The Why behind our ingredients
The why behind the ingredients in my blends. Some may not care, others are curious and love learning. So for transparency here re ingredients I use, what they add & what they are used for. I encourage you to think of what various ingredients could contribute to aa favorite recipe, making it even better. Or better yet, be creative and come up with a new recipe all your own. If you would share it, I’d love to feature the recipe and you, the creator, in an upcoming blog.
So lets just start with the basics and alphabetically to make it easier to find what your interested in.
ALLSPICE berries/powder, Jamaican pepper, myrtle pepper, pimento or pimento. It’s the dried unripe berry. Taste is a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. In dessert, poultry & squash.
ANISE STAR (whole)/powder, use in light soups, rice pudding, steamed cabbage, roasted BBQ chicken, braised leeks, poached fish/shellfish, in Chinese 5 spice powder & Vietnamese Pho.
ARROW ROOT for thickening alternative to wheat flour or cornstarch. Used in sauces, gravies, soups, pie filling, pudding. When cooking its clear with little to no taste. In clear fruit glazes & jellies.
BASIL (Imported- Italy) season tomatoes, egg dishes, Mediterranean vegetables eggplant, zucchini & Italian dishes
BAY LEAF in Italian dishes 7 keeps insects out of flour, add a few whole dried Bay leaves through out your flour canister
CARDAMOM green pods/powder, India / Indonesia/Guatemala green is one of the most expensive spices, ground powder lowers value. Used in sweet & savory dishes, tea & coffee & many countries around the world
CELERY SALT seed / powder with sea salt
CHILI powder/flakes use in chili, guacamole, Spanish rice, buffalo wings, add to shredded cheddar cheese & melt over tortilla chips for nachos. Also chili flakes and Thai chili pepper, New Mexico chili powder
CHINESE 5 SPICE Intense blend adds Asian flavor to meat & poultry dishes. Try in spice cakes, muffins, cookies, add to seafood batter or pumpkin pie. Contains cinnamon, anise seed, cloves, ginger, fennel seeds.
CINNAMON True is Ceylon Cinnamon from Mexico. Sri Lankan Cinnamon used in Chinese 5 Spice and Indian spice blend & Garam Masala. Used with meat, in stews, vegetables. In sweets, drinks, cookie, cakes, pudding breads. Korintji cinnamon in pumpkin pie, cinnamon rolls, rice pudding and more. Vietnamese is the silver back gorilla of cinnamon. Piercing spicy flavor and invigorating heat. Use in any recipe where cinnamon is the star flavor. Cinnamon Sugar on buttered toast, topping on quick breads, cobblers, muffins, sugar cookies, coffee cakes, snickerdoodles, desserts, breakfast.
CLOVES whole/powder, hint (scents) of camphor, cinnamon, pepper allspice. Used in nearly all world cuisines, used in savory foods, breads, sweets
CORIANDER (Cilantro) seeds/powder from Morocco, India, Australia, used in spice mix like Garam Masala & Indian curriers, used also in pickling vegetables, sausages, rye bread
CREAM of TARTAR to make souffles, meringues, angel food, chiffon cakes & candy. Use 1/8 tsp per egg white.
CUMIN seed/powder used in Curry powder from the Mediterranean to central Asia
CURRY powder used in Indian cooking, chicken,, soups, stews, blend of coriander, cloves, cumin, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, fenugreek, cardamom, turmeric and fennel
DILL WEED used in Europe and Central Asian dishes like cured salmon, borscht, soups, pickles
FENNEL seed/powder used in tea, in Absinthe
FENUGREEK seed/powder, used in pickles, vegetable dish, and produces a maple like flavor
GARLIC minced/powder used in salad dressing, Italian, Asian cuisine. Powder is used with poultry, seafood, beef, salads & pasta, Garlic bread, pasta sauces, glazes, gravies
GINGER crystalized/powder from Asia, add to muffins, cakes, cookies, breads, for a warm spicy flavor
GRAPEFRUIT powder use to substitute grapefruit juice , or lemon or lime juice. Use in marinade or flavor seafood, vegetables & meat
LIME PEEL/juice powder add a pinch to doughs for bread, flatbread, pizza for a zing. And dust pizza peel with cornmeal & granulated lime peel powder can replace lime juice in recipes
MACE ¼ tsp ground mace = 1 tsp ground nutmeg. 1 pkg (16 oz) pound cake mix add 2 tsp Vanilla extract & ½ tsp ground mace – prepare & bake as directions on cake mix. Makes spiced pound cake
MAPLE SUGAR use in tea, coffee, cereal with fruits. Cook with vegetables , grains, fish or chicken
MAHLAB seed, flavor like almond & cherry, also like marzipan, also breads, scones, pastries
MOLASSES granulated/powder add where sweet molasses flavor is desired, baking, grilling rub, sauces, baked beans, cookie dough. Also as a powder
NUTMEG, Sri Lanka whole/powder in cream sauces, braises, pilafs, cakes
ONION minced/powder on roasts, baked fish, chicken, porkchops, salad dressing and vegetables, Gourmet touch powder onion has French onion flavor for soups & pot roasts.
OREGANO, Mediterranean, fresh pasta sauces, on Italian breads, in salad dressing, on sandwiches, in soups, beans.
ORANGE PEEL in desserts, sauces, gravies, meat dishes, or as garnish in dishes
PAPRIKA from dried, ground chilies, Spanish or Hungarian, smoked, sweet, hot. Use in soups stews, beef goulash, chicken, devils eggs. A rub for steak, bean – sausage soup, into hummus or even on popcorn.
PEPPERCORN add zest to sauces, gravies, meats, poultry. Pepper & lemon pepper on fish, chicken, vegetables, pasta, salads, on fresh corn on the cob
WHITE POPPY SEEDS add dressings, rice, noodles, vegetables
RASPBERRY POWDER to add burgundy color to granola, ting angel food cake pink, and taste of raspberry added to cookies, cake
ROSEMARY use in stuffing and roast meats
SAFFRON the crocus flower, used in many countries & dishes like Golden Ham. The most expensive spice in the world, 1/16 oz is $16.26 or $4,336/lb.
THYME sweet to meat, fish, beef stew, chicken pot pie
TURMERIC warm bitter black pepper like flavor curcumin is from turmeric plant. Used in Asian dishes. Used in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products (try Golden milk), ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, cereals, sauces, gelatin, and in curry powder.
Each spice has such a unique flavor, combining these into extracts and spice blends, even adding to the Rooibos teas, it's been a delicious adventure. I hope you enjoy trying several products and savor the flavor. GourmetVanillaSpice.com