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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 intimate relations between sharks and people are captured in the amazing pages of Sharks and People, and at the hand of Thomas Peschak. Trained initially as a marine biologist, who worked on shark conservation, he then became a conservation photographer, and is now a contributing photographer to National Geographic. This book is organized into sections that outline our primary encounters with sharks, which are then brought to life in stunning photography. The author explores our fear, our deep history with sharks, but perhaps more importantly, the trends in shark conservationandmdash;the establishment of sanctuaries and the ongoing import of shark tourism.
By 2050, the world population is expected to reach nine billion. And the challenge of feeding this rapidly growing population is being made greater by climate change, which will increasingly wreak havoc on the way we produce our food. At the same time, we have lost touch with the soil—few of us know where our food comes from, let alone how to grow it—and we are at the mercy of multinational corporations who control the crops and give little thought to the damage their methods are inflicting on the planet. Our very future is at risk.
In Consumed, Sarah Elton walks fields and farms on three continents, not only investigating the very real threats to our food, but also telling the little-known stories of the people who are working against time to create a new and hopeful future. From the mountains of southern France to the highlands of China, from the crowded streets of Nairobi to the banks of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, we meet people from all walks of life who are putting together an alternative to the omnipresent industrial food system. In the arid fields of rural India we meet a farmer who has transformed her community by selling organic food directly to her neighbors. We visit a laboratory in Toronto where scientists are breeding a new kind of rice seed that they claim will feed the world. We learn about Italy’s underground food movement; how university grads are returning to the fields in China, Greece, and France; and how in Detroit, plots of vacant land planted with kale and carrots can help us see what’s possible.
Food might be the problem, but as Elton shows, it is also the solution. The food system as we know it was assembled in a few decades—and if it can be built that quickly, it can be reassembled and improved in the same amount of time. Elton here lays out the targets we need to meet by the year 2050. The stories she tells give us hope for avoiding a daunting fate and instead help us to believe in a not-too-distant future when we can all sit at the table.
Where is paradise? It always seems to be elsewhere, inaccessible, outside of time. Either it existed yesterday or it will return tomorrow; it may be just around the corner, on a remote island, beyond the sea. Across a wide range of cultures, paradise is located in the distant past, in a longed-for future, in remote places or within each of us. In particular, people everywhere in the world share some kind of nostalgia for an innocence experienced at the beginning of history. For two millennia, learned Christians have wondered where on earth the primal paradise could have been located. Where was the idyllic Garden of Eden that is described in the Bible? In the Far East? In equatorial Africa? In Mesopotamia? Under the sea? Where were Adam and Eve created in their unspoiled perfection?
Maps of Paradise charts the diverse ways in which scholars and mapmakers from the eighth to the twenty-first century rose to the challenge of identifying the location of paradise on a map, despite the certain knowledge that it was beyond human reach. Over one hundred illustrations celebrate this history of a paradox: the mapping of the unmappable. It is also a mirror to the universal dream of perfection and happiness, and the yearning to discover heaven on earth.
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?
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Cooking and Food » By Ingredient » Herbs and Spices