"A handsome history-and-recipe-rich voyage around the ancient spice route."
Beautifully presented, Eleanor Ford's The Nutmeg Trail blends delicious recipes with fascinating spice-trading history and travel writing flair to concoct a book that’s informative, inspirational and bursting with wonderful ways to spice-up your menu.
“Using recipes as our maps, we are embarking on a culinary journey that weaves through history and halfway around the world, following the ancient maritime trade known as the spice routes”. The journey begins with an introductory A-Z spice library that’s invaluable, as are the flavour profiles detailing which spices are sweet and warming (like nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice), and which are hot, earthy, medicinal, fragrant and floral, and sour. And so the scene is set for a glorious gastronomic trip.
Each spread is a colourful delight, from the map displaying the origins of spices, to the elegant food photography. The chapters and recipes are organised by spice as the book follows the ancient spice route to present recipes from Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, and the Emirates. Ginger, for example, with its “rasping heat and woody notes” is represented by the likes of tangy Burmese ginger salad, salted chicken, and aphrodisiac greens, while black pepper (once known as “black gold”) features in recipes for Balinese green bean wraps, hot and tingly hand-pulled noodles, and sticky-sweet pepper pork. Meanwhile, chili adds fire to explosive gunpowder okra, Malaysian devil’s curry, and Kashmiri vindaloo. And, when you’re in the mood for something earthier (think cumin and turmeric), take your pick from curried udon noodles, or Indonesian spiced beef martabak.
With eighty recipes, all of them easy to follow and eminently achievable, and tonnes of tips on how to layer flavours, The Nutmeg Trail is a spicy slam-dunk of a book.
|Cookery, Food and Drink