In 2013, Cronuts (those croissant-doughnut hybrids breakfast sweets) were introduced, we saw a million recipes for brussel sprouts, and of course everything was better with bacon. This year, one of the top trends in the food world are spicy foods and flavors that use middle eastern spices.
We import spices directly from a South African company called eat.art Living Food (http://www.eatart.co.za) by Kalk Bay Foods. It is a spice company that blends spices from around the globe into unique and delicious combinations. They like to blur the lines between food and art so all their products come with exceptional good looks. (And no they do not Twerk when they mix the spices!) So, in 2014 we are suggesting you may want stay at home and let your taste buds travel the world and explore foods with exotic spices.
The Spicy Side of Spice: There are lots of spicy food seekers and they don’t want to experience just the same everyday hot flavors you get from adding crushed red chili flakes from the pizzeria. The trend is about experiencing different spicy flavors from around the world.
Hot & Spicy Blends from Around the Globe ($28): The 12 jars gift pack is filled with spice mixes that will send your taste buds to the moon. Recipes and the origin of spice are included in the gift pack. A sample of what you will find:
- Vindaloo Spice- Regarded as the King of Curry the fiery hot Vindaloo has roots in Portuguese cuisine. This is normally the hottest curry dish that is available at Indian Restaurants. Add a bit of this spice to vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger to make a marinade, to soak pork or any other desired meat.
- Piri Piri Spice- A fiery and fragrant spice mix that is also called African bird’s eye chili, the pepper that is used to make this spice mix grows in South Africa, Nigeria, Zambia and half of Ethiopia. Use to make the perfect basting sauce for fresh shrimp or bbq.
- Togarishi 7 Spice– Inspired by the traditional Sgichimi Tagarishi Japanese spice mixes, which means seven chilies. The combination of heat, sweetness and a bit of sour round off the resulting flavors perfectly, the spice mix includes red chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed. This can be used in sauces but other suggestions are to sprinkle it on watermelon, baked potato or melon.
Kalk Bay Foods also creates a line of spice grinders with unique and delicious combinations of spices. These are popular items in our store and on-line. Here are some of the most popular grinders:
Spirit of Fire Grinder ($6.50) – Bits that bite, a spice mix of Chilli, black pepper, red bell pepper, ginger horseradish and coffee beans. Try on pizza or in eggs.
Heatwave Grinder ($ 6.50) is a powerful blend that will add delicious heat to any dish or snack. Karen a long time employee loves to grind it on popcorn. Spice mix includes: Sea Salt, red chili, garlic, green chili, ginger, horseradish, lemon grass, lemon zest, coriander leaf, basil, and lime leaf.
Smoulder Spice Grinder ($6.50) is a combination of smoked spices including salt, paprika, garlic and peppercorns. Perfect for any kind of meat or savory dish that can use smokey flavor.
Middle Eastern Spices
Known for a healthier and more aromatic cuisine, Mediterranean dishes are frequently seasoned with blends of spices that are easy to use and will boost your food’s intensity and the best part with no added calories (keeping your New Year’s Resolution in tack). Here are a couple of products from our store that feature the flavors of the Middle East.
Za’atar ( $7.50) A spice mix that takes herbs including thyme, oregano, basil, satureja (closely related to rosemary) and mix it with toasted sesame seeds and sea salt. This type of spice mix can be added to pasta, olive oil for dipping or on top of flat bread.
Egyptian Dukkah ($7.50) An Egyptian spice blend of toasted nuts and seeds. The aromatic mixtures and the nutty flavor can become addictive when served as a dip with bread and olive oil, sprinkled on top of vegetables and pasta.
And from Mexico, Gran Luchito Products
We started importing the Gran Luchito line from England late last year. While this line takes a circuitous path to the US, we are glad that they found their way to our store. These are intensely flavorful products made with chillies grown and smoked in the Oaxaca region of Mexico. These chillies are famous for their smoky spicy flavor that adds a different kind of heat. The line includes a chilli paste ($8.95), Mexican honey flavored with chillies ($10.95) and a spicy mayonnaise ($6.95) and are available online and in our store. Check out the Gran Luchito website for preparation and serving suggestions.