Ok, we confess: We have an addiction. We are compulsive buyers of spices.
Whenever we come into contact with a new, uncommon spice, we have to buy it. It can not be helped. Nothing.
In addition, we are turned down that it is ultra good for our little bodies. So we listen to the public health authorities.
But hey, our spice cupboard is still really packed, disorganized and we clearly need to sort it out.
Returning from our trip to South Africa last year (where we were on the verge of aneurysm rupture in front of the spice markets), we made the promise not to buy spice before finishing half of our (huge) collection.
From Africa, we went through Dubai, Marrakech, Corsica, London and Greece => Epic Fail.
So we will talk about this epic fail, introducing the 6 favorite spices of our latest acquisitions.
LET’S TALK SPICES
When we spotted these huge sticks of cinnamon, we had to have them. We usually know cinnamon in its ground form and it is not well known that it comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. And the stick is actually the rolled up bark.
Cinnamon is sweet and is generally associated with a sweet taste.
We like the stick version when we want to make an infusion. You can easily cook it in a sweet preparation like homemade applesauce (2 sticks in the pot during cooking and it goes crazy) or for a salty dish such as tajines or stews.
Try adding it while cooking ingredients for a soup!
But do not forget to remove the sticks before mixing the preparation.
This one is becoming more and more famous. The taste is similar to ginger (it’s the same family) but it’s sweeter, with no bitter taste.
You can sprinkle on your vegetables before roasting or put a little in your coffee to pimp all. Be careful of your hands or dishes when using this spice, they turn yellow easily and it is very difficult to get rid of the color.
We warned you.
We all know the white version of cardamom. This type has a stronger flavor, the pods are also larger.
We like to add some pods in the cooking water of rice, pasta or any kind of legumes. It gives a touch of flavor and bingo, you get detox benefits, good for your health.
This one was a real re-discovery in Dubai. We return with almost 1kg of Za’atar in our suitcases (almost reached the weight limit to the weight of the baggage Oups).
They put it anywhere: Croissant (blasphemy! But it’s so good that we forgive quickly), flat bread, yogurt, vegetables, salads, grilled meat …
And it’s absolutely delicious. Za’atar is known throughout the Middle East and there are nearly a million different recipes. The base is usually made with sun-dried thyme, oregano, marjoram mixed with grilled sesame seeds and salt, although other spices such as sumac may also be added.
It goes with almost anything. And if you are motivated, you can do it yourself at home. Just find a good recipe on the net.
Ok, you already know this one. Cloves can be used to spice up (with cardamom) when cooking rice, pasta and legumes. We plunge 2 cloves into the cooking water and let the magic happen.
As our reserve was really low, we took advantage of the fact that it was cheap and we could buy it in bulk (Oops for the weight limit of the suitcases).
Ah sumac … We love it with love. While browsing on Wikipedia, it has just been discovered that this spice was very well known in North America, because it is used by the Amerindians in different types of drinks. In Europe, it is on the contrary a novelty.
The fruits of the sumac tree are ground in a reddish purple powder also used in Middle Eastern cuisine.
The flavor is close to lemon! it’s amazing if you want to add a tangy and lemony flavor to salads or meat (we even saw it in cocktails).
Why not sprinkle your Shakshuka?
Tell us about your favorite spices! Do you have spices that we do not know to feed our addiction?