Tag Archives for " World "

January 9, 2016

Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World

Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World

For centuries herbs and spices have been an integral part of many of the world’s great cuisines. But spices have a history of doing much more than adding life to bland foods. They have been the inspiration for, among other things, trade, exploration, and poetry. Priests employed them in worship, incantations, and rituals, and shamans used them as charms to ward off evil spirits. Nations fought over access to and monopoly of certain spices, like cinnamon and nutmeg, when they were rare commodities. Not only were many men’s fortunes made in the pursuit of spices, spices at many periods throughout history literally served as currency.

Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World

In Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World, Ben-Erik van Wyk offers the first fully illustrated, scientific guide to nearly all commercial herbs and spices in existence. Van Wyk covers more than 150 species—from black pepper and blackcurrant to white mustard and white ginger—detailing the propagation, cultivation, and culinary uses of each. Introductory chapters capture the essence of culinary traditions, traditional herb and spice mixtures, preservation, presentation, and the chemistry of flavors, and individual entries include the chemical compounds and structures responsible for each spice or herb’s characteristic flavor. Many of the herbs and spices van Wyk covers are familiar fixtures in our own spice racks, but a few—especially thse from Africa and China—will be introduced for the first time to American audiences. Van Wyk also offers a global view of the most famous use or signature dish for each herb or spice, satisfying the gourmand’s curiosity for more information about new dishes from little-known culinary traditions.
People all over the world are becoming more sophisticated and demanding about what they eat and how it is prepared. Culinary Herbs and Spices of the World will appeal to those inquisitive foodies in addition to gardeners and botanists.
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Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Wurzelpetersilie_Wurzel

Root parsley, by MarkusHagenlocher.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

http://eatbetterherbs.com/category/basil/

 

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Mintjelly

Jar of mint jelly, a traditional condiment served with lamb dishes. Photo by Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

thyme-flowers

Thyme by Greenmars.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.
Warning: Avoid using Thyme if you are pregnant.

Rosemary

This lovely culinary herb has a strong but pleasant flavour. It enhances the flavour of many dishes such as strong tasting fish and some meat dishes but goes especially well with lamb and also tastes good with strong flavoured vegetables.

Rosmarinus_officinalis

Flowering rosemary, by geishaboy500.

Rosemary is also used as a flavouring for jams and jellies.

Rosemary is recognisable by its silver leaves, delicate light blue flowers and strong aromatic scent. Warning: Do not use Rosemary if you suffer from epilepsy or have a heart condition.

Sage

Sage has a powerful flavour but when used carefully it enhances the flavour of many foods, such as meat dishes, tomato-based sauces, salads and cheese dishes. Sage is most famous as a traditional stuffing for pork, turkey or goose.

There are several varieties of sage and all can be used for culinary purposes. Sage leaves can be used whole in many dishes and the young leaves can be used in green salads.

Sage is used worldwide as a flavouring herb and is among the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. Sage is recognisable by its aromatic scent and blue or lilac flowers.

Sage is used worldwide as a flavouring herb and is among the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. Sage is recognisable by its aromatic scent and blue or lilac flowers.

Salvia_officinalis

Sage leaves, by Jonathunder.

 

The sheer enjoyment of eating meals flavoured with wonderful aromatic culinary herbs awaits you.

by Magdalene R Braithwaite.

 

BAKER CREEK HEIRLOOM SEEDS

AMERICA’S TOP SOURCE FOR PURE HEIRLOOM SEEDS

http://www.rareseeds.com/store/herbs/

 

 

The History Of Coffee

Uncommon Grounds: The History Of Coffee
And How It Transformed Our World

Uncommon Grounds: The History Of Coffee And How It Transformed Our World

Uncommon Grounds tells the story of coffee from its discovery on a hill in Abyssinia to its role in intrigue in the American colonies to its rise as a national consumer product in the twentieth century and its rediscovery with the advent of Starbucks at the end of the century. A panoramic epic, Uncommon Grounds uses coffee production, trade, and consumption as a window through which to view broad historical themes: the clash and blending of cultures, the rise of marketing and the “national brand,” assembly line mass production, and urbanization. Coffeehouses have provided places to plan revolutions, write poetry, do business, and meet friends. The coffee industry has dominated and molded the economy, politics, and social structure of entire countries.Mark Pendergrast introduces the reader to an eccentric cast of characters, all of them with a passion for the golden bean. Uncommon Grounds is nothing less than a coffee-flavored history of the world.

Since its discovery in an Ethiopian rainforest centuries ago, coffee has brewed up a rich and troubled history, according to Uncommon Grounds, a sweeping book by business writer Mark Pendergrast. Over the years, the beverage has fomented revolution, spurred deforestation, enriched a few while impoverishing the many, and addicted millions with its psychoactive caffeine. Coffee is now the world’s second most valuable legal commodity, behind oil, according to Pendergrast, who is also author of For God, Country, and Coca-Cola.

“A good cup of coffee can turn the worst day tolerable, can provide an all-important moment of contemplation, can rekindle a romance,” he writes. “And yet, poetic as its taste may be, coffee’s history is rife with controversy and politics.” For example, coffee bankrolled Idi Amin’s genocidal regime in Uganda and the Sandinistas’ revolution in Nicaragua. Uncommon Grounds provides some fascinating tidbits. Did you know that coffeehouses helped spawn the French and American revolutions? Or that coffee supplanted alcohol as a favorite breakfast drink in Britain in the late 1600s, and later became a patriotic American beverage after the Boston Tea Party? Pendergrast also details the rise and fall of regional coffee brands in the United States, the role of advertising in the industry, the global economic impact of coffee prices, and the recent emergence of specialty-coffee retailers–Starbucks, for example. Finally, he explores the social and environmental ramifications of coffee and highlights recent attempts to encourage a livable wage and environmental protection in coffee-producing nations such as Brazil. Pendergrast also includes an appendix on “how to brew the perfect cup.” This wide-ranging book is a good read for those curious about the history and context behind that morning cup of coffee, as well as for those strictly interested in the business side of the industry. –Dan Ring

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Valentus SlimRoast Coffee

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Robin Robertson’s Vegan Without Borders: Easy Everyday Meals from Around the World

Vegan Without Borders: Easy Everyday Meals from Around the World

Robin Robertson's Vegan Without Borders: Easy Everyday Meals from Around the World

 Robin Robertson’s Vegan Without Borders shows how to make culinary borders disappear when you cook with plant-based ingredients as Robin shares her favorite recipes from around the world.

Vegan Without Borders shares Robin Robertson’s favorite dishes from the great cuisines of the world and shows how cooking vegan makes borders disappear. Whether the recipe hails from Ecuador or Ethiopia, these plant-based dishes invite you to travel the culinary world and sample 150 of Robin’s all-time favorites. This mini-immersion into global cooking also reveals that many international cuisines are naturally free of the meat-and-potatoes constraints of the typical Standard American Diet (SAD), and food-loving vegans will delight at the dishes Robin places on her table at home.
The recipes are healthy and accessible but without compromising on flavor. The pastiche of plant-based delights are organized by country or region of the world, making it easy to prepare a single recipe or to put courses together for a complete meal in a particular cuisine. The recipes include family-style comfort foods, global ethnic favorites, and creative new dishes inspired by the classics, all developed to satisfy a variety of mealtime desires. The result is a bounty of mouthwatering recipes that span the globe, representing the cooking traditions of more than twenty different countries of Europe, the Americas, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Asia. Recipes include:

 

  • Polenta Rustica with Kale and Bean Ragout
  • Potato Gratin Dauphinoise
  • Baked Eggplant Fries with Tzatziki Sauce
  • Chickpea Nuggets with Buffalo Barbecue Ranch Sauce
  • Blue Ribbon Chocolate Cake
  • Mojito Sweet Potatoes
  • Melon Paletas
  • Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower
  • Lemongrass Coconut Rice
  • Red-Cooked Tempeh
  • Sizzling Saigon Crepes
  • Bangkok Street Cart Noodles
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