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Southern Hemisphere (you can see more

info here HIs

mother, Rosemary Hemphill was the first

Australian to have a book published on

herbs and spices in 1959. Her later book,

The Penguin Book of Herbs and Spices

was on the Penguin 'Must Stock" list for

over 12 years and in the UK and Australia

sold over 300,000 copies. Hemphill's

daughter and contributor to the book

is Kate Hempill, a trained chef who has

worked as a home economist, food

stylist, recipe writer and cookery teacher

and who resides in London.

The latest edition of his book (the

revised 3rd edition) is an authoritative

guide, describing a wide range of global

herbs and spices used in our kitchens

daily. He demystifies the art of combining

herbs and spices, and introduces a

world of flavours featuring six new spice

entries, bringing the total number of

entries up to 97. Within its pages are

33 new curry spice blends and 17 new

spice blends. The spices and herbs

are listed alphabetically, and there is a

detailed colour photo of them, including

comprehensive information on storing

and using each herb and spice. There are

also102 new recipes.

The heat is on

Hemphill says, "When it comes to fast,

economical and easy to prepare meals,

my position is that people should be

encouraged to add herbs and spices to

the kinds of meals they are comfortable

with making. All meals made with natural,

unprocessed foods and using minimal

amounts of salt and sugar, can taste great

and be satisfying with a little spice. There

are many easy and delicious recipes such

as vegetarian sambar, Puttanesca pasta,

grilled chicken satay, Ras el Hanout

chicken or spicy fried cauliflower - recipes

for which are inside the Spice and Herb


He also notes that it can take time to

really find your feet with spice combinations.

"Be prepared to experiment," he advises,

"It helps if you start with a recipe or have

some guidance as to the quantity to use.

Don't just buy the cheapest spices you

can get, as in most cases you get what

you pay for and cheap spices are often

old, may be contaminated with allergens

or worse, adulterated with fillers, so buy

small quantities regularly. Spices that are

not used regularly or in large quantities,

or have very strong flavours - cloves for

example -- are best purchased whole

and then ground in a mortar with a pestle

when required. As spices and dried herbs

get their flavours from the volatile oils that

are contained within the cell structure of

the material, whole ones last longest --

about three years. Once ground, a spice

only retains its optimum flavour for about

one year."

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