--THE MIRACLE OF SALT; recipes and techniques to preserve, ferment, and transform your food (Artisan, 2022, 400 pages, $57 hardbound) is by Naomi Duguid, writer, photographer, traveler and serious home cook. She specializes in nifty regional cookbooks that are also part travelogue (Burma, Taste of Persia), emphasizing flavours and techniques not generally known or used in the Western world. Her Burma and Persia books have won IACP Cookbook Awards for Culinary Travel, and the Persia book went on to garner the 2017 James Beard Award for Best Book of the Year, International. Earlier cookbooks have won Beards. It is beyond the scope of this "gift book" annotation to analyze her wide-ranging Salt book since she covers so much territory in her pursuit of umami, fermentation and preserved flavours. She does tie in recipes, research, storytelling and photography (about half of the photos here are by Duguid, while the others are by Richard Jung) as part of the culinary partnership. Historically she begins with classic fermentation as in sauerkraut, miso, butter, prosciutto, kimchi, pickles, basturma, brined eggs, and salt-preserved lemons. She creates a salt larder with blends of spices and salt, leading on to some salt-preserved flavouring such as soy sauce, fish sauce, pickled plums, salted anchovies, olives, dried shrimp, kimchi, salt pork and salt cod. The pace picks up with the recipes and actual use of salt-altered umami flavours in the prep of veggies, soups, mains, grains, pasta, meats, salads, and desserts, all chosen from global recipes carefully sourced from her travels. She concludes with some interesting material on salt geography and harvesting techniques, followed by an excellent glossary, extensive bibliography, and attractive index. A sure winner by a Canadian author, for Christmas gifting.
Dean Tudor, Prof Emeritus T'karonto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) School of JournalismTreasurer of Wine Writers' Circle of Canada http://www.deantudor.com