In the pantry: Vanilla

The most common association to vanilla is ice cream. But where exactly does the vanilla flavour come from and that is used to help bring a floral sweetness to many desserts including ice cream, cakes, puddings, and custards? Derived from vanilla orchids, it’s originally from Mexico and now widely grown in South America, Indonesia, and China. Vanilla can be bought as whole pods, in powder … Continue reading In the pantry: Vanilla

In the pantry: Dukkah

On the menu of modern Middle Eastern influenced restaurants, dukkah has been making appearances. The Egyptian spice blend of toasted nuts and seeds and is often served as a dip with bread and olive oil. But it can also be used to sprinkle on top of pasta, roasted vegetables, and even fruit salad. Dukkah can vary from ingredient to ingredient but the most common ones … Continue reading In the pantry: Dukkah

In the pantry: Japanese seven spice

Last time we explored Lebanese seven spice, otherwise known as baharat. This time we’ve taken a trip to Japan to check out their version of seven spice. Most likely, you would have come across it eating at your local Japanese restaurant, usually one that’s serving udon or ramen. Otherwise known as shichimi togarashi, the Japanese seven spice translates to seven flavour chilli pepper. The bright … Continue reading In the pantry: Japanese seven spice

In the pantry: Cardamom

The saying, a little goes a long way, applies fittingly when it comes to using cardamom in cooking. Whether in the form of a pod, seed, or grounded up, cardamom have citrus and sweet notes, as well as menthol and floral undertones. It often complements other spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and other aromatic spices. It’s also the third largest most expensive spice after … Continue reading In the pantry: Cardamom

In the pantry: Cloves

Native to Indonesia, cloves are tiny dried aromatic flower buds that come from clove trees. When used for cooking, people use it for its sweet, but peppery aromatics. Available either grounded or whole, the spice can be used for sweet or savoury, for meats, and even drinks (think mulled wine). However, even though it may appear like a tiny nail it should be used in … Continue reading In the pantry: Cloves