In the Quest for Perfection
In the quest for the perfect blend of spices Jas & Me have stumbled upon so much of information that it is almost a crime to keep it to ourselves, This page is an attempt to educate and enlighten our customers and well wishers with some of the details, if you get bored then we apologize but it is just our attempt to live up to our goal.
"Cooking Without Fear"
Knowledge is the Answer
Today’s concerns over salt, sodium, cholesterol, saturated fat and sugar in food put added emphasis on spices. With the exception of cholesterol, each of these factors involve flavor in one way or another. Reducing any of them reduces flavor impact. Eliminate the fat, salt and sweetening and you may well reduce the palatability and satisfaction in eating the food.
Spices, on the other hand, can more than make up for the loss of flavor. In normal usage, spices make no significant contribution of fat, sodium or calories (and being plant products, no cholesterol at all), yet they have a tremendous flavor impact.
It is true that salt "brings out" the flavor of spices If it is entirely eliminated, it takes a potent spice to fill the flavor gap. Curry powder is one of those. Black pepper and garlic are very helpful, as are combinations of spices in which there is strong flavor identity or heat factor (in other words, in this situation, forget the "subtle blends").
When reducing fat, step up the amount of spicing, and if possible, at the beginning of the cooking period. This will increase the extraction by longer exposure to heat and will give a better penetration of seasoning into the other ingredients.
Grinding breaks down some of the protective cell structure of spices, making them ready to deliver flavor quicker and blend easily into a product. The finer the grind, the quicker and more complete the flavor release. On the other hand, coarse particles of spice gradually release their flavor during cooking and provide the ultimate flavor release when they are bitten into. The proper degree of milling is determined by the nature of the food product being spiced and the desired effect. In some, you may want visibility; in others the reverse