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Pepper: The spice that changed the world
     

Pepper: The spice that changed the world

by Christine McFadden
 

Why is it that pepper and certain foods go together so perfectly? (Think steak au poivre, black pepper crisps, cream cheese and black pepper, or even strawberries and black pepper.) Christine McFadden's evocative collection of recipes from around the world are geared to modern lifestyles and informal eating, inspiring the imagination with unusual ways of using

Overview

Why is it that pepper and certain foods go together so perfectly? (Think steak au poivre, black pepper crisps, cream cheese and black pepper, or even strawberries and black pepper.) Christine McFadden's evocative collection of recipes from around the world are geared to modern lifestyles and informal eating, inspiring the imagination with unusual ways of using pepper - in cakes and desserts for example - reminding us of pepper's traditional use in pickles and preserves, in sauces and soups, curries and stews. A vivid first-hand description of the pepper gardens and spice markets of Kerala and a fascinating account of pepper's role in shaping history, provide a colourful backdrop to the serious business of cooking with and tasting pepper.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
An entire book about pepper? Yes! This well-focused volume is packed full of pepper facts and a feast of inspiring and surprising recipes. McFadden (Tools for Cooks) admits a fascination that began in her childhood with the pungent spice. In this ambitious work she reintroduces readers to something most tend to think of as a simple and unexceptional ingredient. She includes sections "Pepper in History" and "The Pepper Primer," which provides information on basic botany and the greater pepper family. Recipes for a broad spectrum of dishes, from Balsamic and Pepper-Glazed Roast Pumpkin to Strawberry and Black Pepper Ice-Cream, nicely demonstrate the versatility of this ancient spice. VERDICT Like Mark Kurlansky's Salt: A World History, this book effectively presents a wealth of information and history and provides readers with an appreciation of the subtle complexities that a simple yet essential ingredient evokes in food.—Graciela Monday, San Antonio
Kirkus Reviews

A complete guide to this complex, mysterious and often overlooked kitchen staple.

It's about time that pepper got its due. With all the fuss over the great varieties of sea salt, pepper has lately slipped into the shadows. No longer. McFadden (The Chocolate Cookbook, 2009, etc.) provides a definitive explanation of all things peppery. She covers just about everything a cook would want to know about pepper: its history, where it grows, how it's processed, how to conduct a tasting and where to buy the rarer varieties. McFadden adds to this an extensive set of recipes—from the classic Steak Au Poivre to the exotic Peppered Chocolate Truffles—designed to maximize the nuances of the different types of peppercorns. Carmelized Pineapple with Long Pepper and Lime Syrup, for instance, captures the sweet heat of long peppers, while the author's recipe for Numbing Chicken Noodle Salad takes full advantage of the citrusy fire of the Sichuan pepper. Desserts are perhaps the most intriguing; the Pink Pepper Blondies combine lime, white chocolate and pink peppercorns for a bright yet delicately spicy flavor. Since pepper is traditionally consumed in hot climates to cool the body, McFadden includes a few icy summer treats, such as a refreshing version of the popular Indian beverage Nimbu Pani (lime, pepper, soda water and sugar) and a Devilled Chocolate Ice Cream, a delightfully unexpected combination of rich chocolate and white and black peppercorns.

Lovers of pepper will rejoice over this combination cookbook and history lesson.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781904573609
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
01/23/2008
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.66(w) x 9.14(h) x 1.25(d)

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Meet the Author

Author of many cookery books and five times nominated for international food media awards, Christine McFadden is a well-established food writer with a deep interest in the many aspects of food and its provenance. She has a passion for spices and seasonings and the way in which they transform the character of a dish; she also has a particular interest in the historical impact ingredients such as these have on culture, politics and economics. Christine is a staunch supporter of local food producers and farm shops.

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