Herbie’s Newsletter – Spring 2022

August 23, 2022 posted in Behind the Scenes

What are the things that make you know what it is to be Australian?  To us it’s the feeling you have when you see a boomerang fashioned from flimsy balsawood, made in some cheap-labour offshore country, for tourists to buy for a pittance and take home as a “genuine” Australian article.  The same feeling of outrage and violation is felt by Koreans when their beloved kimchi is made using inferior, imported products to ensure a cheaper cost to consumers, bringing the entire Korean Kimchi image into disrepute.  The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in Korea has revised their Kimchi Industry Promotion Act to legislate that true Korean Kimchi must be made from Korean-grown ingredients.  Why are we telling you this?  It’s to explain why our Korean Red Pepper Flakes, grown in Korea, are more expensive than some others you may find in the market place.  It’s your choice – have the genuine ones from Herbie’s, or make do with the lesser product.

Korean Red Pepper Flakes
Crunchy Salad Sprinkle

Bagel Seasoning is being talked about in some food scenes.  It’s a sprinkle to dust over your bagel, and is usually made up mostly of sesame seeds.  We don’t feel at this stage that we need to make a bagel seasoning for you, but if you do want something to add a further element of textural interest to your bagel, you could use our Bread Maker’s Seed Mix, or Crunchy Salad Sprinkle.

There’s nothing funny about having a serious allergy to nuts or glutens, and that’s why it’s mandatory for food manufacturers to declare the presence of these allergens in their products.  Just to stay out of trouble, some food producers think the safest way around it is to put a blanket “may contain traces of nuts/gluten” on all their products, which meets the requirements with a minimum of vigilance, but means that gluten/nut allergic people have to do without a product that may in fact be safe for them.  We have found an increasing number of our raw materials carry this statement, which doesn’t state clearly one way or the other what the actual status of allergens is.  So we have made the investment, both in dollars and time, to test individual shipments that arrive at our factory, so that, if there is no allergen detected, we can tell you so and you can enjoy adding that extra flavour to your meals.  Bear in mind that, if the label says a product contains gluten, that doesn’t mean that gluten has been added, just that it has been detected in the spice.  Because some of our more rare spices come from countries where quality control is basic, our vigilance is sometimes put to the test, and we recently had a time-consuming and stressful product recall as three of our labels did not reflect the possibility of the product containing peanuts or tree nuts.

Chillies Drying in the Sun in India

Mexican Barbacoa Beef

Mexican Barbacoa Beef
Mexican Barbacoa Beef

Are you aware that it’s already the run-up to another Christmas?  We’ve been feeling creative lately, and have begun a range of single-recipe kits in our cute little boxes.  To know that you have all the spices on hand, plus a fail-safe recipe, gives a nice feeling of security.  The eggplant bake is a dish we discovered in India: picture moussaka re-imagined by an Indian chef – surely the best of both worlds!

The fabulous fish stew recipe was given to us by friends from Kuwait – definitely an all-time favourite full of amazing flavours.  Slow-cooked beef is the star of our Mexican Barbacoa Beef recipe, and we know you’ll just love it.  Each kit is priced based on the spices contained, so there are different price-points.  Check them out on our website – there might be one that’s just perfect, (and the perfect too), for that music teacher or kind neighbour who deserves a little Christmas thank-you.

What’s new at Herbie’s?  Smoothies have grown in popularity over the past several years.  A smoothie is a great way to use up beautifully-ripe fruit, and a nourishing quick breakfast for busy mornings.  So we’ve made a fabulous Smoothie Booster spice mix, using flavoursome Australian native ingredients such as Davidson plum, strawberry gum and lemon myrtle, as well as traditional sweet spices like cinnamon, cassia, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg.  Given a further boost with strawberry powder and ground rose petals, just a teaspoon of this blend to a cup of smoothie ingredients will delight your taste buds.  Tip: peel and freeze ripe bananas, then add broken chunks when making your smoothie to give an ice-cream-like consistency.

Smoothies

Our new Box of Ideas for Spring has given us many pleasurable moments as we developed the recipes for this kit.  Featuring our new Smoothie Booster as well as Bread Maker’s Seed Mix, Aloo Gobi Spice Mix and Aussie Barbecue Spice, it’s going to bring you lots of textural interest as well as great flavours.  In the baby-leaf-green box, it remains at the constant price of $25.00 plus postage.

Lemon Myrtle Flavoured Sorbet

As the warmer weather brings seasonal melons back to the stores, it’s time to remember that a little ground Lemon Myrtle tossed through chopped rockmelon is a great-tasting simple dessert.  Add just a drop of orange juice to give enough moisture to re-hydrate the lemon myrtle, and allow to stand for an hour or more before serving. This refreshing Lemon Myrtle Sorbet is to be enjoyed on a warm spring day!

I’m sure we’re not the only people who are noticing the increased cost of groceries.  Floods, war, and farmers holding back stock in order to rebuild their post-drought herds, have all played their part in increasing the weekly food bill.  Thank goodness, in times like these, for fabulous spice mixes to elevate cheaper ingredients to highly enjoyable meals.  Take chicken drumsticks, for instance – coat them with Smokey Barbecue Spice, or American Spicy Barbecue, or your favourite blend.  Fry to brown, then finish in the oven – delicious!  Mix a can of red kidney beans with a can of tomatoes and season with Lentil and Dhal spice – wholesome, low-fat and low cost as well.  Mix red kidney beans with Mexican spice blend and spoon over whole, opened baked potato – enough to satisfy a teenage boy!  Pork, as one of the more affordable meats, responds well to Sydney Spice, Jerk Seasoning, and – why not? – Pork Spice!  This Pulled BBQ Jackfruit recipe is a great vegan option. The only limit is your own imagination, and if that’s not working too well, have a look at the recipes on our website.

Vegan Pulled Jackfruit

“Happy Spicing”

Herbie & Liz

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