I wrote a first edition of this book, titled simply Salt & Pepper, in 1998. It was about a dozen years ahead of the salt curve and quickly attained what I will call cult status. It went out of print almost instantly but there were many people who loved it, found it, and reached out to me. In 2015, I revised the book, adding new recipes and full-color photographs by Liza Gershman, who worked on the project in my home. The book is now part of the five-book series of Good Cook’s books and is available in book stores, specialty shops and on Amazon.
Of all my books this one may be my favorite child, the pick of the litter. It was as much a labor of love as an academic and culinary exploration and perhaps more so.
Jordan writes with a strong voice . . . she is informative, challenging, opinionated, and poetic . . . [her] food is elemental and intriguing.
Dana Jacobi, amazon.com
It really is interesting reading, but what about the cooking? Jordan is more subtle than you might expect . . . most of the dishes in this book bring the seasonings into play with a finesse that’s only obvious when you think about it—and you probably haven’t.
Irene Sax, epicurious.com
Scholarly yet readable, Salt & Pepper is suffused with a palpable love of subject . . . Jordan is discriminating but not in epicurean outer space.
Newsday, 22 April 1999
Her book is an engrossing account of salt and pepper . . .
Jill Windholt Silva, Kansas City Star
Jordan has a real flair for storytelling, whisking us from the salt mines of Kansas to the pepper farms of Sarikei while dishing up spicy recipes from Asian salt eggs to pepper-spiced cookies.
Greg Cahill Sonoma County Independent
It’s hard to resist such unbridled enthusiasm, and it’s easy to succumb to the spicy mix of history, folklore and recipes that Jordan serves up. . . . she will delight fellow hedonists with her insistence on the freshest ingredients and the boldest flavors.
Publisher’s Weekly, 1 March 1999
[Salt & Pepper] is a fascinating and fresh look at how these two seasonings are indeed the spice of life.
Miriam Morgan, San Francisco Chronicle
With its lively blend of well-researched history, useful information, and delicious recipes, Salt & Pepper should make a versatile addition to any serious cook’s library . . . the best aspect of the book by far is Jordan’s distinctive voice, infectiously drawing the reader into her sensuous enjoyment of the spices of life.
Virginia Wood, The Austin Chronicle
Michele is a born storyteller and a consummate teacher. Her writing voice ranges from poetic to downright wry. But always she is brimming with knowledge and passion. I now see salt and pepper with fresh eyes, and taste them with a fresh tongue. I appreciate them more deeply and openly, without shame, and with newfound awe and enthusiasm . . . Oh—did I forget to mention recipes? . . . they are as simple to prepare as they are complex and provocative to taste. Michele is not just a wonderful writer. She’s a fabulous cook.
Mollie Katzen, molliekatzen.com
I bought a copy of Salt & Pepper yesterday, came home and started reading it, and felt I’d fallen into one of the great romantic books of the year. Your writing is gorgeous. Hypnotic.
Carol Field, author of The Italian Baker, in personal correspondence