Herbie’s Spices Newsletter – Autumn 2021
We trust that you have all survived Australia’s quiet introduction to the new year. Isn’t it wonderful that, in times of trial and frustration, cooking, eating and sharing bring such consolation? For those of us separated from our loved ones by insurmountable obstacles, we can be encouraged by improving conditions this year.
In our most recent Newsletter, we forecast spice shortages due to logistical problems. Sadly, a major casualty has been our supply of Whole Sansho from Japan that we grind to a fragrant, tangy green powder. Whilst we await the eventual arrival of both the orders we have placed, our supply of the popular Furikake Seasoning blend has run out, as Sansho is an important ingredient in this lovely Japanese blend. This means, also, that the Japanese Spice Kit is unavailable until Furikake is back in stock.
The supply swings and roundabouts make sure that we continue to think creatively, constantly keeping our minds open to the possibility of alternatives. Such is the case with our ever-popular Ginspiration Kit, which is working perfectly well, with Grains of Paradise (sadly out of stock) replaced by Australian native pepper berries. For those who love to experiment, we also still have in stock, Ginspiration Plus to be used in conjunction to the Ginspiration recipe.It’s worth keeping in mind that flavour is not an arbitrary thing – you can ring the changes by replacing one spice blend with another, or by adding or changing a spice in a favourite recipe.
Speaking of spice kits, we’ve recently had some serious conversations with our grandchildren, now conveniently aged from seven to fourteen years. This is exactly the age group we had in mind when we made our Kids In The Kitchen Spice Kit, and we thought it may be a good time to update the kit. Armed with information on what our own kids in the kitchen like to cook and eat, the kit has had a complete revamp. It now contains Chinese Stir Fry spice, Mixed Herbs, Katsu curry, Mexican spice mix, and ground cinnamon, with recipes tried and approved by our very own test kitchen kids! We did insist that they were not all chocolate!
We’ve been happy to welcome more customers, both old and new, to our little shop-within-a-factory at Charmhaven, through the summer period. Sydney folk en route to the Hunter Valley, or taking a holiday on the scenic Central Coast, have popped in to say hello, and some of our old Rozelle friends have even relocated away from inner Sydney and have happily found us in their locality again! It’s been such a pleasure for us to introduce ourselves to other locals who are finding us for the first time.
What’s new at Herbie’s? We love responding to our customer requests, and our latest spice blend is a direct response to many enquiries. Sazon Spice Mix is a popular general-purpose blend in Latin America. Sazon is simply the Spanish word for “season”, and this tasty blend can be used in all sorts of ways to enliven your food. A careful blend of spices, including epazote, Mexican oregano, and annatto, brings the authentic flavour of Central America to your kitchen. Do try the big chunky corn and cheese fritter recipe on the back of the pack.
Also new this season is our Kofta and Falafel Spice Mix. Over the past twenty years, Middle Eastern food, with all its wonderful variety, has become a favourite in many households, and this spice mix is timely. This mix makes it so very easy to make your own koftas and falafel at home. To make it even more convenient, you can make a double batch of your koftas, and freeze some of them to cook later. The recipe, of course, is on the back of the pack! We had a little tussle of opinions as to which recipe should be printed on the pack … kofta, or falafel? We eventually decided it had to be kofta, but you’ll find both recipes if you click on the Kofta Spice Mix on the website.
The Autumn Box of Ideas continues to explore more of the Herbie’s range, grabbing the opportunity to introduce you without delay to the new Sazon mix, as well as Nigella Seeds, Super Ras el Hanout, and Aleppo pepper. We’ve had some delicious meals whilst we’ve developed the recipes for you, so we know you’re going to enjoy them as the days shorten and cool down in Autumn.
Our upgraded website will be coming live during autumn. We’re sure you’ll find lots of useful improvements, including easier search options for recipes and products, whilst still feeling comfortable and at home with everything you know and love about the site.
Stay well, and spice well,
Herbie and Liz