Sunday, March 18, 2007

Alice Arndt’s Seasoning Savvy

For this week’s herb blogging, I want just to excerpt some flavorful bits from the wonderful Alice Arndt’s Seasoning Savvy: How to Cook with Herbs, Spices and Flavorings. This exhaustively-researched book is densely packed information historical, botanical, and culinary for the most curious herb-enthusiasts.

On coconut:
Try coconut chips! In the
Caribbean, this easy-to make, satisfying snack food is a favorite with drinks. With a vegetable peeler or a food-processor, slice a piece of coconut meat, with or without the brown skin, into very thin strips, making them as long as possible. Bake the strips in a single layer [Oh, that sounds perfect for peysekh!]

On dill:
Dill is one of those generous plants that that supply us with both seed and leaf as seasonings, but when a recipe calls for just plain “dill,” you can be quite sure it means the leaves. The feathery leaves are also called “dillweed”—a libelous label for a refined flavor.

On rose water:
Rose water is intended to put a dish over the top in elegance and refined sensuality. Many Indian and Middle Eastern desserts are finished with a half teaspoon of rose water, and sugar syrup is frequently scented with this culinary perfume. Rose water is a popular flavor for lokum, the candy also called Turkish delight. The classic Persian combination od rose water and saffron is so luscious that it’s almost embarrassing.

On marigold:
Don’t stint with marigold petals in rice dishes: a quarter cup of chopped petals for each cup of rice is generally not excessive [I had no idea].

You will also want to have a look at Arndt’s magnum opus, Culinary Biographies.

Alice was herself so luscious that she was almost embarrassing, but she would somehow always put you at your ease.


Blogger Kalyn said...

Very interesting! I'm not quite sure about the marigolds though, and I haven't developed much of a taste for rosewater, but maybe I've picked bad places to try it. I do agree that to call dill leaves a weed is a form of libel.

11:56 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

You made my day, because I learnt a lot. Thanks! :)

8:19 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Alice was my cousin and I miss her every day. I was looking up Seasoning Savvy's publishing info for a friend and ran across your blog, I'm glad to see her so appreciated here.

2:55 PM  

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