The best books to spice up your shelves

Who am I?

In my writing, food is a means to explore culture and understand the world. I’ve been described as a ‘culinary detective’. I collect and create eclectic, evocative recipes from around the globe so I can travel from my kitchen when I'm back home in London. The Nutmeg Trail follows my multi-award-winning books, Fire Islands and Samarkand.


I wrote...

The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Stories Along the Ancient Spice Routes

By Eleanor Ford,

Book cover of The Nutmeg Trail: Recipes and Stories Along the Ancient Spice Routes

What is my book about?

Recipes and stories explore how centuries of spice trading and cultural diffusion changed the world's cuisine. A unique and enlightening guide to cooking with spice, the book looks at their flavour profiles and how they can be used, combined, and layered - how some bring sweetness, others fragrance, heat, pungency, sourness, or earthiness.

There are 80 spice-infused recipes in this collection following the trails of ancient maritime trade through Indonesia, Malaysia, China, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, Iran, and the Emirates. Eleanor combines historical research with a travel writer's eye and a cook's nose for a memorable recipe. Interwoven are stories that explore how spices from across the Indian Ocean - the original cradle of spice - have, over time, been adopted into cuisines around the world.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Spice Route: A History

Eleanor Ford Why did I love this book?

With a scholarly eye for detail, Keaye explores the history of the spice routes. The trade is at once mysterious and hard to trace yet also world-encompassing. It started more wars and sparked more discoveries than any other global exchange.  This book elegantly covers over 3,000 years of human history and leaves the reader with much to think about. 

By John Keay,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spice Route as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An exotic saga with the tang of drama in every voyage, The Spice Route transports the reader from the dawn of history to the ends of the earth The Spice Route is one of history's great anomalies. Shrouded in mystery, it existed long before anyone knew of its extent or alignment. Spices came from lands unseen, possibly uninhabitable, and almost by definition unattainable; that was what made them so desirable. Yet more livelihoods depended on this pungent traffic, more nations participated in it, more wars were fought over it, and more discoveries resulted from it than from any other global…


Book cover of The Science of Spice: Understand Flavor Connections and Revolutionize Your Cooking

Eleanor Ford Why did I love this book?

Farimond offers a unique way of looking at the chemistry behind the ingredients, arranging spices in a periodic table based on their dominant flavour compound. I love the pages comparing flavour profiles of different world cuisines. Curious cooks can learn how to choose, use, and pair spices to bring out their full potency.

By Stuart Farrimond,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Science of Spice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Transform your dishes from bland and boring to punchy and flavorsome with this definitive guide to spices.

It's time to spice up your home cooking!

Taking the periodic table of spices as a starting point, this adventurous recipe book explores the science behind the art of making incredible spice blends to help you release the flavor in your dishes. Discover a spice book like no other from TV personality, food scientist and bestselling author, Dr Stuart Farrimond.

Sure to get your tastebuds tingling, you can explore:

- 52 exciting recipes from around the world which showcase each spice blend
-…


Book cover of Pepper

Eleanor Ford Why did I love this book?

McFadden zooms in on a single spice. She has researched the subject in-depth, exploring the history, botany, and culinary potential of peppercorns and their spicy relatives. Half the book features peppery recipes (do try the fresh green peppercorn pickle) and, for me, the peppercorn tasting notes are a particular pleasure. 

By Christine McFadden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pepper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Nathaniel's Nutmeg: Or, the True and Incredible Adventures of the Spice Trader Who Changed the Course of History

Eleanor Ford Why did I love this book?

Delving into the bloodiest and most tragic period of spice’s past, Milton’s novel reveals the extraordinary link between nutmeg and colonisation. It was the seed from which the British Empire grew. If fiction is your preferred way to explore history – and what a history spice has! – then this is the book for you.

By Giles Milton,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Nathaniel's Nutmeg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A true tale of high adventure in the South Seas.

The tiny island of Run is an insignificant speck in the Indonesian archipelago. Just two miles long and half a mile wide, it is remote, tranquil, and, these days, largely ignored.

Yet 370 years ago, Run's harvest of nutmeg (a pound of which yielded a 3,200 percent profit by the time it arrived in England) turned it into the most lucrative of the Spice Islands, precipitating a battle between the all-powerful Dutch East India Company and the British Crown. The outcome of the fighting was one of the most spectacular…


Book cover of Spice: The History of a Temptation

Eleanor Ford Why did I love this book?

A compelling exploration by Turner into what made spices so fashionable and so dangerous. “For their sake, fortunes have been made and lost, empires built and destroyed, and new worlds discovered” all to sate human infatuation with these ingredients. I was swept away by Turner’s erudite approach to spice history and his work has been an inspiration to me.

By Jack Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this brilliant, engrossing work, Jack Turner explores an era—from ancient times through the Renaissance—when what we now consider common condiments were valued in gold and blood.

Spices made sour medieval wines palatable, camouflaged the smell of corpses, and served as wedding night aphrodisiacs. Indispensible for cooking, medicine, worship, and the arts of love, they were thought to have magical properties and were so valuable that they were often kept under lock and key. For some, spices represented Paradise, for others, the road to perdition, but they were potent symbols of wealth and power, and the wish to possess them…


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The Squiggly Line Career: How Changing Professions Can Advance a Career in Unexpected Ways

By Angela Champ,

Book cover of The Squiggly Line Career: How Changing Professions Can Advance a Career in Unexpected Ways

Angela Champ Author Of The Squiggly Line Career: How Changing Professions Can Advance a Career in Unexpected Ways

New book alert!

Who am I?

Although I’ve worked in many professions and industries, a common theme in all my jobs is that I love helping people succeed in their careers. I’ve started or sponsored employee networks that focused on professional development, I’m a certified coach that focuses on propelling a client’s career, and I am a conference keynote speaker on the topics of careers and leadership. Everyone deserves to have a great career that makes them want to jump out of bed on Monday morning and that provides a good living and lifestyle. I love to make that happen!

Angela's book list on accelerating your career

What is my book about?

When we're children, we're asked what we want to be when we grow up. But what if there isn't just one career for us in our lifetime? What if we can have a squiggly line career that spans professions and industries?

This book will guide job seekers on the traits and tactics needed to change professions, and show hiring professionals how to find candidates with the skills to do the job!

The Squiggly Line Career: How Changing Professions Can Advance a Career in Unexpected Ways

By Angela Champ,

What is this book about?

When we are children, people ask us what we want to be when we grow up. The question elicits all sorts of dreams as a kid - "I want to be a ballerina" or "a firefighter" or "an astronaut." It becomes daunting as we grow up and start feeling pressured to make a choice that could affect the rest of our lives. What if we're not meant to follow just one path but, rather, pursue a squiggly line career that moves us across professions and industries? Filled with examples of real life squiggly line careers and interactive exercises, this book…


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5 book lists we think you will like!

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