A quirky deep-dive compendium of spices organized by scientific name and interspersed with full-page illustrations referencing "The Grammar of Ornament" by 19th-century design theorist Owen Jones. Many of the spices might be familiar to you, but author Caz Hildebrand ("The Geometry of Pasta") charts comprehensive information, and some entries are bound to surprise. Ground wattleseed for pavlova, thinly sliced zedoary for a marinade, a sprinkle of golpar and cinnamon for lentils. Add charoli — the tiny seeds of the almondette tree — to a custard flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, and rosewater for bread pudding. Hildebrand has plenty of cooking suggestions. The final section of "The Grammar of Spice" is a collection of spice blend recipes, from advieh to za’atar.
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