Spices: A Global History

Fred Czarra, Author Reaktion Books $15.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-86189-426-7
Though his subject is storied and complex, this workmanlike treatment from education and media writer Czarra is about as satisfying as Oliver Twist's gruel. Emphasizing facts and logistics at the expense of drama, Czarra offers a chronological study of global journeys taken by spices like cardamom, cinnamon and chili peppers. The result is more like a textbook than a culinary study; Czarra gets all the dates in but breezes by any number of human interest stories that could have made for much more compelling reading. While details regarding chili pepper use by Native Americans in 7,000 BC and ancient spice routes are interesting, far more instresting are asides on spice-based treatments used to cure Europeans' maladies and the incredible lore of little-known Chinese explorer Zheng He. Combined with a flat voice and rote delivery, this is a bland take on a subject that should be anything but. 40 color plates.
Reviewed on: 03/30/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Show other formats
Book - 178 pages - 978-1-86189-682-7
Open Ebook - 176 pages - 978-1-282-70037-6
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.