The Spices Of Life is a beautiful collection of spiced and seasoned recipes from Africa, Asia and Latin America. Filled with fabulous color photos of the spices, foods, and market vendors, this cookbook is also a history book, for it traces the influences and development of trade for spices in the introduction. The spice guide in the beginning also contains much interesting information about each spice, plus a color photo of the spice. Recipes are divided into Starters, Snacks and Soups, Main Courses; Vegetarian, Main Courses: Fish and Meat, Side Dishes, Chutneys and Sauces, and Desserts and Drinks, with a Glossary & Food Facts at the end. This book is the second of its kind by Troth Wells, following Global Vegetarian Cooking. Both books are representative of The New Internationalist magazine, which "aims to highlight major issues such as world food, aid, the environment, women, and the arms trade (foreword)." Thus, The Spices Of Life is not only a beautiful useful cookbook with world wide healthy recipes for spiced foods, it is also an education avenue with an underlying goal of helping those nations in need. Recipes are simply presented, with measurements given in both metric and non-metric measurements. Special explanations are given for unusual ingredients, with suggestions for where to obtain them, or sometimes possible substitutions. A helpful note at the bottom of every other page states that "in all recipes, pepper and salt are to taste, chili and sugar are given as guide quantities only, vary to taste, and measures for beans and grains refer to dry ingredients." The recipes themselves sound fabulous. There are recipes for Stuffed Bell Peppers (Middle East),Eggplants/Aubergines and Tomatoes (Syria), Sweet Potato Cake (Haiti), Groundnut/Peanut Stew with Fish (Sierra Leone), Rice with Tomatoes and Spinach (India), Sopa de Calabaza (Argentina), and many more. The recipes are simple enough to be accessible to most cooks, experienced or not. Best of all, while you are experimenting with cooking and sampling international cuisine and spices, you are contributing to a global sense of awareness and responsibility.
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