Artisan blends and heirloom whole spices

Spices in bowlsAre you looking for a way to enhance your meals? Read @1800 Culinary Team Member Kellen Ferkey’s advice on artisan blends and heirloom whole spices.

When it comes to using spice blends at home for let’s say, taco dip, I will always defer to the experts. Tony Chachere’s seasoning blends are amazing; the Creole mix is a personal classic on eggs and poultry for me. Also Chachere’s Greek blend is incredible on potatoes and vegetable dishes.

That being said, I have to mention that on occasion I would rather make my own spice rubs and mixtures. When it comes to a big night of family grilling, where hundreds have been spent on ribeye, I will always make my own rub. There’s something very satisfying about creating a concoction with your hands and whatever may be in the spice rack. The correct balance of sugar and spice can, well… make dinner very nice.

Certain spices can really make or break an ethnic dish. Without fenugreek, there’s no way we could come up with a proper-tasting madras curry powder. Without Szechuan peppercorns, we couldn’t fabricate a proper Chinese 5-spice blend. Galangal, a ginger-like rhizome makes Thai soups taste complete, and so on and so on. A decent curry powder should have 9 whole spices in it, taking up a square foot of shelving easily. So if you find yourself in the mode of making your own spice blends, make sure you have the cabinet space. A one-time expenditure of $30 for Kashmir Saffron can keep you rolling in amazing Indian and couscous dishes for years to come.

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