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Turmeric Spice Profile


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 9/26/17

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Spices have long been valued for their potential health properties, and lately, with consumers growing increasingly health conscious as well as increasingly interested in ethnic cuisines, spices like turmeric, ginger, and cumin have been trending. Turmeric, in particular, has garnered much attention for its perceived health benefits as well as its prominent role in curry, which has also been trending given the rise of Asian, African and Middle Eastern cuisines. Here are some fun facts about turmeric:

AdobeStock 112431221A native of southern Asia, turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Like ginger, its source grows underground not from the root but from the subterranean portion of the plant’s stem. This portion is known as the rhizome, and is a knobby structure from which small roots grow. Turmeric rhizomes are harvested, dried, cleaned and ground to become the spice. Above ground, the turmeric plant is one of the more attractive spices growing 2 - 3 feet tall with long bright green leaves and corn shaped spikes of yellow flowers.

Turmeric is best known for the intense yellow color it imparts and has been used as a clothing or skin dye for thousands of years. Many parts of Asia have seen the spice used topically on the skin in wedding ceremonies, during or after childbirth or even as a daily cosmetic to give the face a desired yellow tint.

AdobeStock 107286485Though there are numerous varieties of curry powders, almost all rely on turmeric to contribute its characteristic yellow hue. When used at a high enough level, the spice also provides a distinctive pungent, peppery flavor to the blend. Other examples of seasonings containing turmeric are pick-ling blends, soup mixes, mustards or any application where a natural yellow color is desired.


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  • Fuchs Admin

A Sneak Peek at the South Asian Collection - Coming this fall!


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 9/12/17

Carrot Cake 8

From our South Asian Collection, which will be released this fall, a new "Fuchs Favorite" has emerged: Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cake. With crisp autumn air quickly approaching, it’s time to give the grill a little break and warm up the oven. You’ll find our Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cake Mix captures the captivating and inviting spices of the Kashmir Valley region. Not only that, but they are downright delicious. Every time Chef Elizabeth whips these up, they're gone in a matter of minutes!


Here’s Chef Elizabeth’s recipe for Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cake:

Ingredients:
• 1 cup sugar
• 4 eggs
• ¾ cup oil
• ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
• 1 & ½ cups shredded carrot
• 2 & ½ cups Kashmir Spiced Carrot Cake Mix

Mixing:
• Preheat oven to 350°F and prepare pans
• Prepare cake pan by lining with parchment paper and spraying lightly with pan spray, or muffin tin by lining with cupcake papers.
• Combine sugar with eggs in bowl of mixer.
• Mix with paddle attachment on speed setting 2 for 2 - 3 minutes.
• With mixer still on, slowly drizzle in oil.
• Add yogurt and carrot; Mix for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated.
• Add half of the cake mix; Mix for 1-2 minutes; scape sides and bottom of bowl.
• Add remaining cake mix; Mix until fully incorporated; scrape sides and bottom of bowl; mix again if needed.

Chef’s Note: For a more indulgent batter add one or all of the following ingredients:
• ½ cup golden raisins (hydrated and drained)
• ½ cup toasted shredded coconut
• ¼ cup crushed cashews
• ¼ cup crushed pistachios

Baking
• Pour batter into prepared cake pan or muffin tin.
• Bake on center rack in preheated oven at 350°F
o 23-30 minutes for cake; 20-25 minutes for cupcakes
• Halfway through bake time rotate pan
***to check doneness; insert toothpick into center; should come out clean****

 

If you’d like to try out our Kashmiri Spiced Carrot Cake, or any of the other mouth-watering seasonings in our South Asian Collection, request samples here.

 


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Cardamom Spice Profile


Posted by Rebekah Wicke on 6/27/17

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Let me just say it, I love cardamom. It’s floral, fruity, aromatic, and a party on your tongue! It seems like in the United States we are only just discovering the versatility and beautiful profile of cardamom. Over the past year it’s started making its way onto more and more menus, and I’m not going to lie...I’m ecstatic about it!

AdobeStock 65545724So what is this wonderful spice? Grown primarily in Guatemala, cardamom seeds can be found on a specific variety of evergreen trees. The seeds have been harvested for over 2000 years and used for a multitude of applications inside and outside of the kitchen. Ever had a bad case of the hiccups? Forget holding your breath; try making a tea with some cardamom spice as it is said to be an antispasmodic.

Many who are familiar with the seeds will think of a green pod. This variety is typically used in sweet applications like pastries, coffees, and breads. Lesser known is black cardamom which adds a more intense, smokier flavor in savory applications. In Indian cooking, it lends a deeper level of complexity to masalas and dals.

AdobeStock 142737809My love of cardamom all started with a scoop of ice cream. Ice cream infused with cardamom mixed with fresh figs and dried fruit and drizzled with rosewater served at a local Baltimore restaurant called The Helmand.
Here at Fuchs, we’ve developed an Orange Cardamom seasoning that tastes just as great in ice cream or baked into sugar cookies to make cardamom standout. Go ahead- request a sample today!

 


  • Alyssa Chircus
  • Alyssa Chircus
    Food Scientist

Cumin Spice Profile


Posted by Adam Shaffer on 6/20/17

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What do carrots, cumin, and celery all have in common? If you said that they all start with the letter "C", well, you'd be right, but that's not the answer we're looking for. If you said that I didn't like them all, you'd be one-third right—carrots are evil little glow sticks (that might explain why I need corrective lenses...). The answer we're actually looking for is that they all belong to the same family of flowering plants, Apiaceae. This family includes other well-known spices such as anise, dill and parsley, but since those didn't fit my joke with the letter "C", I didn't include them in the opening sentence. Maybe it's time to get to the point—let's talk about cumin!

Cumin (sometimes known as jeera) is a staple spice in Mediterranean and Latin American foods, and happens to be my second favorite spice (though that information probably won't do you any good...I doubt Jeopardy will ever have "Adam Shaffer's second favorite spice" up on the board, but if they do, remember to answer in the form of a question!). Egyptian embalmers used cumin as one of the cleaning and preserving spices in the mummification process (and possibly also to season their world-renowned "mummy jerky"). Cumin is mentioned in the Bible both as a representation of wealth and as a parable for understanding and following instructions. And, of course, cumin was used as a seasoning for food; Ancient Greeks kept a bottle of cumin on their dining room table, much like Americans do with salt and pepper.

Cumin also has some health benefits, at least colloquially. Scientific studies are still ongoing, but cumin and its extracts can supposedly:
• Aid in digestion
• Reduce chances of hypoglycemia (lowering risk of diabetes)
• Reduce risks of anemia (since it contains high levels of iron)
• Improve cognitive function (which is why I'm eating a spoonful of cumin as I type this...)
• Boost immunity and viral resistance
• Fend off insect bites and stings

Speaking of food, let's talk about the different culinary uses for cumin! We all know the spice in its ground form, but cumin seeds are also used in their whole, unground AdobeStock 158394633 2form. Whole cumin seeds can be found toasted and mixed in with rice dishes or sprinkled over meats and fish. Cumin is also the defining ingredient in the beverage known as 'jeera water', where cumin seeds are boiled in water (to extract their flavor) and the resulting liquid is strained, mixed with honey, and consumed for the health benefits mentioned above.

Ground cumin can be found in many South Asian curries, and is an ingredient in the spice blend known as GaramAdobeStock 89907167 2 Masala, which one of our scientists lovingly described in a blog post. In Latin and South America, cumin can be found in sauces, such as sofrito and adobo; in condiments, such as guacamole and salsa; in meat seasonings for beef, poultry, and pork; or mixed in with the dough of tortillas and other breads. North America has adopted many of the Latin and South American uses of cumin, while also incorporating it into Tex-Mex recipes for chili, tacos, burritos, and other items. In North Africa and the surrounding Mediterranean region, cumin is found in many spice blends, such as baharat and ras el hanout. Speaking of:

Ras el Hanout
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cayenne (red) pepper
½ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves

Mix all the ingredients together and you're done! Ras el hanout can be used in marinades or rubs for meats, as a shake-on seasoning at the dinner table or on popcorn, and it's surprisingly good in a snickerdoodle or gingersnap type cookie.

Fuchs, of course (required sales pitch time!), offers cumin as a spice, and also offers many spice blends and seasonings that use cumin. Contact us, or check out our offerings here on this lovely website.

As a final thought, I learned that cumin is often used in birdseed, so if you ever find yourself out of cumin but near a birdfeeder...well, just check to make sure Alfred AdobeStock 124891225 2Hitchcock isn't filming in your neighborhood before you help yourself.

 


  • Adam Shaffer
  • Adam Shaffer
    Food Wizard

Meet Elizabeth Lindemer

Fuchs’ Corporate Executive Chef

“As the chef for Fuchs North America, I have the opportunity to share my passion for food with our customers and help them overcome their culinary challenges every day.”

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