This book by Jill Norman is so beautifully done you could classify it as a coffee table book, but that would diminish its educational value. This is the most comprehensive book on herbs and spices that we have come across. The author recently updated Encyclopedia Britannica's online entries on herbs and spices (she really knows her stuff!). It contains recipes for spice mixtures from all over the world, along with detailed identification and usage information, and gorgeous pictures. No kitchen should be without this reference book!