Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Spice Apothecary: Blending and Using Common Spices for Everyday Health

Spice Apothecary is a tutorial and introduction to the uses and active ingredients in several common herbs and spices. Due out 23rd June from Storey Publishing, it's 175 pages and will be available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook formats.

Storey is well known for producing practical, sensible, well illustrated books aimed at helping readers get the best out of their lives and live a healthy lifestyle.  Many of their books and leaflets have found a permanent place in my library and I turn to them often for inspiration and advice. This is a well written collection of precise and accessible tutorials with lots (LOTS) of recipes for utilizing the active ingredients in spices and herbs to enhance and support the immune system and general health.

This is a beautifully presented book, well written and photographed. The recipes are interesting and (mostly) made with easily sourced ingredients. The introduction covers the history and a little scientifically accurate and layman accessible explanation of the history and uses of different spices. The equipment chapter also gives a good overview on equipment and supplies which will make life a lot easier. Scattered throughout the book are highlights and essays written about different herbalists with information and background on diverse topics such as why medicinal plants are effective, how to utilize them to maximize effect, and where they come from and some history of the spice trade.

It would make a good basic introduction to herbalism for readers exploring the uses of various herbs. There is little info here for more advanced students. The recipes have their ingredients listed bullet style in a sidebar. The headers include a description and introduction. Special notes such as vegan friendly are listed in the introduction. Measurements are given in US standard only (there is a metric conversion chart at the end of the book). Special tools (mortar/pestle) and ingredients are also listed, along with yields and processing and dosage directions. Most of the ingredients are easily sourced at any moderately well stocked grocery store (some items will need a specialist co-op or world-food/specialist grocery). Nutritional information is not included.  Variations for each recipe are also included in a footer at the end. The book also includes an index as well as references and a suppliers list (slanted toward North American readers, but readers located elsewhere will have no trouble locating supplies online). 

Four stars, absolutely gorgeous book, but -very- basic information.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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