Herbie’s Newsletter – Winter 2022

May 19, 2022 posted in General

Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us …..  on 7th July this year we celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the opening of Herbie’s Spices.  When we opened the doors of our little shop in the chilli-red terrace in Rozelle, little did we know that it would become a destination for local, interstate and international cooks and foodies.  Our business plan all those years ago rested on three ideals: quality, range and advice.  We are proud to say that we have stuck by those three pillars, bringing you the best spices we can find, and sharing our knowledge of the spice world through our classes, books, website, tours to India, and direct customer contact.

Looking back over the past twenty-five years, we checked our records and came up with the following data.  We purchased 414.2 tonnes of herbs and spices, and we cleaned and/or ground 13.45 tonnes of material. We mixed 181.4 tonnes of blends.  In total, goods in and out the doors added up to 609 tons.  Well done you, our customers!

How to mark this important occasion was a puzzle that finally found a solution in silver coated fennel seeds.  Edible silver is important in Indian cuisine, especially for festive occasions, and this glittering version of our ever-popular Lakhs and Crores is the perfect way to celebrate with you, our customers.  While stocks last, (or until 31st July),  a 10g pack of these mint-flavoured Silver Coated Fennel Seeds will go out with each mail order, so that we can spread the joy.

What’s new at Herbie’s?  Inspired by a grandson whose favourite after-school snack is Ramen, we have created a Ramen Spice Blend that makes it so very easy, using instant noodles.  Just throw away the seasoning pouch that comes with them, and follow the recipe on the back of the pack, using our delicious all-natural seasoning instead!  Also new, and only whilst stocks last, our glamorous silver coated fennel seeds, in a 100g jar or 50g pack.

In our previous newsletter, we launched our little calico bags for making your own bouquet garni and spice infusions.  Thinking further along this line of reasoning, we now have something for those of you whose summer gardens have yielded bunches of fresh herbs that need drying for the winter months. Enter Fruity Sacks, reusable mesh polyester bags now available on our website.  Yes, we know it’s not exactly a spice, but we all care about the environment, and a bundle of these in the bottom of your shopping bags will mean that you never again have to carry your fruit and vegetables home in flimsy plastic bags.  And to dry your home-grown bay leaves and other herbs, just pop them into a Fruity Sack, loop the drawstring over a hook or coathanger, and let it hang in a warm, dark, dry space until the leaves are crisp.  Save the environment one plastic bag at a time, and dry your own herbs as well.  That’s what we call a win-win situation!

The Winter Box of Ideas, in the snowy and frosty white box, has a somewhat Asian slant this time, with Jaggery, Chinese Five Spice, our new Ramen seasoning, and our delicious Rendang curry mix.  What a great way to warm up!  As always, it’s just $25 plus postage.

Spice up your life with Herbie and Christine Manfield at an exclusive online event to celebrate the release of Christine Manfield’s Indian Cooking Class (RRP $59.99).  We’ve bundled the cookbook with a bespoke spice kit (valued at $109.95) featuring the key spices Christine uses in her Indian cuisine, and available for a limited time only at the special price of just $98. Herbie and Chris can’t wait to share their love of all things spice with everyone who purchases the bundle between now and Friday 10th June.  Those eligible will be sent a Zoom invitation to this spicy online event on 10th June which will be held on June 15th between midday and 1.00pm AEST. These two experts have all the answers to your burning questions about how to make more flavourful food at home!

Sometimes it’s a drawback to have really excellent spices.  A customer recently asked if we could make a spice mix, Qalat Daqqa, also known as Tunisian Five Spice, for her.  It’s a blend of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, peppercorns and grains of paradise, and anyone who uses Herbie’s Spices will know that cloves, nutmeg, pepper and grains of paradise are all full, robust flavours. We tried to make the blend in its traditional proportions, but it was too pungent, and, in our opinion, un-useable.  Perhaps it works better when the ground spices are kept in open bags in a market, so that the bright edges have already been worn off by the time the spices are used.  Having done the exercise, we decided that our lovely Baharat would do the job of Qalat Daqqa in our kitchen!

Herbie & Liz will be in the Spicery Shop in Charmhaven on Saturday 11th June (9:30am to 2:00pm) and as it is a long weekend (Queen’s B’day) Residents and visitors to the Central Coast may be out and about enjoying so many experiences the Central Coast has to offer: https://coastmagazine.com.au/read-online/

Take this opportunity to come and meet Herbie and Liz and ask them all your spicy questions.

“Happy Spicing”

Herbie and Liz

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