers, making it an ideal reference book for healthcare professionals, pharmacists, doctors, and students.
The environmental movement is plagued by pessimism. And thats not unreasonable: with so many complicated, seemingly intractable problems facing the planet, coupled with a need to convince people of the dangers we face, its hard not to focus on the negative
But that paints an unbalanced—and overly disheartening—picture of whats going on with environmental stewardship today. There are success stories, and Our Once and Future Planet delivers a fascinating account of one of the most impressive areas of current environmental experimentation and innovation: ecological restoration. Veteran investigative reporter Paddy Woodworth has spent years traveling the globe and talking with people—scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens—who are working on the front lines of the battle against environmental degradation. At sites ranging from Mexico to New Zealand and Chicago to Cape Town, Woodworth shows us the striking successes (and a few humbling failures) of groups that are attempting to use cutting-edge science to restore blighted, polluted, and otherwise troubled landscapes to states of ecological health—and, in some of the most controversial cases, to particular moments in historical time, before widespread human intervention. His firsthand field reports and interviews with participants reveal the promise, power, and limitations of restoration.
Ecological restoration alone wont solve the myriad problems facing our environment. But Our Once and Future Planet demonstrates the role it can play, and the hope, inspiration, and new knowledge that can come from saving even one small patch of earth.
Smart phones and GPS give us many possible routes to navigate our daily commute, warn us of traffic and delays, and tell us where to find a cup of coffee. But what if there were sea serpents and giant man-eating lobsters waiting just off course if we were to lose our way? Would there be an app for that? In the sixteenth century, these and other monsters were thought to swim the northern waters, threatening seafarers who ventured too far from shore. Thankfully, Scandinavian mariners had Olaus Magnus, who in 1539 charted these fantastic marine animals in his influential map of the Nordic countries, the Carta Marina. In Sea Monsters, well-known expert on magical beasts Joseph Nigg brings readers face-to-face with these creatures, alongside the other magnificent components of Magnusandrsquo;s map.
Nearly two meters wide in total, the mapandrsquo;s nine wood-block panels comprise the largest and first realistic portrayal of Northern Europe. But in addition to these important geographic elements, Magnusandrsquo;s map goes beyond cartography to scenes both domestic and mystic. Close to shore, Magnus shows humans interacting with common sea lifeandmdash;boats struggling to stay afloat, merchants trading, children swimming, and fisherman pulling lines. But from the offshore deeps rise some of the most magical and terrifying sea creatures imaginable at the time or thereafterandmdash;like sea swine, whales as large as islands, and the Kraken. In this book, Nigg provides a thorough tour of the mapandrsquo;s cartographic details, as well as a colorful look at its unusual pictorial and imaginative elements. He draws on Magnusandrsquo;s own text to further describe and illuminate the inventive scenes and to flesh out the stories of the monsters.
Sea Monsters is a stunning tour of a world that still holds many secrets for us land dwellers, who will forever be fascinated by reports of giant squid and the real-life creatures of the deep that have proven to be as bizarre and otherworldly as we have imagined for centuries. It is a gorgeous guide for enthusiasts of maps, monsters, and the mythic.
About the Author
Ben-Erik van Wyk is professor of botany at the University of Johannesburg and the author of several best-selling books on plants and plant use.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Five Plots, Five Prairies, Reflooding a Delta
Chapter 2: The Cranes Are Flying—Again
Chapter 3: From Necedah to Zaragoza via St. Louis: A Restoration Learning Curve
Chapter 4: Greening the Rainbow Nation: Saving the World on a Single Budget?
Chapter 5: Awkward Questions from the Windy City: Why Restore? To What? For Whom?
Chapter 6: Keeping Nature Out? Restoring the Cultural Landscape of the Cinque Terre
Chapter 7: The Last of the Woods laid Low? Fragile Green Shoots in Irish Forests
Chapter 8: Future Shock: “Novel Ecosystems” and Climate Change Shake Restoration’s Foundations
Chapter 9: Dreamtime in Gondwanaland
Chapter 10: Restoration on a Grand Scale: Finding a Home for 350,000 Species
Chapter 11: Killing for Conservation: The Grim Precondition for Restoration in New Zealand
Chapter 12: The Mayan Men (and Women) Who Can (Re)Make the Rain Forest
Chapter 13: Making the Black Deserts Bloom: Bog Restoration on the Brink of Extinction
Chapter 14: Walk Like a Chameleon: Three Trends, One Story
Chapter 15: Conclusions: Why Restore?
What Our Readers Are Saying
Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Herbs and Spices