Thursday, July 27, 2006
Foodie Gifts: Weird Spices
Our friends Linda and Anders visited us a few nights ago. They live in Gothenburg, and were in Stockholm for a short vacation. They own one of our little darling kittycats - actually one that has been presented here on the blog quite a bit: little Honey.
Anyway. They brought gifts! A catnip-filled veterinarian for the kitties to enjoy (Hamlet in particular liked him) and a collection of strange spices for me. Linda had actually walked into one of the best spice shops in Sweden, and asked the owner for his weirdest stuff. So, I know what some of this is, sure.. but not all. Good thing I have a blog, and can ask for help!
1. Pan Masala. (Close-up!) This is very pretty. But what the heck do I do with it? Another friend said that you don't eat this - you roll it up in leaves and use it like snuff. Huh. It does have tobacco in it so I guess that's a valid theory. In which case I'll mostly be admiring the pretty colors, I suppose. Any input? What do I use it for??
2. Hickory smoked salt. I know what to do with this! Yum!
3. Mexican Green Jalapeño. Surprisingly yellow in color, but I assume this is just some kind of ground up chili. I'll play around with it - it sounds lovely.
4. Go Cajun! Well, this is a perfect spice mix, and I think I'll start by using it as a dry rub for chicken or beef, to go on the barbecue. Should work well!
5. Berbere. Ethiopian Pepper? Huh. I've heard of it. What do I do with it - any special ideas?
6. Rouille. Oh, this is a French blend, perfect with fish. I think I'll try a fish soup with it soon!
7. Zahtar. Enlighten me, please - what do I do with this?
8. Sumac. Oh, I've heard of this too. I just don't know where to start - what should I try?