If you like to cook but aren't confident with all the different spices out there, this book by Sophie Grigson is the book for you. The book looks at each spice, its history and uses. Recipes are also included.
You may have seen the author on TV. She started out as a mathematician believe it or not but converted to the world of food. She is a prolific cookbook writer but this is the first of her books I have ever read.
The spices she talks about include: chillies, mustard seed, paprika, pepper, fenugreek, sumac, turmeric, coriander, cumin, juniper, ginger, saffron, caraway, fennel, star anise, nigella, poppy seed, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, nutmeg (& mace), vanilla and spice blends.
I found it really interesting and learned a lot. She does advise you to throw out ground spices once they've been opened more than 6 months – I must admit that seems a bit extravagant for me. I'd love to find a place where I could buy small quantities of really good quality spices.
This book has inspired me to think about scheduling a monthly post about different spices, herbs etc.