10 Spices That Will Change Your Cuisine.

Tired of having the usual spices? You probably need to try out Charnushka, Blade mace, Urfa Biber. Never heard about them? You need to use google to check about them. Each of these strange names is a whole new adventure into a new culture and complex seasonings. If you’re ever traveling into new places, do try out new cuisines to excite your taste buds with new flavors. So, let’s explore the spices that might be strange for you but they can change your cuisine completely.

  1. Amchoor Powder

It is a blend of tangy spices that is very commonly used in Pakistani and Indian cuisines. It is mostly used in samosas, chaats, chutneys, and pickles, etc. It has a citrus flavor that comes from the unripe, dried mangoes that are crushed into a fine powder. You have used this powder differently with meat and vegetables.

  1. Black Cardamom

It belongs to the same family and genus as the green cardamom, but it has a different flavor. It is prepared in a small bowl and it contains a robust flavor reminiscent of bacon. Black cardamom is mostly used in Indian cuisine but it translates perfectly into other cuisines too. Sprinkle it over Chinese braised beef, or Vietnamese pho stock and enjoy! Whenever you’ve to use it, make sure to toast the pod lightly in a dry pan to amplify the flavor.

  1. Black Garlic

Black garlic puree with cheese, crackers, and nuts, what else do you want? This spice is prepared by ripening bulbs in hot and humid conditions. It has a subtle sweet and savory taste that makes it a very popular spice of the American cuisine. It adds flavor to tomato sauce, dips, risottos, salad dressings, tapenades, mashed potatoes – to everything.

  1. Blade Mace

The only plant that produces two different types of spices is the nutmeg tree. Its seed produces nutmeg, while the seed covering makes blade mace. The flavors of these two spices are almost similar, but blade mace is a little fine, making it a perfect substitute in delicate desserts, pastries or fruit pies. It is also a popular ingredient of savory in northern European cuisine i.e. it’s used in potted shrimp, Swedish meatballs and Hot Toddy.

  1. Charnushka

This spice has multiple names like black caraway, kalonji, black caraway, nigella, and black onion seed. It has a subtle flavor that is somehow like thyme and cumin. These seeds are mostly used in Middle Eastern cuisine i.e. in flatbreads, rye, crackers, and bread, etc. It is often mixed with other spices to form flavorful seasonings and blends. It is one of the significant ingredients of garam masala blend that is commonly used in South Asian and Indian cookery. Let’s spice your chicken wings with it and satisfy your taste buds!

  1. Fennel Pollen

These are also known as fennel seeds or anise. These seeds are hand collected from wild fennel in Italy and California. It has a citrus, sweet, and anise flavor. Most commonly, it is a popular spice in Sicilian cuisine. It packs a striking punch, that’s why it’s used sparingly to give a finishing touch to a dish. Try sprinkling it on pork chops, pasta, or seafood and be wow!

  1. Hibiscus Blossoms

When Hibiscus blossoms are soused or soaked, it releases a tart fluid. That fluid is the ideal base to beverages i.e. vodka cocktail, refreshing agua de Jamaica, etc. The uses of hibiscus blossoms aren’t limited to just beverages, they are also used to add punch to marinades and salsas. Its most commonly utilized in Western Africa but it’s also a popular ingredient of Asian, Mexican, and Latin American cookery.

  1. Porcini Mushroom Powder

It is one of the most popular spices that is used in European cuisine. If you want to add a nutty, mushroom flavor to food, add the dried porcini powder in it. Its best for adding into beef gravies, soups, broths and risottos for giving it an instant taste boost.

  1. Sansho Peppercorn

Sansho peppercorns belong to the same family Sichuan peppercorn. It is one of the most popular and traditional spices used in Japanese cuisine. It has a stronger, citrusy flavor that tingles on the tongue.  Sansho Peppercorn adds a great flavor to pork and complex seafood dishes.

  1. Urfa Biber

Urfa Biber belongs to the same family as Aleppo pepper. This spice has a sultry, mild heated flavor which is exceptionally versatile. It can be used on almost anything. It’s perfect to use in kebabs, raisin, chocolate, brownie and what not. You can use it most traditionally by pairing it with vegetables like eggplant that are most popular in Turkish cookery, or twist is up in a traditional Mexican mole sauce – it’s up to you!

Tired of Having the Flavorless Spices? Learn the Ways to Keep Them Fresh!

Do you have spices that are lying in your kitchen cabinets for long? Do you want to know either they’re perfect or have gone bad? Every spice has a different degree of getting flavorless, some of them lose their flavor after 6 months while others remain flavorful for more than a year. Are you interested in knowing when spices get bad and how to keep your spices fresh? Then keep on reading!

Spices usually don’t get worse but they do change their flavor. The flavorful span of spice depends on which spices are they (grounded or not) and how you have stored them. Here are some of the ways through which you can keep your spices fresh.

  • Keep the spices sealed.

Do you know what volatility is? It’s the chemical characteristic of aromatic flavor spices to just vanish into the air. It is mostly observed in dry spices. It occurs slowly but it does occur with time. The more the spices are exposed to air, the more their flavor escapes out. Have you ever noticed that the black pepper in your salt cellar is lacking the flavor? Why is it so? It’s because the salt cellar has small openings through which air comes in contact with the spice and it starts losing its flavor. The simple way to keep your spices fresh and tasteful in to keep them in airtight jars or bags so that they are tightly sealed and air doesn’t find its way of getting in contact with the spices.

  • Keep the whole spices.

You might find it easy to use the ground spices but it’s better to use the whole ones. During the grinding process, the ground spices’ volatile flavors have been in contact with the air due to which they might lose their flavor faster. But whole seeds hold onto their flavor for a longer time. At SpiiCery, we freshly ground our spices and hold their peak flavor for about 6 months to a year. While the whole spices can be stored in your cabinet for about 2 years before losing their flavor.

  • Keep them away from warmth.

You might know this but still, it’s necessary to remind you again so that you can keep your spices fresh. Do ever place your spices in areas where there is warmth. For example, near or above the stove. If you would keep your spices in areas where there is heat/warmth, your spices will get humidity. Now you must be thinking where should keep them, right? It’s best to keep them in dry, cool areas like cabinets but don’t forget that there should be no humidity. If you will keep them at a place where there is even a little moisture, they will be clumped up in the jar because of the absorbed moisture from the air.

  • Place them in a light-free zone.

We get it, you might want to display your spice jars open so that people coming over to your place might appreciate your extensive culinary collection. Everyone wants this. But unfortunately, light bleaches out the vibrant colors from the spices like mustard powder, paprika, and red chili powder, etc. some of the seasonings like Asafetida that you rarely use, they are not that susceptible to bleaching effect and tend to spend more time in their jars without being used up.

  • Grind your spices in the traditional mortar.

You can grind your spices into the electric grinder, but you may not get the best flavors when you grind your spices in it. Also, it’s very difficult to get rid of the aroma of the spices after grinding them into the electric grinder. While in the traditional pestle and mortar, you can grind the spices well and get the flavorful grounded spices out of it. You can also use it for making chili paste, pesto, and other sauces. Micro planes are another good way of grounding your spices. They are not just for zesting citrus; they can be perfectly used for powdering the cinnamon sticks and whole nutmeg.

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