Spice Mapping – Monday’s How to!

Is “Spice Mapping” even a term? Who knows – and who even cares…because the result of the invention of this website is next level amazing! My hope for my site is to inspire people to cook for themselves – do their own remixes…. and shine their inspiration to their family and community. I do not look to be “the only one” – so to speak. Anyways…

Back to this amazing site – I found it on one of my many online travels –  and it appears to have the same mindset as me! They basically give a little blurb about the spice/herb, where it’s from and describe what goes well with it! YES!!! Just enough information to be thorough, but not an overload of info. Also – the lists aren’t vegan so there are some meats, etc. surry in advance.

Before we go any further – let us read their deifition of herbs vs. spices….

“By definition, Herbs are the aromatic leaves of plants without woody stems that grow in temperate zones. Spices are seasonings obtained from the bark, buds, fruit or flower parts, roots, seeds or stems of various aromatic plants and trees. ”

Excellent – now that we get what they are picking up – let’s see some examples!

Cinnamon

  • Description/Taste and Aroma: Dried bark of various laurel trees. One of the more common trees from which Cinnamon is derived is the cassia and Chinese cassia is very robust in flavor. Americans grew up with the cassia version of cinnamon. Cinnamon sticks are made from long pieces of bark that are rolled, pressed, and dried. It is slightly bitter and sweet at the same time. It has an appealing smell and is often used as an air freshener or to disguise odors. The higher the level of volatile oils the more intense the flavor and smell. True Cinnamon has no volatile oils. Cassia varieties from 1 to around 5 percent volatile oils. Vietnamese cinnamons have around 5 to 7 percent volatile oils.
  • Geographic Information: True Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka. The Cassia Cinnamon used in North America is from the cassia tree which is grown in Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and Central America
  • Uses: One of the most common baking spices. Mixes well with Nutmeg, Ginger, and Allspice. Used in cakes, cookies, and desserts throughout the world. Often used in savory chicken and lamb dishes, used to enhance fruit and to flavor cereal dishes. Stick Cinnamon is used in pickling and for flavoring hot beverages and as aromatic decoration at holiday celebrations. Combines well with apples, bananas, beans, caramel, cardamom, chilies, chocolate, cloves, coffee, coriander, cranberry, cumin, curry, dates, game meats, figs, grains, lamb, mace, peaches, pears, poultry, pumpkin, rice, sugar, squash, tangerines, tea, turmeric, vanilla, yams and yeast breads. One of the ingredients in 5-spice powder.

Ginger

  • Description/Taste and Aroma: Often dried and ground or “crystallized” with sugar. It is slightly hot and biting while also sweet, warm, and somewhat woody.
  • Geographic Information: India, China and Jamaica. 3 species are found in the USA, but they are very different in properties than their Asian cousins. Their taste is however similar to those found in Asia. Australia has begun cultivating it now.
  • Uses: Gingerbread, ginger ale, gingersnaps, fruit pies, savory dishes and Asian dishes. Combines well with allspice, anise, asparagus, bananas, basil, beef, carrots, chilies, chives, chocolate, cilantro, cinnamon, citrus, cloves, coconut, coriander, cranberry, cumin, curry, dates, fennel, figs, fish, garlic, nuts, nutmeg, onion, peaches, pears, pepper (capsicum and true) poultry, pumpkin, raisins, root vegetables, seafood, sugar, tea, turmeric, vanilla, veal, and yams. Enhances flavor in salt-free seasonings.

Rosemary

  • Description/Taste and Aroma: 1inch needle like leaves. It is highly aromatic and is a bit peppery and woodsy at the same time.
  • Geographic Information: Rosemary is native to the Mediterranean and grown throughout that region. It is widely produced in the USA, France, Spain, and Portugal. It is easy to grow and is a often grown in herb gardens.
  • Uses: A staple in Italian cooking, it is also used in breads, lamb, pork, chicken, and pasta dishes. Combines well with apples, asparagus, basil, beans, beef, cheese, citrus, cranberry, fennel, game meat, garlic, grains, mushrooms, marjoram, onion, oregano, parsley, pasta, potatoes, poultry, sausage, seafood, thyme, tomatoes, and yeast bread.


Turmeric

  • Description/Taste and Aroma: Marco Polo described Turmeric as “a vegetable with the properties of saffron, yet it is not really saffron.” Sometimes called the poor man’s saffron. Gives pale food a yellow coloring and gives curry its distinctive yellowish color. It has a distinctive, pungent somewhat bitter taste with a slight orange – ginger undertone
  • Geographic Information: India is the primary producer of Turmeric. It is also grown in China and Indonesia.
  • Uses: Essential ingredient of curry powder, used extensively in Indian dishes and in Southeast Asian cooking. Often used to season eggs, spice up lentil and meat dishes, in mustard blends and relishes. Used as a less expensive alternative to saffron to provide color and flavor. Combines well with allspice, anise, beans, beef, carrots, chilies, chives, cilantro, citrus, cloves, coconut, coriander, cumin, curry, dates, fennel, figs, fish, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, onion, paprika, pepper (capsicum and true) poultry, rice, root vegetables, seafood, and veal.

And these are just the beginning (and to be honest are a bit biased – in my favour)! Don’t see what you’re wanting to expermint with? Try it always! The only thing is no matter what you have to eat it – as long as it isn’t completely burnt or something. So don’t be afraid to experiment!

See much much more over at the amazing adventuresinspice.com  pin their page, save it, however you want to keep it….just make sure you do!

Originally Posted November 17/14.

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