The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz – review

The Library Journal

This impressive new reference is far more encompassing than its title may at first indicate, for in addition to herbs and spices, it covers not only extracts and essences but also such flavorings as oils and vinegars, garlic, sauces and condiments, edible flowers, and more.

The excellent full-color photographs of ingredients, particularly of less familiar ones used in ethnic cuisines, are invaluable, but there are also very useful step-by-step photos of various kitchen techniques. Ortiz is the author of highly regarded cookbooks on the cooking of the Caribbean, Spain and Portugal, and Latin America, among others, and here she includes almost 200 recipes from cuisines around the world.

Beautifully illustrated and packed with information not readily available elsewhere, this is an essential purchase.

My Review

I waited two weeks for this book with much anticipation. Herbs and spices are a big passion of mine and I knew the moment I saw this book listed, it was a keeper. I just had to have it. It finally arrived today! Boy was I right, this book is an amazing reference for herbs, spices and so much more.

On Amazon alone, this fabulous book is rated a 5 star with 51 customer reviews. But I didn’t have to look at the stats to know that The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings is more than a great reference book. It definitely lives up to its sideline: A Cook’s Compendium. Each herb or spice has a little history, info on how to cultivate and store, cooking tips plus a recipe. And to boot, there are exceptional full-color photographs on every page. No doubt, this is one of the best compendiums (collections) of herbs and spices for the culinary enthusiast.

Moreover, this incredible book is comprised of extracts and essences, flavorings like garlic or wasabi, edible leaves and flowers, sauces, condiments and near 200 recipes from around the world.

My only displeasure with the book is the lack of medicinal reference. To me, herbs and spices are for good health, healing and aromatic cuisine. Please know, this is a small complaint. I am an herbalist, and my expectations are high. This book is designed for cuisine and not medicinal reference.

The Amazon price was very reasonable. In fact, I paid more for shipping than I did for the actual book. If I had known the shipping was going to be so high, I would have ordered another book. But it was still worth the price. I bought the book used so I got a good deal. Plus it is in impeccable shape. A few pages bent slightly, that’s it.


Where to Buy

The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings


2 thoughts on “The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices, & Flavorings by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz – review

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