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The Grammar of Spice

Caz Hildebrand


A stylishly illustrated compendium of over sixty spices, brilliantly designed by the bestselling author of Herbarium

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Spices have played an intrinsic part in the human story, running through history, geography, anthropology, politics, religion, culture, art and design. From alligator pepper seeds which, in the Yoruba culture, are given to newborn babies to taste a few minutes after birth, to charoli seeds, which are used in traditional Indian sweets eaten during the festival of Holi, and caraway seeds, which were added to medieval love potions, each spice has its own significance in the lives of the people who use it. The story of spice is really the stories of human relationships, from growers and traders to cooks and explorers, all starting with a tiny seed.

The Grammar of Spice is one of the world’s missing books. It will change the way we understand spices and the role they play in defining not only our food but also our place in the world. The essence of each spice is explored in a brief history peppered with interesting anecdotes and tips, and accompanied by reproductions of surface decoration from Owen Jones’s original book, The Grammar of Ornament. The book is beautiful to look at and hold, packed with well-researched material, and will change the way a generation appreciates the incredible world of flavours and tastes that spices open up to us.

A BBC Culture Book of the Year

An International New York Times Food Book of the Year

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'As much a visual feast as it is an opportunity to gorge on history, dream up flavour combinations and expand your knowledge … each spice has its story, opposite exquisite illustrations and designs. Beautiful'
Delicious Magazine

Vegetarian Living

'Spices and abstract geometrical patterns are a surprisingly perfect pairing in this visually stunning and informative book'
The Lady

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 24.6 x 17.5 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 100

Publication date: 14 September 2017

ISBN: 9780500519677

About the Author

Caz Hildebrand is one of the Creative Partners at Here Design. She is the award-winning designer of sumptuous best-selling cookbooks by Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi and Sam and Sam Clark of Moro. In 2010 Caz created The Geometry of Pasta with leading chef Jacob Kenedy of London’s Bocca di Lupo, revealing the secrets of eating the authentic Italian way. Her book Herbarium was published by Thames & Hudson in 2016.

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