Mace- (Myristica fragrans)
Mace is actually the aril or fleshy covering of the pit of the nutmeg fruit. It has a sweet, spicy scent similar to sassafras root with camphoraceous notes. The rich and spicy flavor of mace works wonderfully in both sweet and savory dishes as well as spice blends like garam masala. Commonly used in India it is also used in some European and Middle Eastern dishes. And like nutmeg, it is very potent- 1 piece will go along way so use sparingly. We have whole mace from India.
Makrut Lime Leaf- (Citrus Hystrix)
Makrut lime (AKA Kaffir Lime) is related to Persian lime and the leaves are used more than the fruit. Makrut lime leaves and zest are used extensively in Thai cuisine. They have an intense, sweet lime candy-like scent. They are most commonly used in curries and soups and make an interesting ingredient in tea. We have frozen makrut lime leaves.
Marjoram- (Origanum marjorana)
Marjoram is an herb native to Cyprus and western Turkey that is related to oregano. Marjoram has a sweet, bay leaf-like scent and piney undertones. The flavor is spicy and citrusy. It is used throughout southern Europe and the Levant from soups and stews to savory spice blends like za’atar.
Mustard Seed- (Brassica)
Closely related to cabbage and broccoli the mustard plant’s leaves and seeds are used most commonly in cooking. Mustard seed has little scent and a slightly nutty flavor and can be very pungent in certain varieties depending on how they are prepared. We carry brown and black mustard seed.
Brown mustard (Brassica juncea) seed is the main ingredient in the condiment brown mustard and can pack quite a bite depending on the temperature of the water used in making the ground mustard flour into a paste. Brown mustard seed is also used in making pickles and can be used instead of yellow mustard seed in most recipes. We have whole Organic brown mustard seed from Canada.
Black mustard seed (Brassica nigra) is more pungent than brown or yellow and is commonly used in Indian cuisine. Our black mustard seed comes from India.
Nigella- (Nigella sativa)
Nigella is actually the seed of a flowering plant related to the ornamental garden plant Love in a Mist. Nigella is native to South and Southwest Asia. It is sometimes called black caraway even though it is not related to caraway and tastes nothing like it. Nigella has a sweet, bready scent and spicy, earthy flavor. It is used in South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine in foods like na’an bread and spice blends like panch phoran (Bengali five spice). Our nigella comes from India and Egypt.
Nutmeg- (Myristica fragrans)
Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree native to Indonesia. Nutmeg has a sweet, floral scent and a spicy, camphoraceous flavor. It is used in commonly in dishes, both sweet and savory, in South and Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Europe. It is also used in drinks like mulled wine and spice blends, like garam masala. Nutmeg is best grated or ground right before use. Our whole nutmeg is Organic and comes to us from Sri Lanka.
Onion- dried and minced- (Allium Cepa)
Dried onion has some of the same qualities as fresh but is more mellow and since it is dehydrated it is great for spice blends and in baking as it will not give off water. Our Organic, dried minced white onion comes from here in the USA.
Sweet Orange Peel- (Citrus x sinensis)
The sweet orange is a actually a hybrid of the pomelo and mandarin orange. It is thought to have originated in southern China and then spread to tropical regions around the old world. Sweet oranges are used primarily for their juice and peel, either fresh or dried. Dried, granulated sweet orange peel has a light, buttery citrus scent and a naturally sweet orange flavor. Orange peel is great in baked goods, spice blends, liqueurs and mulled wine. We carry Organic granulated orange peel grown here in the US.
Cretan Oregano- (Origanum onites)
Cretan oregano is an herb in the mint family native to Sicily, Greece and Turkey. It is closely related to common oregano but has a more pungent scent and stronger flavor. Oregano has a musky, savory scent and a spicy, slightly bitter, thyme-like flavor. Oregano is used throughout southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean in dishes like tomato sauce, breads and in spice blends. We carry Organic cut and sifted dried oregano from Turkey.
Orris Root- (Iris pallida)
Orris root is actually the root of the Dalmatian or Sweet Iris. The Dalmatian iris is a type of bearded iris native to Croatia that has widely naturalized elsewhere. The fresh root- which doesn’t have much scent or flavor- is carefully dried and aged in cool conditions for 2-5 years. As this process comes to completion the root develops a sweet floral nose- similar to the iris flower. The flavor is slightly bitter with hints of violets. Orris root is used in perfumery as a base scent and potpourri as a fixitive. It is also used in spice blends like ras el hanout and in flavoring liqueurs and gin.
Paprika, Hungarian- (Capsicum annuum)
Paprika is made from the fruits of a several varieties of pepper plant- usually the tomato pepper. It has a bright, crimson color, smoky chili pepper-like scent and a sweet and slightly spicy flavor. It’s savory flavor enriches spice blends like ras el hanout and is essential in dishes like goulash. Our paprika comes from Hungary.
Chili Pepper- (Capsicum)
Chili peppers most likely originated in Central Mexico and were cultivated and used by the Native Central and South Americans long before European colonization. The most common theory is that Portuguese and Spanish brought the spicy peppers (so named because their heat reminded them of the black peppercorn) back with them and gradually it was introduced into cultures around the world through their colonies. Chili peppers get their spicy quality from capsaicin- a chemical mostly present in the seeds and pith towards the center of the chili. There are hundreds of varieties of chili pepper ranging in heat levels and sweetness. We carry cayenne chili powder, chipotle powder and Thai chilies- all of which come from different varieties of Capsicum annuum– the same species as bell pepper.
Cayenne chilies are mid-range on the heat scale and have a scent and flavor similar to paprika- just with a little more kick. Our cayenne pepper powder is Organic and comes from India.
Chipotle peppers are actually jalapeno peppers that are allowed to ripen until they turn red and have dried out a bit. They are then smoked until thoroughly dried, which gives them a very distinct sweet and smoky BBQ-like scent. The flavor is sweet and savory and slightly less spicy than cayenne pepper. Our Organic chipotle pepper powder comes from here in the USA.
Thai chilies or Bird’s eye chilies have a sweet, fruity scent very similar to red bell peppers which is very deceptive as they pack quite a punch in the heat department. Thai chilies are the most commonly used chilies (usually dried) in South China and Southeast Asia. They heat up soups like tom yum and give their characteristic earthy red color and sweet, spicy flavor to curry pastes. Fresh chilies are used more in soups and as a garnish in curries. Dried Thai chilies are used more in curry pastes and stir fry dishes. We have frozen Thai chilies (which can be used like fresh) from Thailand.
Black Peppercorn- (Piper nigrum)
Black peppercorns are the unripe, cooked fruit of a plant native to South India. They have a pungent savory scent with hints of lemon, pine and camphor when freshly ground. Peppercorns should be freshly ground as their scent and flavor dissipate soon after grinding. The heat perceived from black pepper is due to a chemical called piperine rather than the capsaicin found in chili peppers. Black pepper found its way into cuisine around the world. Our Organic, whole black peppercorns come from India and Vietnam.
Peppermint- (Mentha x piperita)
Peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint crossed with water mint. Peppermint’s name derives from its peppery spiciness combined with its minty flavor. Peppermint is used commonly in candy and dessert items as well as soups (like pho) in Southeast Asia. It makes a great herbal tea by itself or regular tea when combined with black or green teas.
Poppy Seed- (Papever somniferum)
Poppy seeds are the seeds of the opium poppy plant. Poppy seeds have a sweet, nutty flavor that lends to their use in breads and pastries as well as more savory dishes like aloo posto (Bengali potato curry with poppyseed paste). They are used in cuisines across Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. Our whole Organic poppy seed comes from Turkey.