Dangerous Tastes by Andrew Dalby
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Dangerous Tastes
By Andrew Dalby

Dangerous Tastes

The Story of Spices

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Format: Paperback

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Dangerous Tastes by Andrew Dalby

Book Description

Spices and aromaticsthe powerful, pleasurable, sensual ingredients used in foods, drinks, scented oils, perfumes, cosmetics, and drugshave long been some of the most sought-after substances in the course of human history. In various forms, spices have served as appetizers, digestives, antiseptics, therapeutics, tonics, and aphrodisiacs. "Dangerous Tastes" explores the captivating history of spices and aromatics: the fascination that they have aroused in us, and the roads and seaways by which trade in spices has gradually grown. Andrew Dalby, who has gathered information from sources in many languages, explores each spice, interweaving its general history with the story of its discovery and various uses. Dalby concentrates on traditional spices that are still part of world trade: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, saffron, and chili. He also discusses aromatics that are now little used in food but still belong to the spice trade and to traditional medicine: frankincense, myrrh, aloes-wood, balsam of Mecca. In addition, Dalby considers spices that were once important but that now are almost forgotten: long pepper, cubebs, grains of Paradise. "Dangerous Tastes" relates how the Aztecs, who enjoyed drinking hot chocolate flavored with chili and vanilla, sometimes added annatto (a red dye) to the drink. This not only contributed to the flavor but colored the drinker's mouth red, a reminder that drinking cacao was, in Aztec thought, parallel with drinking blood. In the section on ambergris, Dalby tells how different cultures explained the origin of this substance: Arabs and Persians variously thought of it as solidified sea spray, a resin that sprung from the depths of the sea, or a fungus that grows on the sea bed as truffles grow on the roots of trees. Some Chinese believed it was the spittle of sleeping dragons. Dalby has assembled a wealth of absorbing information into a fertile human history that spreads outward with the expansion of human knowledge of spices worldwide."

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780520236745
ISBN-10: 0520236742
Format: Paperback
(241mm x 171mm x 15mm)
Pages: 184
Imprint: University of California Press
Publisher: University of California Press
Publish Date: 31-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Andrew Dalby

Breakfast Book by Andrew Dalby Breakfast Book, Paperback (July 2015)

The most important meal of the day is also one of the most diverse. While we know that you drink tea with your eggs and bacon in Britain and hot chocolate with churros in Spain, we don't know how breakfast came to be. The Breakfast Book collects stories from around the world in an attempt to pin down the mottled history of eating in the morning.

Shakespeare Cookbook by Andrew Dalby Shakespeare Cookbook, Paperback (July 2012)

Shakespeare's working life, from about 1590 to 1615, was not only a period of rich activity on the London stage, but also one of prolific writing and publishing about food. This book explores the plays alongside contemporary recipes to offer insight into daily life and gastronomy in Shakespeare's London.

Classical Cookbook by Andrew Dalby Classical Cookbook, Paperback (May 2012)

Features a collection of recipes from every strata of classical civilization, all accessible to the contemporary cook. This book can prove that we can still enjoy Terrine of Asparagus, Sweet Wine Cakes, Olive Relish or even Toronaean Shark. It offers adaptations of 49 sumptuous dishes.

» View all books by Andrew Dalby


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Author Biography - Andrew Dalby

Andrew Dalby is a historian and linguist and has written for numerous food history and classics journals. Among his books are "Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World" (2000), "The Classical Cookbook" (with Sally Grainger, 1996), and "Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in Greece" (1996).

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Recent books by Andrew Dalby close
Breakfast Book by Andrew Dalby
Food in the Ancient World from A to Z by Andrew Dalby
Breakfast Book by Andrew Dalby
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Dangerous Tastes by Andrew Dalby
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Classical Cookbook by Andrew Dalby
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