With a taste similar to thyme, although more powerful with notes of celery and pepper, Ajwain is an exciting and unusual spice. Native to southern India, Ajwain is most commonly added to chutneys, curried dishes, breads and legumes. It’s related to cumin and parsley, and is also known as carom and bishop’s weed.
Traditionally Hawaiians use Alaea salt in ceremonies to cleanse, purify and bless tools and canoes, as well, in healing rituals for medicinal purposes.
Alaea is the traditional Hawaiian table salt used to season and preserve. Alaea Hawaiian Sea Salt is non-processed and rich in trace minerals, all of which are found in sea water. A small amount of harvested reddish Hawaiian clay (‘Alaea) enriches the salt with Iron-Oxide.
Savor a unique and pleasant flavor while roasting or grilling meats. It is the traditional and authentic seasoning for native Hawaiian dishes such as Kalua Pig, Hawaiian Jerky and Poke.
This sweet and sharp chile from the Aleppo region of Syria has a moderate heat that doesn’t overpower it’s fruity flavor. Some dishes use only this chile as a seasoning because the complexity can stand alone. An all around favorite because it brings out the best in everything from fish and vegetables to tenderloin.
The whole berry of the pimento bush, Allspice is the size of a large pea and has a deep rich-brown color. Clove and pepper flavors are very pronounced, especially when freshly ground. Used widely in Jamaican jerk and Caribbean dishes. Also nice in holiday pastries.
Unripe mangoes are sun-dried and ground to a powder which is used to give a sour tang to many East Indian dishes including meats, vegetables and curries. Often added to chutneys, pickles and some stir fries much as vinegar is used in other parts of the world.
Made of dried pomegranate seeds, this spice has a mildly fruity, sweet and sour flavor. Used in India to sour chutneys and curries, they are also used in pastries and breads in the Middle East. Try grinding them and sprinkling over salads or vegetable dishes.
A complex, rich and balanced blend from the Turkish tradition. Can be used for roasts, quick grills, stews or hot pots. Key notes are allspice, fennel, thyme, garlic, paprika and a few more.
Ancho means ‘wide’, its flat heart shape creating one of the largest chiles, a dried Poblano. It is sweet, with hints of raisin and plum. The ancho is one of the most commonly used chiles in Mexico and is a basic ingredient for making many Mexican style sauces. The ancho, along with the mulato and pasilla form the “holy trinity”of chiles used to make traditional Mexican mole sauces.
Anise is primarily associated with cakes, biscuits and confectionery, as well as rye breads. It is used in much the same way as fennel to flavour fish, poultry, soups and root vegetable dishes. Anise is not related to true licorice, although it has a similar taste and is often used to flavor black licorice candy.
MEDICINAL: It helps with digestion and sweetens the breath, so it is chewed after meals in parts of Europe, the Middle East and India.
This dried, star-shaped fruit grows on small trees in China and Vietnam. Its smoky, licorice flavour makes it a distinctive ingredient in Chinese five spice, Peking Duck, Vietnamese Pho, and Malaysian curries. Also nice in homemade chai. The lovely pods make a great garnish.
Medicinal: A warming spice that gently aids sluggish digestion. Extracts from star anise are used to make the anti-influenza medicine “Tamiflu.”
Annatto is used for its red-orange color in cheeses, confectionery, butter, meat dishes and stews. It is popular in the Philippines, Central America and the Caribbean. Annatto has a very mild taste: slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg.
ORIGIN: Central America
MEDICINAL: Once used to control fevers, dysentery and kidney diseases, though is now used mostly as a dye in medical preparations such as ointments and plasters.
Named in reference to the woody stems attached to the pod. The Spanish translation of the name means “treelike.” This chile, which is related to the cayenne and pequin, has a rich red color and a thin flesh. They are hot, slender, tubular peppers, about 2 to 3 inches long, and bright green when immature, turning a bright red at maturity. They are most commonly found dried.
A thickening agent with more thickening power than flour or even cornstarch. It has the unique characteristic of adding a glossy sheen to sauces, much like finishing with butter, but without the fat. Has a faint savory taste, but can still be used in desserts.
ORIGIN: West Indies
Use in minuscule quantities, adding directly to cooking liquid, frying in oil, or steeping in water. Asafoetida is used mostly in Indian vegetarian cooking, where the strong onion-garlic flavour enhances many dishes. It is also suited to many fish dishes and some pappadums are seasoned with asafoetida. Please note that asafoetida resin often contains gluten.
MEDICINAL: Known as an antidote for flatulence and is also prescribed for respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis and whooping cough.
A baker’s set Including nine delights:
- Blue Poppy Seeds – Delicious addition to pastries, muffins and cakes
- Coconut- Versatile addition to many baked goodies
- Lemon Granules – Use in place of lemon zest
- Lavender Flowers – Delicious in cookies, jams and more
- Nutmeg – great for pies, puddings, spice cakes etc.
- Cocoa Royal Mahogany – Great for ice creams, dark cakes, chocolate drinks
- Cinnamon Saigon – an extraordinary intense & flavorful cinnamon
- Vanilla Beans – five beans for all your baking needs
- Fleur De Sel – ideal finishing salt for baking
Tomato sauces call out for a dash of this intense dried form of the common herb. Egypt produces an intensely flavored basil with hints of an anise flavor and a mild sweetness. Its aroma is released fully in cooked dishes, but it is also delicate and overcooking will dissipate it.
Used for shorter cooking times, the California Bay hints at camphor and eucalyptus. The large dried leaves of the bay laurel tree are one of the best herbs for soups and broths, rice, and sauces, giving a mild, delicious savory taste. Bay leaves are among the oldest known cooking herbs.