Some Spiced Holiday Reading

December 12, 2017 posted in General

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

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Newsletter Summer 2017 – 2018

November 15, 2017 posted in Food

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost two years since we closed the door of our dear little store in Rozelle.  In the 19 years that we were there, in addition to our range of herbs, spices and books, we offered packs of empty jars, with blank Herbie’s Spices labels, for people to fill with their favourites.  We believe that our high-barrier, zip-lock plastic laminate

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Is Cassia Really Cinnamon?

October 30, 2017 posted in Behind the Scenes

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

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Three Generations with Herbs & Spices

October 23, 2017 posted in Behind the Scenes

The Hemphill family has been a key driving force in communicating the wonders of culinary herbs and spices for over 60 years. This is a history telling how it all began, and what the second and third generations are doing to maintain a deeply held family tradition. John and Rosemary Hemphill owned a plant nursery called Somerset Nursery west of Sydney in the mid

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WHAT IS ACHIOTE?

October 18, 2017 posted in Behind the Scenes

WHAT IS ACHIOTE? Achiote is another name for annatto seeds, (Bixa orellana) and achiote paste is the Mexican condiment that gets its main flavour from annatto seeds. So what are annatto seeds? Annatto seeds are collected from a relatively small tropical evergreen tree that grows 5–10 m high. The leaves are heart-shaped, glossy and provide an attractive background to the large bright pink flowers, which have the

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How to Use Australian Native Spices

September 21, 2017 posted in Australian Native Spices

How to use Australian Native Herbs and Spices Over the last 35 years there has been a lot of interest in the commercial opportunities provided by edible Australian native plants (often referred to as ‘bush tucker’) including those used as spices. Australia is a vast continent and most non-indigenous people would perish quickly in this environment without adequate supplies of familiar life-sustaining produce. To

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How to Make a Curry

September 11, 2017 posted in Cooking

How to Make a Curry When it comes to spice blending, making a curry powder from scratch is one of the best ways to gain an understanding as to how the various flavour characteristics work to create a harmonious and interesting blend. The Main Types of Spices Spices can be grouped into five basic categories.  These are; sweet, pungent, tangy, hot, and amalgamating.  The

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Newsletter Spring 2017

August 29, 2017 posted in General

Australian Blends Looking back over the Spring newsletter of last year, we see it’s an entire year since we had to make our True Blue Aussie spice kit unavailable due to difficulty in accessing some of the Australian native herbs and spices.  Sadly, the situation is still not good, so during the past year, we have circumvented the problems by using what’s available to

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Newsletter Winter 2017

August 22, 2017 posted in General

July 7th this year marks 20 years since we opened the doors of Herbie’s Spices in Rozelle.  What amazing, fulfilling, exciting years they have been, and we wouldn’t have missed a minute of it!  Our decision last year to close the retail store in Rozelle was the right move at the right time, and you all know that we are still here, still meeting your spice requirements,

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For the Love of Cardamom!

August 01, 2017 posted in General

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.

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Turmeric Explained

July 19, 2017 posted in Behind the Scenes

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

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New Slow-Cooking Spice Kit from Herbie’s Spices

July 06, 2017 posted in Latest News

Herbie’s Spice Kits remain as popular as ever, partly because nearly every kit has been inspired by suggestions from our customers. With this in mind, we turned to social media and asked our followers to come up with their own suggestions as to what they’d like to see us make up next. As an incentive, we promised the sender of the kit idea we chose,

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Three New American-Inspired Spice Blends for 4th July

June 14, 2017 posted in Cooking

Three New American-Inspired Spice Blends for 4th July One cuisine that is often overlooked, yet has influenced Australian tastes for decades, is that of The United States of America. Just think, American as Apple Pie, Turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Tex-Mex, Pastrami on Rye, Sourdough, Cajun, Creole, File Gumbo, Fried Chicken, and of course Pumpkin Pie! Herbie & Liz visited Herbie’s Spices

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