There are few people as enthused by spices as Ethné and Philippe de Vienne. The couple has spent the last two decades traveling the world in search of spices to satisfy their exploratory palettes. And more than that, they wanted the inside scoop from the spice traders, chefs and cooks who know these special ingredients best; they wanted a set of guidelines that would help them to be truly inventive spice chefs on their own. Now, the duo is passing their secrets along in the ultimate cookbook, "The Golden Rules of Spices"—world's best spices included.
The duo pursued dozens of local traders and lifelong cooks from countries around the world to compile a collection of six spices, 20 spice blends and 60 recipes. Consequently, "The Golden Rules of Spices" is much more than the average cookbook. Flipping through its pages and sniffing each blend is an experience as scholastic as it is exciting. Following Ethné and Philippe's four golden rules will help you differentiate between taste and flavor and, most importantly, learn that there's much more to completing a dish than adding a pinch of salt.
With this book and spice kit in hand, the options are just about endless. The couple breaks the spices down into five different taste categories and, from there, you can make any recipe into much more by altering which spice blend you use. Essentially, with 10 sweet spice blends and 10 recipes that call for sweetness, you've got 100 dishes at your finger tips. For "The Golden Rules of Spices," experimentation is required—but you won't get lost with Ethné and Philippe's expert guidance. In no time, you'll be braising pork fillets with the same spice blend you add to your apple pies, no questions asked.
Soon you'll be able to grind and prep spice blends of your own using Ethné and Philippe's easy-to-follow instructions. And if you fall into spice addiction, follow the adventurous couple on Spice Trekkers for just about everything there is to know on the subject. "The Golden Rules of Spices"—spices, blends, recipes and all—is available from their website for $45.
Images by Lauren Espeseth