paper, 498 p., $22.95
The Herb and Spice Bible, subtitled A Cook's Guide, is an extremely comprehensive treatment of the subject of herbs and spices, from ajowan (a parsley relative used in India and the Middle East) to zedoary (in the ginger family). The author, Ian Hemphill, grew up on an herb farm and runs an herb and spice business in Australia. He covers the history of herbs and spices from their first recorded use in ancient Egypt to our modern world, where we have access to the cuisines of nearly every culture. His book, enhanced by color pictures, provides detailed information on every common spice and many unfamiliar ones, from their botanic name to common names in different languages; their history and processing; and how to buy, store and use each one. Information on which spices and herbs are used in the cuisines of different countries, recipes for many spice blends, and recipes using some of the more unusual items are also included.
— Joyce Weinberg, Master Gardener and Volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden