It’s hard to believe that it’s almost two years since we closed the door of our dear little store in Rozelle. In the 19 years that we were there, in addition to our range of herbs, spices and books, we offered packs of empty jars, with blank Herbie’s Spices labels, for people to fill with their favourites. We believe that our high-barrier, zip-lock plastic laminate
Yes! Cassia is a variety of cinnamon as previously explained in our “Cinnamon Facts” Blog. Chinese cassia, Batavia or Indonesian cassia, and Saigon or Vietnamese cassia are harvested in a different manner from Sri Lankan cinnamon. Various cassia botanical names are (Cinnamomum cassia, C. burmannii, C. lourerii and C. tamala) and many years ago was called Saigon Cinnamon in the USA, and Dutch Cinnamon, Baker’s Cinnamon, Bastard Cinnamon and
The Hemphill family has been a key driving force in communicating the wonders of culinary herbs and spices for over 60 years. This is a history telling how it all began, and what the second and third generations are doing to maintain a deeply held family tradition. John and Rosemary Hemphill owned a plant nursery called Somerset Nursery west of Sydney in the mid
WHAT IS ACHIOTE? Achiote is another name for annatto seeds, (Bixa orellana) and achiote paste is the Mexican condiment that gets its main flavour from annatto seeds. So what are annatto seeds? Annatto seeds are collected from a relatively small tropical evergreen tree that grows 5–10 m high. The leaves are heart-shaped, glossy and provide an attractive background to the large bright pink flowers, which have the
How to use Australian Native Herbs and Spices Over the last 35 years there has been a lot of interest in the commercial opportunities provided by edible Australian native plants (often referred to as ‘bush tucker’) including those used as spices. Australia is a vast continent and most non-indigenous people would perish quickly in this environment without adequate supplies of familiar life-sustaining produce. To
In January 1997, Liz and I spent a month in Cochin, South India to take a Spice Sabbatical in preparation for opening Herbie’s Spices on the 7th of July 1997 – 20 years ago. Cardamom remains one of my favourite spices, therefore it seems appropriate to share this experience with you, one that I wrote about in my book Spice Travels that was published in 2001.
Turmeric is receiving worldwide interest, due to the many health-giving properties being debated by scientists, and natural health practitioners. Whatever you believe about turmeric (and a Google search will give you lots of pros and cons), we believe it is a wonderful spice, and one that can be enjoyed culinarily in many different ways. We are not health practitioners, as our expertise relates only
Herbie’s Spice Kits remain as popular as ever, partly because nearly every kit has been inspired by suggestions from our customers. With this in mind, we turned to social media and asked our followers to come up with their own suggestions as to what they’d like to see us make up next. As an incentive, we promised the sender of the kit idea we chose,
Three New American-Inspired Spice Blends for 4th July One cuisine that is often overlooked, yet has influenced Australian tastes for decades, is that of The United States of America. Just think, American as Apple Pie, Turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Tex-Mex, Pastrami on Rye, Sourdough, Cajun, Creole, File Gumbo, Fried Chicken, and of course Pumpkin Pie! Herbie & Liz visited Herbie’s Spices
Herbie and Liz visited their USA distributor Williamson Wines, and together with owners Dawn and Bill Williamson, and their winery Executive Chef Tommy, himself a CIA Alumni. they recently addressed the Culinary Institute of America on the effective use of spices and how spice blends work with wines. Here are videos of Herbie’s answers to questions from that session. What does the “Best Before Date” on
For many years Herbie has been frustrated with the inability to source a really good Vanilla Bean Paste. Why is this so? Most vanilla bean pastes are made up of: spent vanilla (that’s the organic material left over after the process of making vanilla extract) sugar syrup various thickeners vanilla extract in alcohol added back in for flavour. These products contain a very small
Have you ever wondered where vanilla comes from? If so, let us take you on a fascinating journey to one of its sources – Mexico.