Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Spice Hunt and Sweet Wood Syrup

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?
image provided by artnet.com
Image: Striped Cloth and Ginger Jar by George Van Hook

10 comments:

ScentScelf said...

Maple syrup is good in coffee, too, for those who drink that.

Spices I like/love include...cinnamon, of course. Cumin. Clove, fennel, chipotle, cilantro. Anise. Basil. Nutmeg, tarragon, salt. (Turn all Homer Simpson here...ummmm, saaalt.) Ginger in all forms (ground, fresh, candied).

Time to start cooking!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Jena- I love most Indian spices... curries are so fabulous for fall... And speaking of maple syrup- I think I have the same subconscious craving because I just bought Bare Minerals lip stick in maple syrup - It's a fab shade and one that really reminded me of fall...

Jenavira13 said...

Scentscelf, I had never thought of coffee before, I bet maple flavor would be awesome with some Indonesian varieties. I'm Peet's Garuda blend (my favorite when I worked there). You've got some good spices going there. It occurs to me that vanilla is also a spice.

Jenavira13 said...

Hi Daily, I just made this sort've keema (I basically took a Nigella Lawson recipe and played with it, using ground turkey instead) the other day and used curry. I love curry also; one of my favorite bizarre combos is chocolate and curry, especially love the Naga bar.

Rose said...

I love ginger and interestingly when I had a perfume blended for me(well it was more oils blended so it wasn't as grand as it sounds) the scent they put together had quite a lot of ginger in it, but I hadn't thought of it as being a favourite smell.

I also love star anise and cloves and basically anything Christmasy!

ScentScelf said...

Chocolate and curry...kind of an eastern take on mole, eh? :)

Jenavira13 said...

Rose, what kind've ginger scent was it? Over the years I have worn ginger scents the first was Origin's Ginger Essence and then BBW's White Tea and Ginger. I love the opening of 5 O'Clock au Gingembre but I am not to in love with the dry down. I realize I had another ginger fragrance in my wardrobe; they seem to work really well on me.

Jenavira13 said...

Scentscelf, funny you should mention the mole idea. Historians have hypothesized that mole actually owes its origin curry. Interesting enough the Naga chocolate bar is not the savoury side but the sweet side, it sounds really strange, but it is really good.

Rose said...

it was a blend of oils with alchohol added and it was blended by a lady from a company called the perfume studio so I don't have the exact details but I know my scent had quite a lot of the ginger in it and I think some rose- it wasn't what I was expecting at all but is unusual and good. They keep the mix in case you want it re made but you don't get the details.

I hadn't really invesitigated ginger scents before this but I do like the Roger and Gallet gingerbread one and admire the Serge Lutens too.

When I went on holiday to Barcelona there were lots of ginger scents that I had never seen!

Jenavira13 said...

Rose, I will have to investigate Roger and Gallet Ginger.