Inspiration / Spice Profiles

  • Cloves

    Spice Profile: Cloves

    Scientific Name Syzyium Aromaticum What are Cloves? Few spices have as recognizable a scent as cloves. Warm and peppery in smell, cloves can be surprisingly bitter and even numbing in the mouth. Partnered with cinnamon or orange, cloves are a staple of holiday baking. What is the History of Cloves? Cloves are native to Indonesia, but have been used in Europe since Roman times. The earliest mention of cloves is in China between 200 BCE and 220 CE. The Portuguese had a monopoly on the clove trade until the early 17th century. Cloves are now grown in Madagascar, Brazil, Tanzania...

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  • Cinnamon Sticks and Spice

    Spice Profile: Cinnamon

    Scientific Name Cinnamomum zelanicum What is Cinnamon? There are many varieties of cinnamon (see our post on varieties of cinnamon). All are the bark of various evergreen trees in the laurel family.  Cinnamon has a very warm sweet and spicy flavor that works equally well in desserts and savory dishes. It is arguably the 'sweetheart' of the spice rack. What is the History of Cinnamon? Cinnamon is indigenous to Sri Lanka. Its use dates back to 2000 B.C.E. It has been used in preserving meats and in rituals throughout the ancient world. The origin of the cinnamon was a well...

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  • Chives and Chive Flowers

    Spice Profile: Chives

    Scientific Name Allium Schoenoprasum What are Chives? Chives are a member of the onion family. They have a light onion-y flavor and can be used fresh in a large variety of dishes. What is the History of Chives? Chives are native to Europe and North America. They began being cultivated in the Middle Ages and became popular in the 1800s. How are Chives Grown? Chives grow easily in the home garden. They can be purchased at most nurseries and will thrive even in very cold climates. The green stems sprout early in spring and can be harvested until they die back...

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  • Celery Seed Spice

    Spice Profile: Celery Seed

    Scientific Name Apium Graveolens What is Celery Seed? Celery seed is the seed of the wild celery plant, a relative of the garden celery plant. The seed has a stronger flavor than the vegetable we eat and it a wonderful addition to many soups and salads. Celery seeds are often ground and added to salt to be sold as celery salt. What is the History of Celery? Wild celery is native to Europe. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years across Asia. In the 17th century Italians began breeding garden celery and celery root for improved flavor....

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  • Cardamom Pods

    Spice Profile: Cardamom

    Scientific Name Elettaria Cardamomum What is Cardamom? Cardamom is a warm earthy spice commonly used in Indian cooking. It is available in pods, seeds or ground.  There are two types of cardamom- Malabar and Mysore. Mysore is warmer and spicier, while Malabar has a eucalyptus flavor. What is the History of Cardamom? Cardamom is native to Southern India. It has been used there for over 2,000 years. It was brought to Europe along the caravan routs and the Vikings took it from Constantinople to Scandinavia. How is Cardamom Grown? Cardamom grows well in warm equatorial regions around the world. Cardamom is cultivated in India, Sri...

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  • Caraway Seed

    Spice Profile: Caraway

    Scientific Name Carum Carvi What is Caraway? Caraway is the seed of a plant in the carrot, parsley and celery family. The fruit of the plant splits into two curved seeds. Caraway has a warm and spicy fragrance and flavor. What is the History of Caraway? Caraway has been used since the Roman times to flavor vegetable and fish dishes. In the middle ages, it was popular as a flavoring for soups and bean and cabbage dishes. Later, English bakers began using it in confections, breads and cakes. How is Caraway Grown? Holland and Germany are the major producers of Caraway....

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