Spice Road Spices
Artisan Spice Merchants

A journey of 3000 years to bring gourmet, time saving pure spice blends to you the Home Chef

 

Food Ramblings - Wine and Food Compatibility

Arthur Huxley - 02-06-2019

We received a note from one of our Queensland Wine and Food Society subscribers mentioning that while Umami flavour is all good and well, it should be remembered that many dishes are happily accompanied by wine. So compatibility of wine with food is important.

Our subscriber points out that there is little point in creating wonderful textures and flavours with your food only to submerge all the good work under a dominating and sometimes inferior and incompatibile wine.

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To Rub or to Marinate

Arthur Huxley - 18-01-2019

To Rub or Marinate. Firstly, we should declare an interest in what follows: Spice Road Spices provide an excellent range of pure and natural meat, poultry and vegetable Rubs that happily flavour and enhance your recipes.

And anyway, it's about time we gave poor old Worcestershire Sauce a break from having to appear in endless marinades.

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Adam's Lamb Riblets with Moroccan Spice Blend

Adam Florance - 08-01-2019

"Hello Spice Roaders,

This recipe for Moroccan Lamb Riblets has become a firm favourite in our home and we thought that some others might enjoy it as well. 

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2018 Favourite Recipes from the Spice Road Tasting Team

Arthur Huxley - 04-01-2019

Last month, just before Christmas, our little tasting team, Pam, Simon and I, decided we should not let 2018 go without reflecting on our favourite Spice Epicurean recipes for the year.

Pam, in her ever definite way, thought the Wild Mushroom, Capsicum and Parsnip Ragout should be the choice and then wondered why the rest of us did not immediately agree.

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Spice Road Gifts - Gifts Beyond Foodies

Arthur Huxley - 03-12-2018

Gifts for Foodies: Certainly a zippy slogan and nice if it points the Gift Givers in the right direction but Spice Roads Gifts are more than that.

The Spice Roads Gifts are for all people who enjoy food and have a love for cooking. And the cooking covers the lot. BBQ, Oven, Pan Frying or Grilling.

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Your favourite Goats Cheese has a new best friend.

Arthur Huxley - 28-11-2018

A lovely recipe for your favourite Goats Cheese and traditional Dukkah

Ingredients

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How to render perfect Lard

Arthur Huxley - 22-11-2018

Ingredients

500g Free Pasture pure Pork Fat

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Miso, Ginger and Honey Sauce

Arthur Huxley - 15-11-2018

Recipe

Our subscribers are clever Foodies and to make the point, Vanessa B. from Perth, Western Australia picked up on our Wild Mushroom Ragout with Miso paste and suggested the following Sauce recipe. Pure Yum !

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Coffee Tasting and Review Part 2 Artisan Maker 'The Coffee Warehouse' coffee.

Simon Cusack - 29-10-2018

At last! Time for the second review of the The Coffee Warehouse coffees, we thoroughly enjoyed doing Part 1 and were all looking forward to doing Part 2.

A quick recap, we were supplied with the following three blends;

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Caramelised Lemon Slices

Arthur Huxley - 25-10-2018

Recipe

Finely slice lemon and cut the slices into wedges. Important, leaving each portion with a section of the lemon rindt

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Coffee Tasting and Review of an Artisan Maker in the Blue Mountains NSW.

Simon Cusack - 12-09-2018

Our Many Makers from Many Kitchens page in our Spice Road Spices website continues to uncover further hidden gems from Australia’s artisan Makers.

Following our successful review of Asterisk Kitchens in Melbourne we were privileged to be offered the chance to review a selection of roasted coffee beans from The Coffee Warehouse, at Kurmond in the Blue Mountains, NSW.

Naturally we jumped at the opportunity and we were supplied with the following three blends;

  • Coffee Blend 2 - Java Jive
  • Coffee Blend 4 - The Brazilian Mistress
  • Coffee Blend 5 - Espresso Delight

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Asterisk Kitchens - Savoury Biscuit Excellence

Arthur Huxley - 10-07-2018

Following our search for the very best Artisan products for our new SAVOURY GIFT HAMPER we were recommended to a relatively new Melbourne Maker and their Kitchen. Asterisk Kitchens.

The background is interesting and the products reflect the passion for quality and great food.

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Grampians Toscana 2018 Harvest report

Arthur Huxley - 28-05-2018

We have received a report on the 2018 Olive Harvest from the producers of Grampians Toscana Olive Oil, which given the draught difficulties experienced in the Grampians region of Victoria, makes interesting reading.

" Olive Oil reflects the land and the climate (terroir) in which it was grown and each season varies slightly. This season has been characterized by one of our driest and hottest 4 month periods on record. You can almost taste the dryness.

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Sweet and Sour and your Flavour taste sense

Arthur Huxley - 25-05-2018

Our tasting team at Spice Road Spices often refer to Home Chefs flavour “weapons” in recipes and artisan product reviews.

This is not referring to the sometimes wild chilli flavours that rightly have a dedicated following but rather, the softer fruit and spice driven flavours that bring life to your recipes.

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Food Ramblings - Roasted Garlic

Arthur Huxley - 05-05-2018

Roasted Garlic v Sauteed Garlic. Very much a personal taste thing of course. Roasted Garlic adds a lovely milder and sweeter taste to your dish while sauteed raw Garlic can be aggressive and dominating especially when finely chopped.

Against this, Roasted Garlic has the draw back that sometimes when a recipe calls for Roasted Garlic, you simply do not have the 45 minutes or space to do a separate roast

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Anchovies and your 5th Umami taste sense

Arthur Huxley - 18-04-2018

You may have noticed that from time to time several of our recipe suggestions have included Anchovies as part of the ingredients.

Taking this further, we have received a recipe suggestion to share from Paul L. Adelaide picking up on our Anchovy mentions with an interesting Butterflied Leg of Lamb with Anchovies, Lemon Zest, Rosemary and Thyme recipe. Click: RECIPES for the recipe.

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Spicy Brewing

Adam Florance - 01-04-2018

Water and Malt and Hops and Yeast. These days nearly every brewery has a t-shirt with some variation of these words and while those four ingredients are essential for any brewer, they are not the only ingredients that brewers over the centuries have used to spice up their ales.

Prior to the proliferation of hops, most brewers would use a combination of local herbs and spices to flavour beers. This spice blend was known as “gruit” and might be as simple as crushed coriander seed with some orange zest - still the base flavouring for most Belgian-style wheat beers - or may be as complex as the recipe for Purl, a hearty ale served warm to English fishermen and flavoured with a combination of gentian, juniper, wormwood, senna, ginger, horseradish, calamus, pepper and galangal.

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Food Ramblings - Pomegranate Molasses

Arthur Huxley - 28-03-2018

Pomegranate Molasses

The name sounds daunting but underneath Pomegranate Molasses is simplicity itself : Pomegranate juice and lemon juice with caster sugar ( optional ) reduced down to a syrupy consistency.That's it. Simple.

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Lemon Juice V Lemon Zest

Arthur Huxley - 06-03-2018

It might be obvious but just for the record, lemon juice is from the inside of the lemon and really, offers not much more than a citrusy tart liquid.

By contrast Lemon Zest is the lemon skin grated directly from the lemon and offers a lovely scent and positive flavour without being liquidy.

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Wine and Food Societies and their importance

Arthur Huxley - 15-02-2018

Make no mistake, the members of the Wine and Food Societies across Australia are, in culinary terms, very knowledgeable and very good at understanding food and the compatibility of wine with food.

Sure they may take a little longer examining their red wine than the rest of us but behind it all they really do understand and better, they understand that in the end it is all just food and wine. For them it is the simple enjoyment and understanding of these gifts and the people they share it with that is paramount.

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Butter v Olive Oil v Ghee

Arthur Huxley - 13-02-2018

Like all comparisons, Butter, Ghee and Olive Oil have their strengths and weaknesses. Simple enough. But applying those pluses and minuses to your cooking requires a little more planning and understanding of your recipe.

To start with Butter. Butter is essentially made up of three parts: Fat, Water and Milk solids. And this immediately brings us to the first negative.

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Walnut Oil - Salad Perfection

Arthur Huxley - 03-02-2018

Walnut Oil - Salad perfection. It follows that having reviewed and in fact learnt a good deal about the quality of Australian Walnuts from Otway Walnuts - refer recent BLOG posting - we should follow with a review of another Otway product. Otway Walnut Oil.

And another revelation ! Walnut Oil has long been accepted as an essential part of many salad dressings, especially those based around apples - read Waldorf Salad. And just like our impression of many supermarket Walnuts, we just assumed the sometimes tannic flavour notes were part of the deal.

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Otway Walnuts

Arthur Huxley - 04-12-2017

Otway Walnuts and Imported Walnuts

We have a subscriber from Hobart Tasmania who, having noted our comments on Olive Oil (refer our Blog, 27 August.) has advised that there is much the same situation with Australian Walnuts. That is, Australian walnut growers having to compete with inferior imported walnuts.

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424 Salt from the Dead Sea

Arthur Huxley - 03-10-2017

For some time now we have noticed the recommended Salt for recipes published by many of our North American and Canadian Spice Merchant cousins is Kosher Salt.

We felt it curious that these very accomplished recipe writers and chefs should be so emphatic on the use of Kosher Salt, harvested from the Dead Sea.

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Food Ramblings - Chermoula with your seafood or meat

Arthur Huxley - 30-09-2017

Chermoula

For all those who enjoy seafood and look for something beyond a squeeze of lemon and a dash of salt but do not wish to compromise the essential taste of the seafood, then a light covering of Chermoula may be the answer.

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Olive Oil 2017 Harvest - an essential ingredient

Arthur Huxley - 27-08-2017

To start our review of the importance of best quality Olive Oil and the pitfalls of using lower grade Olive Oil, I thought no better way to commence than comments from arguably the finest organic Olive Oil producer in Australia - Toscana Grampians. Victoria.

"Organic farming, a unique mix of rare varieties, the right climate and the age of our olive trees are what create the unique flavour of our oil. True to our philosophy of quality over quantity, we undertake every process from tree to bottle with great care. Our 28,000 olive trees are low-density planted in the traditional 10 x 10m layout. Our grove is certified organic and dryland farmed, meaning it relies solely on rainfall with absolutely no irrigation, producing a low yield of oil beautifully concentrated in flavour. Our heritage olive trees are a mix of traditional and rare olive varieties such as Verdale, Bouquettier and Benito. While these varieties produce a low yield the flavour and quality of the oil produced is exceptional, enhanced by the age of the trees".

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Food Ramblings - Fennel, the sometimes forgotten Spice

Arthur Huxley - 28-07-2017

Fennel - bulb and seeds

If you have enjoyed Absinthe, then the next morning, and depending on the night before, so to speak, you may not wish to discuss Fennel !

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Essential Stock - with a little cheating !

Arthur Huxley - 15-07-2017

Ok. We all understand that the basis for your special beef casserole, chicken ragout, sauce or soup is a good stock. It is the blank canvas from which you can build wonderful flavours from your own creativity. And in the end, provide the "flavour" background for your finished dish.

All good and understood - the principle is perfect and ageless and as our great Chefs will explain, very necessary.

But do you, busy Home Chef and Spice Roads Subscriber have 7 - 8 hours to scrub and blanch the bones, then endlessly skimming the barely simmering liquid, adding the vegetables after 5 hours, removing the developing scum from the top and finally sieving the thing to remove the tinniest bits until the stock is crystal clear, so as not to cloud your dish or show any greasiness.

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Four Essential Vinegars for Home Chefs - Apple Cider Vinegar

Arthur Huxley - 30-05-2017

Part 3 Apple Cider Vinegar

Cue the Coleslaw and Pork Chops !

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Four Essential Vinegars for Home Chef's - Balsamic

Arthur Huxley - 26-05-2017

Part 2 Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is not so much the opposite of Sherry Vinegar but rather, in culinary terms, the alternative.

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Four Essential Vinegars for Home Chef's - Sherry Vinegar

Arthur Huxley - 23-04-2017

Part 1 Sherry Vinegar

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Five Pillars Of Pepper - Part 4

Arthur Huxley - 04-04-2017

Kampot Pepper, Cambodia

Another absolute classic in our Five Pepper series. And our friends who import and market Kampot pepper in Australia will tell you that of the world's great peppers, Kampot pepper is the best. They may well be correct.

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Five Pillars Of Pepper - Part 3

Arthur Huxley - 02-03-2017

Tellicherry Pepper - India

Much like Indonesian Lampong pepper and the wonderful Kampot pepper from Cambodia, Tellicherry pepper is solely based on a particular region and within that region terroir - the particular effect of farm site, climate and soil.

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Five Pillars of Pepper - Part 2

Arthur Huxley - 18-11-2016

Vietnamese Pepper

Moving to the second in our series examining a selection of the main pepper producing countries, we will be looking at Vietnamese Black Pepper.

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Five Pillars Of Pepper - Part 1

Arthur Huxley - 28-09-2016

Indonesian Pepper

First a little bit of history before we begin our pepper odyssey.

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Our spices begin their journey.