For nearly 4,000 years, turmeric, known as “The Golden Spice”, has been used medicinally to soothe stomach ailments, enhance cognition, and traditionally to dye skin in wedding rituals In the kitchen, its mild citrus aroma and ginger notes lend warmth to dishes and make it one of the principal spices of East Asian cuisine.
The sour berry of the sumac shrub grows wild in the Mediterranean—especially in southern Italy and parts of the Middle East. It is commonly used across the Middle East as a tart garnish or accent, often in place of lemon. We love it’s rich purple hue and use it liberally for an unexpected nuance.
From its ancient origins in Iran and the Mediterranean, cumin has long been believed to possess medicinal qualities and its seeds were thought to keep lovers from straying. A dominant spice in Indian, Vietnamese and Mexican cuisines, the strong, earthy flavor develops a nutty aroma when toasted and brings out the sweetness in almost any dish.
Found across the Middle East, this aromatic spice is a mixture of thyme, wild oregano, sesame seeds and sumac. It’s rich, woodsy flavor reminds many of home. Use za’atar, as you would other herbs, while cooking; or mix it with olive oil or yogurt to create a dip for warm breads.
Named after the ancient Indian city of Madras, this curry is as rich in flavor as it is history. The blend dates back to 600 AD. A beautiful and fragrant combination of curry leaf, turmeric, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, fenugreek, allspice, black pepper, cayenne and crushed red pepper, the red hue is deeper than most other curries. We use it as a rub or in soups and stews. Add it to yogurt or coconut milk to make a creamy curry sauce.
One of history’s oldest condiments, we use black sesame seeds to add a dramatic crunch and garnish to everything from avocado toast to hummus and salads. An integral part of the varied cuisines of India, Egypt, and Turkey, sesame seeds were once believed to hold magical powers.
Historically ceylon cinnamon was celebrated as a delicacy—an item of luxury and the finest of all cinnamons. Its flavor, described as sweeter and more complex than the popular cassia cinnamon, is infused with an essence of orange and floral notes, which makes it perfect for both sweet and savory dishes.
One of the world’s oldest spices, coriander was used in everything from perfumes to love potions. Grown in the wild, its plant produces both a spice from its seed, the cori- ander, and an herb from its leaves, cilantro. Its lemon, zesty notes with hints of sage pair well with curries, cumin, and other earthy spices. For best results—and a more pronounced flavor—add it to your dish in the last few minutes of cooking.
Pimenton de la Vera, Dulce, as it is known in Spanish, is the sweetest variety of Spanish paprika. Grown in the fertile soil along the Tietar River, the ripe red peppers are carefully harvested by local families, slowly smoked over an oak fire, and stone-ground with great care. The result: an earthy, bright paprika that imparts a lovely smokey flavor to your food.