Global Spices

I had been hinting to Greg that I was running low on spices, and some of my spices were extremely old and expired, and that someone could get me a nice spice kit from Penzey’s or something for Christmas. Apparently I’m hard to buy Christmas presents for, which I don’t believe in the slightest, so I try to drop hints (some more subtle than others).

Instead, Greg did one better and found a website with all kinds of exotic and foreign spices, and he somehow managed to buy a bunch that I’ve never even heard of.

In no particular order, and with brief descriptions when needed from the World Spice Merchants website:

Amchoor Powder (India): Dried ground unripe mango
Anardana Seed (India): Dried pomegranate seeds
Basil (Egypt)
Beet Powder (USA): Obviously dried ground beets, but what’s neat about this is that they suggest using it in a vinaigrette! Tasty. (Yes, Sarah #2, this is already on the Thanksgiving menu for February.)
Black Lemon (India): Whole dried black lemons, often used for chutney
Cassia Cinnamon (Indonesia)
Cumin Seed (India)
Ginger Powder (China)
Grains of Paradise (Ghana): A cross between pepper, ginger, and cardamom in flavor, this is suggested for lamb or eggplant dishes (and obviously beer)
Juniper Berries (Italy)
Marjoram (Egypt)
Nigella Seed (Turkey): Often used to season naan, comes from the “love-in-the-mist” plant
Pequin chiles (Mexico): tiny searing hot chile peppers, often used in salsas and bean dishes
Poivron Rouge (Marrakech): sweet ground red pepper, similar to sweet Hungarian paprika
Rosebuds and petals: often used in Middle Eastern and sometimes French cooking
Sumac Powder (Syria): a distinctive sour and tangy flavor
Tarragon (France)
Turmeric (India)
Urfa Biber (Turkey): This quote is too good, so I’m using it verbatim: “This rich pepper flake from Turkey has an earthy, smoky edge that hints at chocolate and tobacco alongside a mild heat giving it a well rounded, complex flavor.”
Chervil (USA): FYI, my parents gave us three huge bags of chervil from a Penzey’s order, so I’m now drowning in lovely chervil (which is not the same as gerbil…)
Ajwain Seed (India): Common in Indian and African food, the seed looks like fennel and tastes more musty. Frequently used in lentil dishes.

So my third goal for the year (besides the 25 Recipes Challenge and Grandma A’s Recipe Box) is to figure out how to use all of these.

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4 Responses to Global Spices

  1. E says:

    What a great gift! Good work, Greg. We got your box today, and I’ve already dug into the chutney and the spiced wine jam – so good! Thank you!

  2. wellmet says:

    Excellent, glad you like them! And yes, Greg did really great this year, as always. 🙂

  3. Sarah #2 says:

    Before I read the descriptions, I was going to say, “is that beet powder I see?!”. Yum. (p.s. I don’t think you’re difficult to buy things for, though Greg did do an excellent job.)

  4. Kerry says:

    That is such an awesome gift!

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