Spice Profile: Galangal

Leah Sugar

Spice Profile: Galangal, Alpinia Species Galangal is pronounced as guh-lang-guh, scientific name Alpine Species. It is also known as Laos, Siamese and Thai Ginger Types of Galangal There are two principal types of galangal- Greater and Lesser Galangal. Both are cultivated, but greater galangal has been increasing in favor over lesser galangal. Greater Galangal grows larger and taller than lesser Galangal. What is Galangal? Galangal is a rhizome similar to ginger. It has a gingery lemony flavor and is used extensively throughout Southeast Asia  How Can I Use Galangal? Galangal is used throughout Southeast Asia in curries, stews, sambas, satays, soups and sauces....

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The Ultimate Saffron Spice Profile

Eagan Heath

A native to Southwest Asia, saffron has had many uses such as seasonings, fragrances, perfumes, dye and medicine. In the kitchen, saffron is most commonly used in soups, stews, as well as seafood dishes such as bouillabaisse and paella. It is also a welcome addition to risotto and other rice-based dishes. Because this spice has long held the title of “most expensive spice by weight’, it may not be found commonly in every kitchens’ spice rack. Saffron Pronunciation Saffron is pronounced /ˈsæfrən/ or /ˈsæfrɒn,  scientific name Crocus sativus. Hear the common saffron pronunciation: What is Saffron? Saffron is part of...

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Blend Highlight: Fines Herbes

Leah Sugar

What is Fines Herbes? Fines Herbes, which I always want to pronounce Fine-is Erb-is (in my lovely Wisconsin accent) is actually pronounced feen-ZAIRB (with a French accent). As such, it is a combination of herbs that are the mainstay of French cuisine. It is made up of parsley, chives, chervil and tarragon. The actual combination has been of much debate over the years. Some recipes using the name 'aux fines herbes' simply include parsley, while the traditionalists tend to argue that all four ingredients are required. Current food experts offer combinations that include all or only some of the four ingredients, some even removing the parsley. Where...

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Cumin - Spice Profile

Leah Sugar

Cumin, Cuminum cyminum  Widely used in cuisines as varied as Indian, Eastern, Middle Eastern, Mexican, Portuguese and Spanish, cumin is a staple in many cooks’ spice racks and commonly found to be a main ingredient in curry powders, taco seasonings, and masalas. Cumin Pronunciation  Cumin is pronounced in a few different ways (/ˈkjuːmᵻn/ or UK /ˈkʌmᵻn/, US /ˈkuːmᵻn/),  scientific name Cuminum Cyminum. More commonly pronounced “coo-min” or “que-min”. Hear the more common cumin pronunciations:   What is Cumin? The cumin plant grows to approximately 12 to 20 inches in height with multiple, similarly-sized branches sprouting from the stem creating a...

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Our Favorite Spice Shops!

Leah Sugar

We wanted to do a blog post specifically to call out two of our favorite spice shops-- Oaktown Spice Shop and The Spice House. Both offer interesting spice blends, beautiful gift sets and the freshest, most interesting spices around. In addition, both offer online shopping, nation-wide shipping and bulk spices (which is helpful if you have an AllSpice rack that needs filling).  Why buy spices at a specialty spice store? Freshness- Spices dont last forever. Each spice has a unique shelf life and is uniquely sensitive to heat and light. Specialty spice shops are aware of these limitations and take care...

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Spice Profile: Black Seed (Kalonji, Nigella Sativa, Charnushka)

Leah Sugar

Scientific Name Nigella Sativa Pronounced char-NOOSH-kah Charnushka means “black seed” in Russian, which translates to chernishke in Yiddish and schwarzkummel in German. Also Known As The rare spice is known by many names. It’s also referred to as nigella seed, black seed, black onion seed, onion seed, black caraway seed, black cumin, roman coriander, calonji, or kalonji. Despite having various names, the flavor of Charnushka is not similar to onion, cumin, coriander, or caraway seeds. What is Black Seed? Charnushka is deep black seeds with a sharp flavor and strong aroma. It has a broad flavor profile that is peppery...

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