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California Studies in Food and Culture #01: Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices

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California Studies in Food and Culture #01: Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Spices and aromatics—the powerful, pleasurable, sensual ingredients used in foods, drinks, scented oils, perfumes, cosmetics, and drugs—have long been some of the most sought-after substances in the course of human history. In various forms, spices have served as appetizers, digestives, antiseptics, therapeutics, tonics, and aphrodisiacs. Dangerous Tastes explores the captivating history of spices and aromatics: the fascination that they have aroused in us, and the roads and seaways by which trade in spices has gradually grown. Andrew Dalby, who has gathered information from sources in many languages, explores each spice, interweaving its general history with the story of its discovery and various uses.

Dalby concentrates on traditional spices that are still part of world trade: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, saffron, and chili. He also discusses aromatics that are now little used in food but still belong to the spice trade and to traditional medicine: frankincense, myrrh, aloes-wood, balsam of Mecca. In addition, Dalby considers spices that were once important but that now are almost forgotten: long pepper, cubebs, grains of Paradise.

Dangerous Tastes relates how the Aztecs, who enjoyed drinking hot chocolate flavored with chili and vanilla, sometimes added annatto (a red dye) to the drink. This not only contributed to the flavor but colored the drinker's mouth red, a reminder that drinking cacao was, in Aztec thought, parallel with drinking blood. In the section on ambergris, Dalby tells how different cultures explained the origin of this substance: Arabs and Persians variously thought of it as solidified sea spray, a resin that sprung from the depths of the sea, or a fungus that grows on the sea bed as truffles grow on the roots of trees. Some Chinese believed it was the spittle of sleeping dragons. Dalby has assembled a wealth of absorbing information into a fertile human history that spreads outward with the expansion of human knowledge of spices worldwide.

Synopsis:

"Dangerous Tastes" explores the captivating history of spices and aromatics, the fascination they have aroused, and the trade roads and seaways by which trade in spices has gradually grown. Dalby, who has gathered information from sources in many languages, explores each spice, interweaving its general history with its various uses. 6 color, 75 b&w illustrations.

Synopsis:

"Delightful and complex. When Dalby blends the spices, the result is unique and irresistible."—Alan Davidson, author of The Oxford Companion to Food

About the Author

Andrew Dalby is a historian and linguist and has written for numerous food history and classics journals. Among his books are Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World (2000), The Classical Cookbook (with Sally Grainger, 1996), and Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece (1996).

Table of Contents

Preface

THE PHOENIX'S NEST

Silphium

EXPORTS FROM PARADISE

Ginger

Sugar

Sandalwood

Balsam of Mecca

Cinnamon

Tejpat

Musk

THE SPICE ISLANDS

Cloves

Nutmeg and mace

Cubebs

Camphor

Gum benzoin

THE AROMATIC SHORE

Ambergris

Aloeswood

THE CINNAMON MOUNTAINS

Chinese pepper

Galanga

Rhubarb and licorice

Ginseng and star anise

THE LAND OF PEPPER

Putchuk or costus

Spikenard

Long pepper

Black pepper

Turmeric

Red sanders

Zedoary and zerumbet

Amomum and cardamom

THE RAREST OF SPICES

Gum guggul

Asafoetida or hing

Frankincense

Myrrh

CARGOES OF COMPLACENCE

Coriander

Cumin, caraway, anise, ajowan and nigella

Mustard

Poppy

Mastic

Storax

Saffron

'I HAVE FOUND CINNAMON!'

Uchu, rocoto, and ulupica

Pink peppercorns

Coca

Chocolate

Vanilla

Chilli

Tabasco pepper and Scotch bonnet

Canella

Balsam of Peru

IN QUEST OF SPICERY

Notes

Source Texts

Further Reading

Glossary Of Spice Names

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780520227897
Subtitle:
The Story of Spices
Author:
Dalby, Andrew
Publisher:
University of California Press
Location:
Berkeley, Calif.
Subject:
Reference
Subject:
History
Subject:
Spices
Subject:
Spice trade
Subject:
Specific Ingredients - Herbs, Spices, Condiments
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
California Studies in Food and Culture
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20021031
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8 color illustrations, 48 b/w photograph
Pages:
184
Dimensions:
9.75 x 7.13 x 1.13 in 23 oz

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Related Subjects

Cooking and Food » Reference and Etiquette » Historical Food and Cooking

California Studies in Food and Culture #01: Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices Used Hardcover
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Product details 184 pages University of California Press - English 9780520227897 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Dangerous Tastes" explores the captivating history of spices and aromatics, the fascination they have aroused, and the trade roads and seaways by which trade in spices has gradually grown. Dalby, who has gathered information from sources in many languages, explores each spice, interweaving its general history with its various uses. 6 color, 75 b&w illustrations.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Delightful and complex. When Dalby blends the spices, the result is unique and irresistible."—Alan Davidson, author of The Oxford Companion to Food
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