Inspiration

  • Toasting Spices

    Preparing Spices

    Most of the time when I use spices, I simply shake or spoon a bit out of my AllSpice jar and am on my way. However, some dishes (especially those from India) call for a bit more special preparation of the spices you are using. Preparing spices is usually not hard and can add additional layers of flavor to your dish. Below are several ways spices can be prepared: Roasting Indian recipes often call for whole spices, such as cumin and cardamom, to be roasted before using. Roasting spices is quite simple. The most common method is to put them...

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  • Spiced Popcorn

    Poppin' Toppin'

    Okay, I admit it, the title of this post is ridiculous, but I just couldn't resist! I love popcorn. It is definitely in my top 10 desert island foods and until I had kids it was on my regular dinner rotation. Now, it is usually an after-the-kids-go-to-bed snack. I've always been a popcorn purist. I make it in a saucepan with vegetable oil, lots of butter and a little salt. My husband on the other hand, he makes full use of our AllSpice Rack. Nothing makes my night like a surprise bowl of popcorn sprinkled with paprika or turmeric. So,...

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  • Curry Powder

    What is Curry?

    Many Americans are surprised to find out that curry isn't a spice, but rather a blend of spices, chilies and other aromatics. And, the specific blend of spices can vary widely from culture to culture and cook to cook. The word curry dates from the 18th century and probably comes from the Indian word 'kari' meaning sauce. The sauces we now classify as curries, come from all over South Asia and vary widely in their composition. In 1889, at the Universal Paris Exposition, a 'Curry Decree' set the composition of curry as having specific amounts of tamarind, onion, coriander, chilli pepper,...

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  • Coriander Leaves

    Spice Profile: Coriander

    What is Coriander? It surprises many Americans to learn that the somewhat obscure spice called coriander is simply the seed of the popular cilantro plant. More mild and less controversial than cilantro, coriander is popular in Middle Eastern and North African Cooking. What is the History of Coriander? Native to Southern Europe, Coriander has been used since ancient times. It was mentioned in Ancient Egypt, used for medicinal purposes in Ancient China and is even discussed in the bible. How is Coriander Grown? Easy to grow, coriander is cultivated throughout Europe, India and the Americas. Seeds produce a small green...

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  • Mexican Hot Chocolate with spices

    Mexican Hot Chocolate

    The weather may be warming up, but that doesn't mean that I am ready to give up hot chocolate. Nothing starts a morning quite like a warm, sweet cup of hot chocolate and no hot chocolate warms you up like the spicy aroma of Mexican hot chocolate. Sure you can buy a mix, but why bother when you have lovely, fresh spices in your AllSpice rack?  Mexican hot chocolate is one of those great recipes that lends itself to experimentation. Start with whatever milk you prefer. It is great with evaporated milk, but also tastes wonderful with whole milk, or...

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  • 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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