By Michele Anna Jordan
"We like cookbooks like Salt & Pepper that give us useful information and fresh understanding, as well as recipes. We read the book cover to cover and it made us, as it will make all readers, newly attentive to the culinary versatility and the many tastes of salt and pepper." ...Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid, authors of Flatbreads and Flavors and Seductions of Rice.
"It amazes me that so little has been written about the two foods we eat most often. Here is a book that tells us about these two ingredients-one essential to life, the other to the flavor of almost everything we eat. Now that there are so many varieties of salt and pepper available, each with its own subtle nuances, a book like Ms. Jordan's is long overdue. Salt & Pepper is packed full of information, and it's a delightful read." ...James Peterson, author of Fish and Shellfish and Vegetables.
"For decades, salt has been our demon lover, our secret culinary paramour, the kinky pleasure we pretend not to crave. But it's a ruse.... The story of salt and our craving for it is inseparable from human history.... Salt's culinary spouse [pepper] is expendable, entirely unnecessary... a gift, a luxury that we have come to take utterly for granted." ...from Salt & Pepper.
In modern cuisine, "saltandpepper" is nearly a single word—a necessary, if thoughtless, element of every meal. How did these ingredients, once so precious they were each traded, ounce for ounce, for gold, become so commonplace? Michele Anna Jordan's Salt & Pepper tells the complete story of the world's most essential and most enchanting seasonings.
Salt & Pepper's 135 recipes illustrate the remarkable ability of salt and pepper to transform foods and make their flavors blossom. Jordan explains the classic cooking techniques of salt curing, brining, preserving, and roasting in salt crusts and doughs, and explores the traditional spice blends from countries such as France, Japan, and Malaysia, that depend upon black pepper for their character. Recipes showcase when to use a special condiment salt—Hawaiian alae salt with Kalua Pork, for example, or grains of Celtic gray salt scattered over summer tomatoes—and when common sense should lead you to a less exotic choice. Perhaps most importantly, Jordan explains how to use salt to build flavor as you cook. From Black Pepper Soup, Onandaga Salt Potatoes, and Steak au Poivre to Grilled Corn with Pepper Butter and Roasted Strawberries with Black Pepper, Jordan's robust-and perfectly seasoned-recipes will spice up your cooking repertoire.
With her signature flair and passion for storytelling, Jordan's narrative explores the history, lore, and production of the world's salts and peppers. She sorts through the astonishing and confusing array of salts and peppers now on our market shelves, and offers simple, clear guidelines in helpful usage charts, a comprehensive glossary, and a resource guide.
In the last two years, salt and pepper have taken the center of the culinary stage. Now, Salt & Pepper pays tribute to them with a long-overdue, thorough, and fascinating exploration of the essential ingredients we all take for granted.
Salt & Pepper
135 Perfectly Seasoned Recipes
By Michele Anna Jordan
Hardback, $25.00, April 1999
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created July 1999
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