Right now is that time of the year when I want to surround myself with the scent of spices and the taste of spices and the delightful rich liquor flavor of maple syrup. The last two days I have been experimenting with making my own chai masala, so far my favorite part is the use of fresh ginger. I admit fresh ginger has become an addiction for me in my cooking lately, I love the spicy crunch it offers to dishes, I love the versatility of it, melding perfectly with sweet, sour, savory, sour, and salty. My experimenting in chai masala has left me realizing that I need clove and loose leaf assam tea for the base. That I prefer my chai without fennel seed and that it must have cardamom, peppercorns, cinnamon, and of course ginger! Another interesting realization maple syrup is wonderful possibility to use as a sweetner for tea adding the wonderful resinous sweetness that can only be had from maple syrup. So the question is what are your favorite spices?
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Image: Striped Cloth and Ginger Jar by George Van Hook