Throughout this blog we will be using a variety of spices to generate the unique flavors and aromas of each dish. These spices are comprised of various seed, fruit, root, bark, or other plant substances that have been sight after for thousands of years for the purpose of flavoring or coloring one’s food. Thought history, wars have been fought, entire populations massacred just to secure a source of these delicious substances to satisfy the demands of cultural elites. In today’s era one can skip waging war to secure their spice needs and can simply stop by the grocery store. Somehow, in this age of convenience we have even less of an understanding of these culinary treasures and how they act as a bridge connecting the cultures of the world through flavor. For example, Cumin is a seed that is ground into a powder and is responsible for the signature flavor of American style chili beans. Cumin is also the main spice your taste buds will experience when eating a plate of morning Ful Medamas, Egypt’s official breakfast food. In fact, most of the flavors we enjoy today were once reserved for the wealthiest and most elite of society. To top it off, many of these spices are known to have healing qualities and are good for you too. I am lucky to have a store with an incredible bulk spice section where I stock up for much less than pre-bottled varieties and typically and even better quality. Below is a list to use as a guide when starting your collection.
A Priceless Collection
Suggested Spices to Start Your Collection:
Black Peppercorns Fennel Allspice Marjoram
Cardamom Fenugreek (Methi) Onion Powder Oregano
Cayenne Pepper Nutmeg Garlic Powder Thyme
Cloves Turmeric Sumac Rosemary
Cinnamon White Pepper Sesame Szechuan Peppercorn