Spice Trade — knowledge base

... and a few other articles on cooking with spices!

Allspice – spice blend or a spice on its own?

allspice knowledge base

Upon hearing the name, most people imagine that Allspice is a blend of spices. Actually Allspice is the dry fruit of the Allspice tree Pimento Dioica. Allspice is one of the few New World spices; it’s an evergreen tree native to Central America and Great Antilles. The fruit is picked while unripe and then dried in the sun. Allspice has a complex flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, but much spicier than if you were to mix the three spices together. Christopher Colombo has found this spice on his quest for spices (black pepper in particular) in America. Misled by the appearance of...

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All about Aniseeds

aniseed knowledge base

Aniseed is the fruit of the flowering plant Pimpinella anisum or known as Anise. Aniseed originates from the East Mediterranean basin. Today it can be found in the temperate climate zone. The Aniseed plant was cultivated originally for its medicinal properties in Ancient Egypt and in the Middle-East. Surprisingly, it belongs to the same family as Parsley and Carrot! Its a small seed that looks much like Caraway or Cumin. Despite the similarities in their name and flavor, anise and star anise are two very different spices. Sometimes they can be used interchangeably. Mind that Star Anise has stronger flavor...

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All about the magical Poppy Seed

knowledge base poppy seeds

Most of the most beautiful and most innocently looking flower is the Poppy, where Poppy seeds spice come from. Poppy is symbol of important historical events. It is a symbol of the Firs World War, Opium War and all along its story with human has been very complex. photo: Thomas Papaver somniferum is one of the most beautiful plants of the Papaver genus. Other names for Papaver somniferum is opium poppy or garden poppy. The Latin name means sleep inducing. In the ancient times, people looked upon it as a magical plant and poppies were associated heavily with black magic wherever...

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The hunt for Za’atar in Hong Kong

knowledge base zaatar

Za’atar is a popular middle eastern spice blend, and like all foreign spices, is known by more than one spelling… or in Za’atar’s case, 10: zaatar, za’tar, zatar, zatr, zattr, zahatar, zaktar or satar. I still recall the case of one of our customers back in October asking if we stocked Za’atar, she missed it from back home. We hunted profusely and found none, so we thought – why not import? And so, the tale of Regency Zaatar began. We now hold regular stocks and sell it on a same day basis too! Za’atar comes in many types. Lebanese Za’atar, Israeli zaatar, Saudi...

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What is curry powder? (Part 1)

curry powder knowledge base

We get this question all the time, what is curry powder? Actually, “Curry Powder” doesn’t refer to a specific powder in Indian Cooking. Indian curries and dals all use different spices, in different proportions, to complement the ingredients inside. In a cauliflower curry for instance, the amount of turmeric is much more than in a tandoori chicken curry. But standard “Curry powder” can be used to imitate the average taste, and get a good tasting curry each time, although not completely authentic. Authentic is also much harder to pinpoint because different curries are made in different ways across India. In...

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