We’ve launched some pretty interesting specials to kick the week off.
40% off our Fairtrade Certified Home-made Vanilla Extract Kit.
If you love to bake this vanilla extract kit is a must have. Of course one can walk into any grocery or big box store and buy vanilla extract; so why make it yourself? Quality and price are the primary reasons. Vanilla is one of the world’s most expensive spices, second only to saffron. Vanilla extract is also very pricey; problem is the price does not necessarily correspond to the quality. To produce marketable extract, large brands resort to using lesser quality vanilla beans and vanilla bean extractives. They also often add sugar or corn syrup to the mix. Is store-bought vanilla extract terrible? No, it’s far from terrible.
Store-bought vanilla extract is fine for all intents and purposes, but why settle for fine when you can buy the best. Not only is our home-made vanilla extract kit better and cheaper, it’s simple. All that’s involved is a sharp knife, some vodka, and time. Simply remove the beans from the bottle, slit them lengthwise, replace them in the bottle, cover the beans in premium vodka, and let it sit for no less than two months. Our gluten free, organically grown and 100% Fairtrade certified Malabar vanilla beans are plump, fresh, and full of flavour.
The only ingredient aside from pure vanilla is vodka (or any other spirit of your choice). You won’t find a drop of sugar or corn syrup. What about price? At $10.50 this 250ml bottle (8.5oz) is the bottle that keeps on giving. Extract grows better with age. The longer you keep it the more flavourful it becomes. When you begin to run low, just throw in more vodka and a fresh vanilla bean every now and then. This bottle will literally last you for years, and it makes the perfect gift for baking aficionados.
I sell fine spices, so I’m allowed to get upset when I see someone using pre-ground pepper. If there is any spice that should be purchased whole it’s black pepper. In fact there is no point in buying the ground stuff. Black pepper’s flavour’s and aroma’s begin to fade within 30 minutes of cracking its hard outer shell. We also often speak of salt and pepper in the same breath, and often buy salt and pepper as a single set. While salt is a vital flavour enhancer, black pepper is its own spice. Black pepper not only enhances the dishes flavour profile, it actually alters it. So while any salt will usually do, the same cannot be said about black pepper. High quality, freshly ground stuff can make the difference between a single note meal and a meal with depth and complexity.
I’ve talked about nutmeg in the past. Nutmeg is the be-all end-all of baking spice. It’s never a secret when nutmeg is one of the ingredients. Nutmeg’s unique flavour is warm, highly aromatic, and always recognizable. Nutmeg also pairs so well with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, cardamom, and vanilla. Nutmeg is not just a baking spice. It is also a vital component in many a garam masala recipe, it adds a nice touch to home-made sausages, and is the perfect addition to your do it yourself chutney (don’t tell me you’ve never cranked out a chutney. Here is a great yet simple recipe for Mango Chutney).
Coriander is an awesome little spice. It’s delicately sweet, yet woody with a wonderful floral and slightly peppery aroma. Coriander seeds compliment the full spectrum of foods: apples, chicken, citrus fruit, fish, ham, mushrooms, onions, salads, plums, pork, potatoes, and ext.