Pat Willard’s enticing exploration of the exotic spice saffron describes its journey from the ancient Sumerian kingdoms, Persia, and the island of Crete to the Pennsylvania Dutch in America. Through a beautiful blend of personal stories, myths, history, quotations, ancient remedies, and modern recipes, Willard takes us from Cleopatra’s bath to the medieval court of France and beyond. A practical guide to buying, using, and even growing saffron as well as a cookbook containing recipes ranging from Paella Valenica to Saffron Consommé, this magical account is perfect for anyone who has ever been teased by this seductive spice.
“A lovely appreciation . . . mixing modern recipes and ancient remedies with history, myth, and some dreamy prose. . . . A book worth savoring.”
-Kristin Eddy, Chicago Tribune
“Clear, crisp. . . . [Willard’s] insights on the role of food in history, and how its use can reveal profound truths about different cultures, are fresh and thought provoking.” —Patricia Fieldsteel, The New York Times
“An admiring account of an exotic spice with a long and varied history. . . . A charming little gift for an inquisitive cook.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A passionate account. . . . This beguiling book could transport you to foreign lands.” —Bonnie Walker, San Antonio Express-News