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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise



Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.


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Thai Herbs
by Tourism Authority of Thai

Many herbs and spices used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties. Herewith are some examples.

James Blakeway - London England
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Thai Herbs

Tourism Authority of Thailand

Many herbs and spices used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties. Herewith are some examples.

Chilli

Chilli: "Phrik" in Thai

Chilli is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavouring in Thai dishes. There are many different species. All contain capsaicin, a biologically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. Other therapeutic uses include being a stomachic, carminative and antiflatulence agent, and digestant.

Yi-ra

Cumin: "Yi-ra" in Thai

Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains a 2-4% volatile oil with a pungent odour, and which is used as a flavouring and condiment. Cumin's therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.

Garlic

Garlic: "Kra-thiam" in Thai

Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain a 0.1-0.36% garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as an antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, antiflatulence and cholesterol lowering agents.

Ginger

Ginger: "Khing" in Thai

Ginger is an erect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice. Ginger's rhizomes contain a 1-2% volatile oil. Ginger's therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant and antiflatulence agent.

Kha

Galanga: "Kha" in Thai

Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agents.

Maeng-lak

Hoary Basil: "Maeng-lak" in Thai

Hoary Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavouring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.

Ma-krut

Kafffir: "Ma-krut" in Thai

The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavouring in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain a volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetiser.

Kra-chai

(No Common English Name): Krachai inThai 

This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow-brown roots, is used as a flavouring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil. The plant has stomachache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and antiflatulence agent.

Ta-khrai

Lemon Grass: "Ta-khrai" in Thai

This erect annual plant resembles a coarse grey-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as flavouring. Lemongrass contains a 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diurectic, emmanagogue, antiflatulence, antiflu and antimicrobial agent.

Ma-nao

Lime: "Ma-nao" in Thai

Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin , scientifically proven antiinflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetiser, and has antitussive, antiflu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.

Sa-ra

Marsh Mint: "Sa-ra-nae" in Thai

The fresh leaves of this herbaceous plant are used as a flavouring and eaten raw in Thai cuisine. Volatile oil contents give the plant several therapeutic uses, including carminative, mild antiseptic, local anaesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant properties.

Pepper

Pepper: "Phrik-Thai" in Thai

Pepper is a branching, perennial climbing plant from whose fruiting spikes both white and black pepper are obtained. Used as a spice and condiment, pepper contains a 2-4% volatile oil. Therapeutic uses are as carminative, antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic agents.

Ka-phrao

Sacred Basil: "Ka-phrao" in Thai

Sacred Basil is an annual herbaceous plant that resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and often times reddish-purple leaves. The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavouring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibits antimicrobial activity, specifically as a carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and stomachic.

Hom

Shallot: "Hom,Hom-lek,Hom-daeng"in Thai

Shallots, or small red onions, are annual herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs contain a volatile oil, and are used as flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as an antihelmintic, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and antiflu agents.

Ka-phrao

Sweet Basil: "Ho-ra-pha" in Thai

Sweet Basil is an annual herbaceous plant, the fresh leaves of which are either eaten raw or used as a flavouring in Thai cooking. Volatile oil content varies according to different varieties. Therapeutic properties are as carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, digestant and stomachic agents.

Kha-min

Turmeric:  "Kha-min" in Thai

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food. The rhizomes contain a 3-4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics. Turmeric's therapeutic properties manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic.

Article and photos reprinted with permission from the Tourism Authority of Thailand, which is a beautiful and informative site about the culture, history, and food of Thailand. There is a huge amount of useful information about traveling to and in Thailand, sightseeing, festivals, and much more for anyone planning on visiting "The Land of Smiles".