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Spices of Life, The
Piquant Recipes from Africa, Asia & Latin America
Troth Wells

8 1/2" x 8 1/2" • 176 pages • full color throughout
ISBN 9781566563932 • paperback • $17.95

Love potions, cures for toothache or flatulence, tasty flavoring - spices have been a pungent presence down the ages. Long before Peter Piper picked his peck of pickled pepper, the Queen of Sheba sent spices to King Solomon and Emperor Nero burned Rome's annual supply of cinnamon at his wife's funeral. It's hard to imagine how these berries, seeds and barks once unleashed ferocious passion in European adventurers who fought tooth and claw to control the spice trade, causing chaos in the lives of people in the South.

Spices still fascinate us... the way a pinch of chili powder zips a sober bean casserole into a hot experience-or how the scent of cinnamon wafting from a bakery triggers the appetite.

The Spices of Life brings over 100 delicious recipes from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East using favorite spices like cloves, nutmeg, chilies, and pepper, as well as some less familiar ones. It comes complete with a Spice Guide to introduce the flavorings and give advice on how to use them. With some of the brightest foods from around the world, The Spices of Life is a great way to pep up your cooking.

• Over 100 easy-to-follow recipes from around the world
• A brief note on foods, cultures or countries with each recipe
• Illustrated spice guide
• Food facts
• Full-color photographs
• History of spices
• Glossary of foods
• Clear step-by-step cooking method
• Recipes fully adapted for you to cook at home
• Vegetarian section as well as meat and fish


Media Reviews
"In The Spices of Life, Troth Wells combines unparalleled information on African, Asian and Latin American issues with recipes cleverly adapted for Western kitchens."
— Julie Christie

"An absolute essential in everybody's kitchen. The clichθ that variety is the spice of life becomes a truism as you wander through these wonderful pages."
— Glenda Jackson

"This book is rare in its breadth and careful detail, and the target audience is not simply the cook looking for new recipes. Wells writes for the spice lover, the student of ethnic cooking who wishes to explore less studied cuisines, and even the sociologist examining relationships among cultures, their foods, their spice trades, and the forces that act upon them all. The color photographs -- of regional vendors, native cooks, farmers or children working in the fields -- are artfully composed and intelligent in subject choice. Mostly by Amedeo Vergani, with many by Wells, they are visual essays in themselves. With the folk art on each double-page spread, this cookbook might also be studied as art."
— Foreword Magazine

“'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 worldwide 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 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.”
— Midwest Book Review



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