Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2019 – 2020

November 21, 2019 posted in General

Newsletter Summer 2019-20

Single Use Plastics

We’re all in accord about single-use plastics. Having seen huge drifts of plastic in the pristine seas off the Indonesian islands, we know just how important it is to get rid of those shopping bags, plastic wraps and sandwich bags.  When one gets emotional about bad plastics, it’s easy to begin to demonize all plastics, and perhaps it’s timely to repeat this message from our Newsletter of some years ago:

We are proud of the exceptional storage qualities of our high-barrier laminate plastic bags, however from time to time we agonize over the eco-friendliness (or not) of our plastic packaging. We found it interesting that another food company has thoroughly researched the glass-versus-laminate question.  Put briefly, the Life Cycle Assessment conducted at RMIT University found that their non-recyclable pouch uses less non-renewable energy and less water to produce, and emits less CO2 equivalents over its entire life cycle than a glass jar.  They also pointed out that nearly half of Australia’s recyclable glass is not recycled in Australia, so the environmental effects of shipping the glass out of the country need to be taken into account as well.

We are doing our best to bring you the best quality product and not overburden our environment. Naturally, we cannot compromise on keeping your spices as fresh as possible. We are constantly watching for developments in packaging, and are hopeful that a recyclable or bio-degradable bag with equivalent barrier properties of our current packaging is not too far away.

Shortage of Cardamom Seeds

Further to our comments in the latest Newsletter about star anise being used in the making of Tamiflu, a contact in the know has let us know that Tamiflu’s effect is in doubt, so maybe our star anise supplies are safe! But it’s a case of “one door opens, another closes”, as we face drastic shortages of cardamom seeds.  The importation of seeds of any kind has become more difficult due to new Australian bio-security regulations introduced recently. That combined with low harvests in India (our source) and Guatemala (another major producer) you may have to stock up on whole green cardamom pods, and peel the husk away to avail yourself of the seeds as you need them.  That’s what we’ll be doing in order to continue to include ground cardamom in retail packs.

What’s New at Herbie’s?

Summer Salmon Salad

Summer Box of Ideas

Lots of new kit ideas, that’s what! Our Summer Box of Ideas for this season contains Jamaican Jerk seasoning and Brazilian spice mix for your summer barbecues, plus our lovely Native Lemon Pepper for your seafood (pictured is the Salmon Salad Recipe that is enclosed in the kit), Mixed Herbs for your stuffings and hamburgers, and Sugar and Spice for your sweet treats.  In our bright summer sky blue box, it’s $25.00 plus postage.

Risotto Blend and Black Garlic Powder

Also new for summer is our beautiful Risotto spice mix.  It’s never been easier to have a deliciously tasty risotto with the simplest of ingredients.  Just add a couple of teaspoons of Risotto spice mix to your stock, add some lovely seasonal vegetables, and stand by for the adulation from your diners!  After the sad demise of our black garlic bulbs (see latest newsletter), we have now found some amazing black garlic powder, which is pure umami, and we’ve used it as an important ingredient in the new spice blend, along with porcini powder, thyme, parsley, pepper, coriander seed and paprika. A 20g pack, priced at $6.75, will make two batches of risotto.

Ginspiration Plus

During winter, we visited Tasmania to do some classes for Hill Street Grocer, in Hobart and Devonport.  It’s impossible to fail to notice the plethora of boutique gin producers in Tasmania, most of them featuring the pepperberry which is native to that state.  We encourage you to seek out some of these boutique gins, which are really excellent.  Inspired, we played around with some Australian native spices in conjunction with our Ginspiration Kit, and were very pleased with the results.  That put us in a tricky situation … do we change what is already in our Ginspiration Kit, or make another one?  The solution, as we saw it, was to keep our excellent popular gin-making kit as it is, and have a little add-on box of spices for those who want to have more fun and experiment further with more than the traditional flavours.  So, we are happy to introduce Ginspiration Plus, an enhanced two-box bundle for $85.00 … making your own gin has never been so much fun!

Japanese Spice Kit

Brand new in time for Christmas is the Japanese Spice Kit, packed with Furikake Seasoning, Sansho powder, Katsu curry, ground ginger and Shichimi Togarashi, with some excellent recipes to get you started on your Japanese adventure. Due to the sky-high cost of Sancho powder, this kit is a little more expensive than most, but still reasonable at $45.00.  It’s in our purple box, in line with all the other cuisine-specific kits.

Kashmiri Saffron

Watch this space – our consistently superior Kashmiri saffron is about to have a downward price adjustment. Now there’s an early Christmas gift for everyone!

Travel in India

We’re thoroughly Indian-infused, back from a wonderful trip to northern parts of India, with 19 of the best travelling companions, and we’re off again in January to the south.  Just love those spices, the wonderful food, the amazing history and the delightful people that we meet along the way.

Peugeot Salt and Pepper Grinders

There’s great pleasure to be had in really good salt and pepper grinders that are easily adjustable and truly functional.  We have sourced a beautiful pack of Peugeot salt and pepper grinders, which we are offering in time for Christmas with complimentary Herbie’s Peppermill Blend and Spiced Salt, to get you started.  You’ll find all the details on the website.

 

Happy Holidays and Happy Spicing

Herbie and Liz

Explore All
post

The Mystique of Baharat Spice Blend

Baharat, also known as Lebanese Seven Spice or Advieh, has become one of the many ‘go-to’ spice blends along with Ras el Hanout and Chermoula. Herbie, always up to date or ahead with spice trends, was asked to contribute this article to Australian Gourmet Traveller in 1999. Yes, 24 years ago! This is the article: Legendary spice merchant and blender, Ian (Herbie) Hemphill, has

post

Herbie’s Spices Newsletter Winter 2023

When we started our operations on the Central Coast of NSW, it was a sleepy area in many ways.  How things have changed in 20 years!  We are pleased to announce that we have joined the vibrant Central Coast Maker’s Trail. Whether you have a few hours or an entire weekend to explore the Central Coast, the Makers Trail is the perfect adventure. This
post

Herbie’s Spices Newsletter Summer 2022 – 2023

Isn’t it surprising how quickly the seasons revolve?  Our hearts go out to those who have suffered immensely from the floods and wild weather in so many states.  For those more fortunate, we continue to eat and enjoy each other’s company.  Whether we’re celebrating Christmas, or just being together with loved ones on any other day of summer, food is always an important part
post

Meal Ideas for Isolation

We thought that in these unprecedented times, it would be appropriate to share some handy meal ideas to ease the stress of isolation and potentially limited food sources. Having to self-isolate creates an opportunity to brush up your cooking skills and have some fun experimenting with some flavours you may not have tried before. Let’s face it, everyone can cook. Have you ever grilled
post

Spices and Spice Blends for Vegetarian and Vegan Cooking

In this short video, Ian "Herbie" Hemphill talks about how Herbie's Spices, herbs and spice blends are all suitable for vegetarian and vegan cooking. A great spice blend for vegan meals is Aloo Gobi Masala. All ingredients are listed on the labels, so you know exactly what you are getting. For a wealth of information on spices, herbs and making your own spice blends,
post

Herbie’s Newsletter Summer 2019 – 2020

We’re all in accord about single-use plastics. Having seen huge drifts of plastic in the pristine seas off the Indonesian islands, we know just how important it is to get rid of those shopping bags, plastic wraps and sandwich bags. When one gets emotional about bad plastics, it’s easy to begin to demonize all plastics, and perhaps it’s timely to repeat this message from our Newsletter of some years ago.

post

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!

post

Herbie’s Newsletter Spring 2019

What kind of meal do you think of when you hear the word “curry”?  The origin of our English word is Kari, meaning a spiced sauce.  The English took the idea back home from the colonies, and the classic Madras curry – well-balanced and flavoursome - became a staple in the English household.  The French, meanwhile, had colonized the Pondicherry area on the south-eastern
post

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
post

Easter Spice Essentials

With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to think about the spices you’ll need for your Easter recipes. For all those sweet recipes such as cakes, biscuits and hot cross buns, cinnamon, allspice, cloves and cardamom are traditional, along with Mixed Spice. For extra fragrance and flavour, try using our Fragrant Sweet Spice Blend as an aromatic substitute. Easter is a great time
post

Herbie’s Kitchen July Recipes

It's that time of year when winter seems like it still has a way to go ... the evenings are still quite cold and mornings not quite light enough.  It's also when the immune system is put to the test with colds and Covid floating around. While we do not claim to be experts in medicinal spices, we do know that for thousands of
post

Is Chilli an Often Much Misunderstood Spice?

I awoke to the alarming news that the food regulator in Denmark has banned several varieties of a popular instant noodle brand due to it being too spicy! The regulator’s head of the Chemistry and Food Quality Division stated that the capsaicin levels were exposing consumers to chilli ‘poisoning’! Now, let’s think for a moment about what is going on here, and understand a
post

Herbie’s Kitchen June Recipes

With the much cooler weather we are enjoying curries even  more than usual (which is A LOT).  We have a huge range of Curry Blends, Spices, Recipes and Kits that span the large region of Asia and the wide varieties of curries you'll find.  From a coconut laden and fragrant Thai curry to a rich, deep and earthy North Indian curry, we have you covered.
post

Herbie’s Quarterly Newsletter

Welcome to Herbie's Quarterly Newsletter from the Spicery! We love our home-made pizza …. doesn’t everyone?  We usually mix up a paste using tomato powder and several of our other Herbie’s products in the pantry, and it’s so good that we think it should be available for everyone.  So, we’re happy to announce our new Pizza Sauce Mix.  Just mix half a pack with
post

Herbie’s Kitchen May Recipes

Welcome to the May Recipe Newsletter.  This month we are cooking with a host of new Italian Blends to the Herbie's range.  We now have a Garlic Bread Spice Mix, Bolognese Seasoning, Risotto Spice Blend and Pizza Sauce Mix.  This was enough to inspire us to create the ULTIMATE ITALIAN SPICE KIT, with these great blends, and Fennel Seeds and Chilli Flakes to round
post

Herbie’s Kitchen April Recipes

Welcome to the April Recipe Newsletter.  This month we are cooking with a wonderful selection of Australian Native Spices, Herbs & Blends.  It's great to see First Nations ingredients becoming part of the every day in Australian households and I hope you enjoy the recipes below. If you are new to cooking with Native Spices, try our TRUE BLUE kit, with 5 packs of
post

What is Mastic?

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 of the world’s production of gum mastic comes from the “Protected Designation of Origin” trees (P. lentiscus var. Chia) that grow on the Greek island of Chios. The name
post

Herbie’s Kitchen April Recipes

LATEST RECIPES FROM KATE AT HERBIE'S KITCHEN   Welcome to the March recipe newsletter, with our favourite recipes for a spice-filled Easter.  For those off on a camping or self-catering adventure, check out our Happy Campers Spice Kit for some spicy shortcuts and holiday recipes and ideas.  You can see all the Easter category recipes HERE.     EASTER BREAKFAST PUDDING This take on
post

Herbie’s Spices Newsletter Autumn 2024

Isn’t it wonderful that our Australian eateries, even in country towns, offer a wide and diverse range of cuisines?  It’s taken for granted that we have a choice of Italian, Turkish, Chinese, Thai, Korean, Indian, and so many more, thanks to the migrants who have chosen to live here and share their fabulous food with us. Mexican is becoming popular, but seems to be
post

Herbie’s Kitchen Monthly Update February 2024

LATEST RECIPES FROM KATE AT HERBIE'S KITCHEN   We've been inspired by the recent Lunar New Year to revisit our favourite Chinese-inspired dishes. Spices are an essential part of Chinese cuisine.. the unmistakeable aroma of Star Anise, or the numbing effect of Sichuan Pepper and the bite of hot dried Chilli. We have a variety of blends to make your favourite dishes with ease.  For younger

Join the inner circle

Herbie’s Spices Inner Circle fills a need in the community of cooks and food lovers for early-access & upcoming events to all those hard-to-find herbs and spices.

Please enter valid email.
Subscribe