It can be amazing how our senses can remind us of a certain place or time in our lives. Sometimes all we need is to hear a particular sound or smell a certain odour in order to be transported back to another time. One of the most sensory ways to do this is by using our sense of taste. Our sense of taste is incredibly powerful and as it is linked closely to our sense of smell, it is a great way to invoke memories. If you have previously travelled the globe and want to get nostalgic before your next trip, why not try cooking up a storm to remind you of your last adventure? Different countries offer very different cuisines that may not be all that common where you reside. So, getting a taste of another country can be the next best thing to going there in person! Read on to find out about spices from around the world and how you can incorporate them into your kitchen.
In the UK, we have got quite familiar with our friend garam masala. It is an Indian spice that is used in a lot of curries – although you can use it in other cuisines if you would like. It originated from Northern India and is also commonly found in Pakistan and other South Asian countries. Depending on how much of it you decide to use, it can make a dish quite spicy, so if you prefer milder flavours only put a teaspoon of it in.
Lazy days on the beach, beaming sun, great music – it couldn’t be anywhere else but Jamaica! If you have been lucky enough to visit this beautiful island yourself, you will know that authentic Jamaican food is incomparable. But it is also fairly easy to recreate at home, even if the weather doesn’t match the sunny flavours! Jerk spice is a mix of seasonings that can be used in sauces and marinades to flavour the meat in Jamaican recipes. It is fairly readily available to buy in shops, but if you want to order in bulk it could be worth buying spices online.
Not all spices have to actually provide your food with a hot flavour! Over in Europe, the French created a subtle seasoning mix known as fines herbs. The recipe usually involves parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil. It forms the bulk of a lot of typical French dishes, usually ones that use fish, chicken or eggs.
The berbere spice is a staple of North Africa. It is a warm mix of spices which typically comprises of chilli peppers, ginger, cardamon, cloves plus whatever else you fancy! The overall outcome should be a slightly bitter, spicy mix you can use in stews. You can either use it dry or mix it until it becomes a paste. If you’re not seasoned in African cuisine, don’t panic – it can also be used on more westernised dishes such as burgers, roast chicken and tacos.