How wars were once fought over spices – cookbook looks at history and modern uses of all things aromatic

Susan Jung:

“They have played an important role in health, adding healing properties to medicines, and they have been used to give scent to perfumes. A study of Ayurvedic practices in India gives an understanding of how spices can work for the well-being of the body. Such beliefs and practices are becom­ing widely accepted in Western society’s search for a healthy diet and sense of wellness.”

But, she admits, the use of spices was slow to catch on in Australia.

“Until recent times, Australian cooking in general has had very little to do with spice. In the formative years of white settlement in this country, diet and eating habits were entirely inappropri­ate to resources, climate and lifestyle.”