Spice Road Spices
Artisan Spice Merchants
A journey of 3000 years to bring gourmet, time saving pure spice blends to you the Home Chef
And neither are all Herbs and Spices!
For many of the very special Foodies across Australia the differences in Cinnamon are common knowledge. However, for general interest and starting out Foodies we should note that there are two types of Cinnamon available but only one genuine Cinnamon. Ceylon Cinnamon from Sri Lanka.
The other Cinnamon is the one you will find in most supermarkets. Cassia or fake Cinnamon. Generally from Indonesia, China or Vietnam, the bark is harvested from the Cassia tree and while it is a good deal cheaper than Ceylon Cinnamon it has a very poor flavour imitation of real Cinnamon and a slightly bitter after taste.
All this came to mind when we received our latest delivery of true Ceylon Cinnamon. Looking at the Cinnamon differences, we reflected that the same quality differences are evident with pretty much all Herbs and Spices.
Predictably, we would say that our Spices are the purest and the freshest of course but more importantly, we care about how the Herbs and Spices are grown and harvested.
Goats Cheese has a new best friend. Part 1
I know we have used this opening before but from the texts received relating to our previous piece we thought it would be good to dig a bit deeper into this special relationship between Goats Cheese (Chevre) and the ancient Egyptian spice blend, Dukkah.
4 x Free range chicken breasts, skin on
The choice of using Roasted Garlic or Fresh Garlic really depends on the recipe and of course your personal choice.
The differences are simple. Roast Garlic gives a lovely warm, caramelised aroma and flavour to your recipe.
For many people the taste of raw radishes can often be overpowering. However, there is a method of transforming the sharpness into a wonderful accompaniment to favourite recipes.
And beautifully easy. Simply heat your oven to 180c, trim the green bits and ends from the Radishes, coat in a little Sesame Oil, a touch of salt and bake for around 20 - 30 minutes, depending on size of the Radishes, until soft.
A note from Jasmine W. Geelong, Victoria gives a nice suggestion that after you have finished poaching a chicken (usual thing, whole chicken, onions, carrot, celery) with the meat falling from the bones, set aside the meat and return the bones to the pot. Continue on a low heat to reduce the liquid and enrich the broth.
When the broth has reduced to your liking, allow to cool and refrigerate for, ideally, 24 hours to allow all the flavours to blend. Then reheat, reduce a little more then strain. You will now have an amazing chicken stock for your stews and sauces.
Like all comparisons, Butter, Ghee and Olive Oil have their strengths and weaknesses. Simple enough. But for you the Home Chef, applying those pluses and minuses to your cooking requires a little more planning and understanding of your recipe.
To start with Butter. Butter is essentially made up of three parts: Fat, Water and Milk solids. And this immediately brings us to the first negative.
We received a note from one of our Queensland Wine and Food Society subscribers mentioning that while Umami flavour is all good and well, it should be remembered that many dishes are happily accompanied by wine. So compatibility of wine with food is important.
Our subscriber points out that there is little point in creating wonderful textures and flavours with your food only to submerge all the good work under a dominating and sometimes inferior and incompatibile wine.
You really do have to wonder. There is a large group of otherwise very nice, caring, food wise people who happily look forward to a pizza, layered with over salted anchovies.
Now mention a classic Italian Anchovy recipe and they assume a studied yuk look and a polite, no thank you. We seem to be getting into a bit of a pattern with all this. Our previous Epicurean Post highlighted the plight of Raisins in your cupboard (important), the quest to save the Side Dish (equally important) and now we are again defending Anchovies. Scary but someone has to do this so please stay with us
Make no mistake, the members of the Wine and Food Societies across Australia are, in culinary terms, very knowledgeable and very good at understanding food and the compatibility of wine with food.
Sure they may take a little longer examining their red wine than the rest of us but behind it all they really do understand and better, they understand that in the end it is all just food and wine. For them it is the simple enjoyment and understanding of these gifts and the people they share it with that is paramount.
Our spices begin their journey.