BN.com Gift Guide

Spices: A Global History

Overview

The scent of oregano immediately conjures the comforts of Italian food, curry is synonymous with Indian flavor, and the fire of chili peppers ignites the cuisine of Latin America. Spices are often the overlooked essentials that define our greatest eating experiences. In this global history of spices, Fred Czarra tracks the path of these fundamental ingredients from the trade routes of the ancient world to the McCormick’s brand’s contemporary domination of the global spice market.

...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (10) from $5.28   
  • New (4) from $9.05   
  • Used (6) from $5.28   
Sending request ...

Overview

The scent of oregano immediately conjures the comforts of Italian food, curry is synonymous with Indian flavor, and the fire of chili peppers ignites the cuisine of Latin America. Spices are often the overlooked essentials that define our greatest eating experiences. In this global history of spices, Fred Czarra tracks the path of these fundamental ingredients from the trade routes of the ancient world to the McCormick’s brand’s contemporary domination of the global spice market.

            Focusing on the five premier spices—black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and chili pepper—while also relating the story of many others along the way, Czarra describes how spices have been used in cooking throughout history and how their spread has influenced regional cuisines around the world. Chili peppers, for example, migrated west from the Americas with European sailors and spread rapidly in the Philippines and then to India and the rest of Asia, where the spice quickly became essential to local cuisines. The chili pepper also traveled west from India to Hungary, where it eventually became the national spice—paprika.

            Mixing a wide range of spice fact with fascinating spice fable—such as giant birds building nests of cinnamon—Czarra details how the spice trade opened up the first age of globalization, prompting a cross-cultural exchange of culinary technique and tradition. This savory spice history will enliven any dinner table conversation—and give that meal an unforgettable dash of something extra.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Mostly Food

"This is a voyage of exotic discovery that will tempt all food lovers. You’ll be transported to paradise islands where monstrous birds made their nests from cinnamon branches. Cloves were said to come from a hidden valley and were sold by genies. . . . The exploration for spices was the ancient world’s equivalent of sending a man to the moon, and Spices: A Global History is a riveting read."--Mostly Food.com

Asian Affairs

"A pocket-sized gem . . . Czarra's step by step guide to spices explaining the origins of spices, where they are grown and the many and various uses, aside from culinary, to which they are put is riveting."--Asian Affairs
Oxford Vegetarians
"This highly readable history of spices traces their origins in the ancient world through to the present day. As part of Reaktion Books’ Edible series this will appeal to anyone interested in the history of food . . . The history is engrossing . . . The book is also well illustrated with 58 different images, including 33 in colour. These include maps, paintings and detailed botanical drawings . . . This title and the entire Edible series are highly recommended."–Oxford Vegetarians
Mostly Food.com

"This is a voyage of exotic discovery that will tempt all food lovers. You’ll be transported to paradise islands where monstrous birds made their nests from cinnamon branches. Cloves were said to come from a hidden valley and were sold by genies. . . . The exploration for spices was the ancient world’s equivalent of sending a man to the moon, and Spices: A Global History is a riveting read."

Publishers Weekly
Though his subject is storied and complex, this workmanlike treatment from education and media writer Czarra is about as satisfying as Oliver Twist's gruel. Emphasizing facts and logistics at the expense of drama, Czarra offers a chronological study of global journeys taken by spices like cardamom, cinnamon and chili peppers. The result is more like a textbook than a culinary study; Czarra gets all the dates in but breezes by any number of human interest stories that could have made for much more compelling reading. While details regarding chili pepper use by Native Americans in 7,000 BC and ancient spice routes are interesting, far more instresting are asides on spice-based treatments used to cure Europeans' maladies and the incredible lore of little-known Chinese explorer Zheng He. Combined with a flat voice and rote delivery, this is a bland take on a subject that should be anything but. 40 color plates.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861894267
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/15/2009
  • Series: Edible Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 598,034
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

 Fred Czarra teaches at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. He has published widely in the field of education.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents


Introduction
Spices in the Ancient World
Spices in the Medieval World
The Age of Exploration
The Age of Industrialization
The Twentieth Century and Beyond
 
Glossary
Select Bibliography
Spice Companies
Acknowledgements
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)