HERBIE'S BLOG

The Spice Discovery

Cooking

Herbie Makes a Curry in Kumily

In this video, following a short elephant ride, I have the audacity to show my Indian friends at Spice Village how I make my Saturday Curry!

General

Spices & More in South India Jan-Feb 2020

We invite you to join us, Herbie and Liz, as we return to our beloved India to take you to some places where many tourists don’t go! And some amazing places that you just can’t miss. This is designed as a holiday, not an endurance test, and we have made the itinerary a little more leisurely than some earlier tours, so that you arrive home refreshed and well. Be a part of our small group and join the fun!

Behind the Scenes

Newsletter Winter 2019

What is Single Origin? We see it emblazoned on tea, coffee, spices and other foodstuffs.  It’s pretty simple really.  If all your potatoes have been grown in the Hunter Valley, they are single origin from that region – they don’t all have to come from the same farm. If, say, a coffee blender buys beans from Africa and South America, and mixes them all

Behind the Scenes

Mastic Update

We have recently noticed an increase in awareness of mastic as an ingredient, so have decided to share some previous information to help demystify this fascinating and useful spice. Mastic is the name given to the resinous gum that exudes from the scored bark of the Gum Mastic Tree. There are many varieties of mastic trees (Pistacia lentiscus) in the Mediterranean and Middle East, yet most

Behind the Scenes

Stroll in a Spice Garden

A modern trend in agriculture is to focus on broad-acre cropping to achieve greater efficiencies. One may be surprised to learn that many spices are still grown on small family-owned holdings, where more than one crop is cultivated. There is a simple logic to this method, one that has served Indian spice farmers for centuries, and has a few key reasons for being sustained.

Behind the Scenes

There’s More to Cloves than Christmas

There's More to Cloves than Christmas When studding the Christmas ham with cloves last year, in preparation for coating with our special glaze, we thought people may be interested to know some facts about this wonderful spice. Following is an extract from Spice Notes & Recipes by Ian Hemphill with recipes by Kate Hemphill. Although this edition is out of print it has been replaced by The Spice

General

Some Spiced Holiday Reading

With the holiday season fast approaching after the flurry of Christmas activities, I thought some of you may be interested in some spiced holiday reading of a chapter from my book Spice Travels. In 2002, Spice Travels, A Spice Merchant’s Voyage of Discovery was published. Introduction Spice Travels has given me a wonderful opportunity to share many of the spice experiences I have had while in

Behind the Scenes

Is Cassia Really Cinnamon?

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

General

For the Love of Cardamom!

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.

Behind the Scenes

Turmeric Explained

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

Behind the Scenes

Kashmir Saffron Harvest 2015

Herbie visited Pampore near Srinagar in Kashmir to see the first saffron flowers bloom in 2015 The famous Kashmiri Saffron is grown over many hectares in Pampore, not far from Srinagar in Kashmir. Click here to watch a video of Herbie's Experience Learn more about saffron and how to distinguish the real from the fake here.

Behind the Scenes

Grains of Paradise

Although exotically named, this wild harvested member of the cardamom family has enjoyed renewed awareness as followers of West African cuisine, and boutique gin producers, discover its true potential.   The economy of Sierra Leone, a major exporter of Grains of Paradise, was devastated during the last ebola epidemic. Therefore we were pleased to hear from our supplier who advised us: "We also out here are

Behind the Scenes

Kashmir Saffron Harvest 2015

Herbie visits Kashmir to see the 2015 flowering and explains a little about the world’s most expensive spice, Kashmir Saffron. The Truth About Saffron

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