Type Casting your Spices
During the summer holidays, we were pondering on the dangers of type casting. We can all bring to mind actors who have played a certain part to such an extent that they have become that character and we can’t accept that they are capable of playing different roles. It occurred to us that the same pre-conceptions can be applied to spices and flavours. Why is it in Western cultures we allocate curries to winter, when in their countries of origin they are eaten and enjoyed year round, often in tropical countries that don’t have winter at all? We hope many of you enjoyed the Mulled Wine jellies featured in the summer newsletter – although traditionally a flavour connected to snowy winters, the cooling jelly is a fantastic and unexpected summer pleasure. (We allowed the wine to boil to reduce the alcohol content when making the jellies.)
Other spices that shouldn’t be type-cast include our fabulous Cajun Seasoning and good old Tasty Meat Sprinkle. Traditionally used for Cajun chicken or fish, we often reach for Cajun when we barbecue a steak, and mix it in to cream cheese for a tasty dip. Tasty Meat Sprinkle, great on any meat at all, is the perfect seasoning for potato wedges and roast vegetables, and vegetarians love it on pan-fried tofu cubes. Our cappuccino topping Spice Dust can be used in any sweet application; stir it through your yoghurt and sprinkle it over cut strawberries. Not to mention vanilla, that so-essential element in cakes and ice cream, that can take on a savoury role in a sauce for white meats. The ever-popular Chermoula, great on lamb and fish, takes on a new role when added to a scone mixture. Top the scone with hummus for a savoury treat. So take a fresh look at your spices, and don’t be afraid to cast them in a different role.