Book Review: The Field Guide to Peppers

 Why are peppers so fascinating? You don’t see this many books written on squash or tomatoes. Heck, more than 30 books on peppers have been written by the author of this book alone.

Is it the variety? The color? The flavor? The heat? 

I thought this book seemed pretty exhaustive in identifying the many, many, many types of peppers. But no, they are sticking to only the most popular 400 varieties. Good grief. I knew there were many different types of peppers, but had no idea there were so many varieties and shapes. 

It includes some good tips on growing them, and where you can order them from. There’s even a brief history on each type of pepper.

But really, I think what makes this book is the set of gorgeous pictures of these 400 varieties. This book shows 14 different varieties of jalapeño alone. Is this why you sometimes get very hot jalapeños and sometimes very mild?

It’s really interesting to see the evolution of heat. From when habaneros were listed as the hottest pepper in 2006, after which the ghost pepper took the title. Then the scorpion pepper. And now there are even newer, hotter peppers. The point of which I cannot imagine. 

And there’s lots of learning to be had! I didn’t know paprika came from peppers. Or that the pimento in olives comes from a specific type of pepper. 

One comment on the book. I think they may have mixed up the colors for the heat levels on page 17. Here it shows very hot as red and extremely hot as pink. But these colors seem reversed in the rest of the book. 

I think this would be great for the library of pepper aficionados, as good info for anyone interested in growing peppers, or even as a pretty coffee book table. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for a copy in exchange for an honest review.


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