Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Spice... It Up!

Love food?  For what?  Apart from texture, I am a person who is big on flavors, lots of them. As much as possible, I want every bit to be exploding with assortments of tastes.  I am however not a technical expert.  I just know what food I like and the taste that satisfies me.

Writing this blog for almost seven (7) months now, It dawned to me that the type of food I have featured here so far have one thing in common --- they pack heavy flavors.  So an idea came to me to gather some information about these sources of flavors and share it with my readers.

Spices have been part of our lives since time immemorial (ehe, it was nice writing that word). Yet man continuously search for combinations and uses for these natural wonders.  Some even view and revered them for their medicinal and 'magical' enhancements.  For me, I am already in awe for the wonders they do in flavoring food.

Research from the internet defined a spice as: a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as food additive for flavor, color or as a preservative that kills harmful bacteria or prevents their growth.  It may also be used to flavor a dish or to hide other flavors.  In the kitchen, spices are distinguished from herbs which are leafy, green plant parts used for flavoring and garnish.  Many spices are used for other purposes:
  1. Medicine
  2. Religious rituals
  3. Cosmetics
  4. Perfumery
  5. Preservative
For me specifically, I like the wonders dry spices do on meats.  Sorry for those non-meat eaters but 'spice rubs' make miracles on meats used for grilling.
Spices are also good for stews and as a partner to tomato-based dishes.

Our kitchen has a few spice selections since my mom is very fond of experimenting and serving international cuisine.  She has also traveled in the middle eastern countries which are known to be the seat of these spices too.

I am also reminded of having spices mentioned in our World history class wherein humanity's history was largely because of the spice route that made the power struggle more exciting.  There is this famous line: "He who controls the spice, controls the universe".

CINNAMON ROUTE - began somewhere in the Malay Archipelago, romantically known as the “East Indies,” and crossed the Indian Ocean to the southeastern coast of Africa. (spice route).

CLOVE ROUTE - from Southeast Asia is the trail of cloves from Maluku and the southern Philippines north to South China and Indochina and then south again along the coast to the Strait of Malacca. From there the cloves went to India spice markets and points further west. (spice route) This is the same route where we belong!

Below is the world map for the spice route.

I was also able to gather a useful spice chart which may be handy for those who want to try:


  1. Wow what a resource for all that spicing up! BTW, new follower here, hope you could follow me too at www.gastronomybyjoy.com.

  2. SPICE it UP!! nice blog! informative!!!


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