Rose Buds and Petals- (Rosa x centifolia)
Roses are in the same family as apples, plums and briars. Rosa centifolia, or the Cabbage Rose, is actually a complex hybrid of several different rose varieties. The flower petals and buds of roses are used for their sweet, perfumy scent which can be used dried or fresh. Dried rosebuds are great for tea (especially when blended with green tea), flavored syrups or in spice blends like garam masala, baharat and ras el hanout. They also make an interesting addition to liqueurs and gin. We have whole pink rosebuds from Morocco.
Rosemary- (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb that originated in the Mediterranean basin. It is in the mint family and related to sage and thyme. Rosemary has a savory, piney scent and spicy, astringent flavor that goes wonderfully in dips, tomato sauce, bean, vegetable and seafood dishes. We have Organic dried whole rosemary leaves from Spain and Morocco.
Saffron- (Crocus sativus)
Saffron is actually the stigmas and styles of a crocus flower native to Turkey. The tiny, bright crimson strands, “threads”, are handpicked and carefully dried – this labor-intensive harvesting accounts for saffrons high price. Saffron has a sweet hay-like scent and imparts a beautiful golden yellow color to dishes. It is used across South Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin often in rice, couscous and seafood dishes. Saffron is quite potent so only a few threads are needed for most recipes. Our saffron is from Spain.
Sesame Seed- (Sesamum indicum)
There are many wild varieties of sesame in tropical Africa and South Asia. Cultivated sesame is thought to have originated in India. Sesame seeds are used by themselves (usually toasted) or pressed for their oil. Sesame seeds have a savory scent and sweet, nutty flavor. They are used in candies, breads and savory dishes around the world. Our whole sesame seeds are Organic and come from Ethiopia.
Sichuan Peppercorn- (Zanthoxylem)
Sichuan peppercorns are the fruit of prickly ash trees (Zanthoxylem simulans, Zanthoxylem bungeanum) native to East Asia. Prickly ash are in the citrus family and related to oranges and lemons. It is not related to the plant that produces black peppercorn and Sichuan peppercorn tastes and smells nothing like black peppercorn. Sichuan pepper is a bright watermelon pink color and smells like a combination of oranges, lemon zest and mint. The flavor is tart and citrusy. Sichuan peppercorns cause a peculiar, buzzing, numbing sensation in the mouth that is really unlike anything else in the culinary world. This sensation while not hot like chili peppers served the same function in Chinese cuisine prior to the introduction of chilies. In dishes where they are combined, the qualities of chili pepper and Sichuan pepper seem to play off and enhance each other. Sichuan pepper is used extensively in South and Central Chinese Cuisines as well as in Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and India. It is one of the components of Chinese five spice powder and is often ground and sprinkled over stir fry dishes for a little extra kick.
Spearmint- (Mentha spicata)
Spearmint is closely related to water mint and pennyroyal. It is native to Europe and most of Asia. Its strong flavor is similar to peppermint but more herbaceous, less spicy and with hints of caraway. Spearmint is great in combination with green tea or by itself. It also makes an interesting ingredient in cocktails, herbal liqueurs and sauces. We have Organic dried, cut and sifted spearmint leaves grown here in the USA.
Star Anise- (Illicium verum)
Star anise are the seedpods of an evergreen tree native to northern Vietnam and southwest China. Star anise has an intense licorice aroma and naturally sweet and slightly spicy flavor. It is used in cuisine from the Middle East, South and East Asia in dishes like Cumin Rice and Pho. It is also used as a seasoning for coffee and mulled in Europe as well as an ingredient in liqueurs like Ouzo and Anisette. Our whole Star Anise pods are Organic and come from Vietnam.
Sumac- (Rhus coriaria)
Sumac is a dark purplish-red spice made from the fruit of the Sicilian or elm leaved sumac. Sumac trees are in the cashew family and related to mangoes and pistachios. Sumac has an earthy, lemony scent and tart citrus flavor. It is used throughout the Middle East and parts of South Asia in spice blends like Za’atar or just sprinkled over dishes such as hummus like ground pepper for a lemony zip. Our sumac comes in 3 oz containers.
Tejpatta- (Cinnamomum tamala)
Tejpatta or Indian Bay leaves comes from a tree closely related to cinnamon called Indian Cassia or Malabathrum. The tree is native to South Asia and China. While it is in the laurel family, like the Mediterranean bay tree, they taste and smell nothing like each other. Tejpatta has a light, sweet cinnamon scent and spicy, herbaceous flavor. They are used extensively in South Asian cuisine in dishes like Peshawari chole and spice blends like garam masala.
Thyme- (Thymus vulgaris)
Thyme is a small, shrubby herb native to the southern Europe and the northern Mediterranean. It is in the mint family and related to rosemary and sage. The leaves are used fresh or dried in a variety of dishes from across Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Thyme has a savory, citrusy scent and spicy, slightly-bitter flavor with hints of pine. Thyme is often used in tomato sauces as well as spice blends like za’atar. It is also an important ingredient in herbal liqueurs like Chartreuse. Our dried Thyme leaves are Organic and come from Poland and Spain.
Turmeric- (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric comes from the rhizome of a plant in the ginger family. It is native to India and Southeast Asia. Turmeric has an earthy, peppery scent and savory, spicy flavor similar to galangal. Turmeric has a brilliant golden color and is sometimes used as a dye- it will also stain anything it touches. Turmeric (usually dried and ground) is used extensively in Indian, African and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is used fresh in Southeast Asian spice blends like yellow curry paste. In the west turmeric is often used in curry powder and to flavor pickles. We have Organic, dried turmeric powder from India and frozen whole turmeric root which can be used like fresh roots.