Notecard with envelope. Stylish illustartions from the book The Grammar of Spice.
Even the most enthusiastic cooks and food lovers have jars of dusty powders inhabiting kitchen cabinets long past their expiration dates. We often don't know much about them, where they come from, or how to use them. And yet, spices can elevate the everyday act of making and consuming food to a higher plane of experience.
Spices have played an intrinsic part in the human story, running through history, geography, anthropology, politics, religion, culture, art, and design. From alligator pepper seeds, which in the Yoruba culture are given to newborn babies to taste a few minutes after birth, to charoli seeds, which are used in traditional Indian desserts eaten during the festival of Holi, and caraway seeds, which were added to medieval love potions, each spice has its own significance in the lives of the people who use it.