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A gourmet is a person who is knowledgeable in fine food and drink.

Books about Spices

Herbs and spices for creative cooking.

Herbs & Spices: The Cook's Reference

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The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings

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The SPICE Book

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The Contemporary Encyclopedia of Herbs and Spices : Seasonings for the Global Kitchen

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The Complete Book Of Sauces

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The Italian Baker

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A Busy Cook's Guide to Spices: How to Introduce New Flavors to Everyday Meals

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Mountains of Spices

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Vanilla : The Cultural History of the World's Favorite Flavor and Fragrance

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The Spice Garden

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Aroma : The Magic of Essential Oils in Foods and Fragrance

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The Soap Book: Simple Herbal Recipes

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Smoke & Spice: Cooking with Smoke, the Real Way to Barbecue

Barbecue is not about grilling food fast over high heat. That's something else, delicious in its own right, but something else entirely. Barbecue is about marginal cuts of meat (for the most part), about smoke, about fires burning so low and slow you hardly ever see the flicker of a flame. Barbecue is about succulent pork ribs as dark as sin just falling off the bone and dripping with glorious sweet pork godliness. Or enjoying the effects that 12 to 18 hours of smoking has on beef brisket.

The trick is, how do you do it? How do you master a cooking technique all but ignored in favor of fast and hot? The answer lies in Smoke & Spice. Authors Jamison and Jamison provide all the information you're ever going to need to run a real barbecue. Tips and techniques abound on every page--accompanied with countless recipes that stretch the barbecue imagination. And seeing that one cannot live on barbecue alone (though that's a challenge well worth considering) there are just as many recipes included for all the good food that accompanies barbecue--from Scalloped Green Chile Potatoes to South-of-the-Border Garlic Soup to Buttermilk Onion Rings and even Bourbon Peaches. If smoke in your eyes makes your mouth water, this is the primer for you! --Schuyler Ingle

Salt and Pepper : 135 Perfectly Seasoned Recipes

In Salt and Pepper, Michele Anna Jordan reminds us that salt is the spice of life: we cannot live without it. Pepper, on the other hand, is only a much enjoyed culinary pleasure.

Such bold statements are typical of Jordan, who writes with a strong voice. She is informative, challenging, opinionated, and poetic, giving us vivid images of places and flavors. She describes the delicate salt from the French Île de Ré as "salty jewels for the tongue to savor."

Jordan takes us to Malaysia, sharing how peppercorns are grown, harvested, and processed, and to Poland, where chandeliers now hang in their rock-salt mines. She explains how Lampong, Sarawak, and Malabar peppercorns differ, and compares the salt from O-shima Island in Japan to Lima and Sea Stars salts.

Finally, Jordan shares the ultimate mystery of salt--that no one yet understands exactly how and why it improves the taste of what we eat.

Jordan's food is elemental and intriguing. Spaghetti with Black Pepper and Nutmeg, Green Peppercorn Mayonnaise, and dozens of other recipes require only three to five ingredients. There are also wonderfully complex dishes, such as Pork Roast with Dried Plums and Black Pepper, spiked with smoky Chipotle chiles and orange zest; and Poached Meat Loaf with Peppercorns, zinged with mustard and aromatic with green peppercorns. Potato lovers must not miss the roasted Clay Pot Garlic Potatoes or her Onandaga Salt Potatoes--new potatoes boiled in heavily salted water. --Dana Jacobi

The Herbal Kitchen : Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor

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Big Flavors of the Hot Sun: Recipes and Techniques from the Spice Zone

From one searing national cuisine to the next.

The Edible Flower Garden (Edible Garden Series)

Author Rosalind Creasy has written extensively on edible gardens: The Edible Herb Garden and The Edible French Garden are some of her past titles. The Edible Flower Garden focuses on plants that not only enhance recipes, but also turn the plate into a painting--a visual as well as gastronomic enterprise. For the reader who thinks such things are only for true gourmets or Metropolitan Home magazine aesthetes, one look at the photographs in this book will seduce you. The images are so beautiful and unusual as to be hypnotic: rose petals served as a bowl of ice cream (Rose Petal Sorbet); salads that look like wildflower meadows.

Creasy interviews Alice Waters of Chez Panisse about her use of flowers in meals at her famous Berkeley restaurant; Waters recounts the curious effect cooking with flowers has on diners. "The flowers are a fascination. People really focus on them and are curious." This curiosity stems from a cluster of superstitions: that all flowers are somehow poisonous, that beautiful things should not be touched or consumed, that vegetables are the sturdy, useful plants while flowers are "for show." Reading The Edible Flower Garden, I remembered the summer I forgot to pick my artichokes, and they basked in the sun long after they were ripe. One day I looked out and it was as if a spell had been cast: the ugly green artichoke scales were gone, transformed into blinding purple flowers. Color is always hiding somewhere, and it is wonderful to allow it to flourish, like Creasy does, in places where it is not expected. --Emily White

Savoring Spices and Herbs: Recipe Secrets of Flavor, Aroma, and Color

In recent years, cooks in this country have enjoyed an unprecedented access to an entire world's worth of herbs and spices. A dozen years ago, for example, a Thai staple like lemon grass was practically unknown. Today, you can find it fresh in almost any good-sized grocery store in America. In her new book, Julie Sahni sets out to expand our awareness of the of the wealth of flavors that home cooks can use. Well-known for her Indian cooking, she has produced a book that will be valuable for novices and experts alike.

Onion: The Essential Cook's Guide to Onions, Garlic, Leeks, Scallions, Shallots and Chives

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The Herbs and Spices Cookbook: How to Make the Best of Herbs and Spices in Your Cooking

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The Olive Harvest Cookbook: Olive Oil Lore and Recipes from McEvoy Ranch

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The Book of Sauces (Book of...)

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Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices

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Heinerman's Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs & Spices

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The Spice Box: A Vegetarian Indian Cookbook (Vegetarian Cooking)

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CRC Handbook of Medicinal Spices

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Handbook of Spices, Seasonings and Flavorings

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200 Classic Sauces: Guaranteed Recipes for Every Occasion

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World Spice Plants : Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy

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The Spice is Right: Easy Indian Cooking for Today

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Herb Mixtures & Spicy Blends : Ethnic Flavorings, No-Salt Blends, Marinades/Dressings, Butters/Spreads, Dessert Mixtures, Teas/Mulling Spices

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Asian Flavors: Unlock Culinary Secrets With Spices, Sauces And Other Exotic Ingredients

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The Spice and Herb Bible: A Cook's Guide

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Flavored Oils: 50 Recipes for Cooking With Infused Oils

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Herbs and Spices for Florida Gardens: How to Grow and Enjoy Florida Plants with Special Uses

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