NEWSLETTER: Winter 2013

June 01, 2013 posted in Newsletters

Food Quality in Australia

Have you been finding pantry moths a pest at your house? These pesky little creatures seem to appear like magic: what is perfectly silky-smooth flour one day transforms into a webby moth habitat in the blink of an eye, even when totally airtight! We all ask ourselves how this can happen, and as it turns out, we have only ourselves to blame. Don’t we all want our foods clean and green? Food in Australia is so stringently tested to be free of pesticide residues, that those little mothy pests have a clean and green environment in which to breed. So change your attitude and love your moths … they are telling you good news about your food. (If you can’t bring yourself to love them, open the hunting season armed with one of those battery-operated, tennis racquet shaped, zappers!)

What’s New at Herbies?

We’re just bursting with new products and ideas this season, so read on to see all our exciting additions!

Piment d’Espelette

We have finally sourced Piment d’Espelette, that finely-flaked chilli from the Basque region of France. Produced in only ten small villages with a total growing area of 3,000 acres, it bears the coveted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) designation. With its delicious sweet and fruity aroma and mild chilli heat, it is beloved of recipe-writers the world over. It has a gorgeous rosy colour and we’re loving it in our Sunday night scrambled eggs. It makes a dazzling appearance at breakfast or brunch too… heat olive oil in a pan, and cook slowly: sliced onion, garlic, chopped tomatoes and plenty of green and red capsicums, seasoned generously with Piment d’Espelette and salt and pepper (chop a chorizo into small dice and put that in too, if you like). Serve over toasted sourdough slices… yum!

It’s also great in Chatchouka (or Shashouka) which is currently finding its way onto the blackboard breakfast menus of many a trendy restaurant. Sadly, the quality and exclusivity of this product is reflected in the price we have to pay. In a 15 gram pack, it sells for $12.90. That’s the same outlay as for an average bottle of wine, and your Piment d’Espelette will last much longer than that!

Australian Grown Dried Herbs

We are proud to introduce some excellent dried herbs into our range, Australian grown and the very best we’ve ever seen. Thank God for artisan producers who put quality ahead of quantity! Premium grade whole thyme and oregano leaves, and simply beautiful small whole sage leaves, will join our premium bay leaves, available only from our shop and the website (and will run in conjunction with our existing range) until we know the supply is consistent enough for us to provide them to all our stockists. All three herbs are packed in 10 gram packs and retail for $3.80 each. (Although 10 grams sounds small, the herb leaves are bulky and the pack is quite full.) As the Herbie’s Spices mission is to bring you the very best that we can find, we are delighted to have found these superb products and know that you will love them as much as we do.

Box of Ideas

Sometimes it’s just hard to get motivated to expand the dining repertoire and make food interesting again. So we’ve decided to lend a helping hand to those of you needing inspiration, with a seasonal Box of Ideas for you. The box of goodies will be available during the current season, after which we’ll roll out a new one to help you into the next part of the year. Priced at $25.00 plus postage, you can order on-line or directly through the shop. Our toe-in-the-water first Box of Ideas Winter contains thyme leaves, Mulling Spices, Baharat, Creole Spice Mix and Gumbo File Powder with recipes and ideas, of course.

Happy Campers Spice Kits

When holidays come around, we are a people on the move. We find ourselves on yachts, in tents, towing caravans, or staying in self-catered units somewhere other than home. So what do we need? A sturdy, bright kit box full of useful herbs, spices and blends along with easy and quick recipes and ideas. Voila! Enter our brand new Happy Campers Spice Kit, joining the kit stable in colourful, throw-around-sturdy boxes, tough enough to stand up to rough seas and bumpy off-road situations. It’s priced at $37.50, and is available now, in time for your next holiday.

Metal Box Kits

Taking a step sideways from our well-loved cardboard gift boxes, we have sourced a sleek creamy-coloured metal box, filled with twelve little lidded pots for your spices. Knowing that some people (Herbie included) are obsessed with pepper, we have filled one box with 12 different peppercorns and called it Pepperer’s Guild ($55.00). Did you know that in 1180, during the reign of Henry II, a pepperer’s guild of wholesale merchants was established in London? It was granted a charter by Henry VI in 1429 to sell goods wholesale, or ‘vendre en gros’, and subsequently became the Grocer’s Company.

 We also packed a box with whole spices that we’ve called Curry Essentials ($45.00), as we know what fun it is to combine, roast and grind your own spices when making a curry. We’ve included recipes for curry blends so that you have a starting point on the way to creating your own blend. Only recently introduced to our website, these lovely boxes have taken off as a popular gift idea.

Spice Class

We’re out and about in country NSW soon, and will be doing a spice class at Pepper Tree Kitchen in Lismore on Monday 24th June. Phone 6622 0180 or email [email protected] for more information.

Stay warm and eat well this winter season, and wish us a happy Sweet Sixteenth birthday in July.

Happy spicing!

Herbie and Liz

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