Took a little food adventure to Penzeys Spices. Oh, what a wonderful space. All of the spices are available to smell, feel and even taste (if you're not grossed out by the possibility of another person's finger having been in the spice jar.) I figured my immune system could handle it.
The sweet lady who helped me around the store had a wealth of spice knowledge. I wanted to see/smell/taste the most interesting spice in the whole store.
Charnushka (Nigella Sativa)::
As you can see, this little seed can be used in Rye Bread (my absolute favorite bread), or can also be used in Indian/Pakistani dishes. So interesting. They did not have much of an aroma, but I bet when they meet the heat of the oven they are wonderfully aromatic.
I was intrigued, but not brave enough for the Charnushka yet.
Next was Rogan Josh Seasoning::
Makes a delicious red sauce? Rich, but not too spicy. I had to know more about this mysterious red sauce spice::
Rogan josh (or roghan josh) is an aromatic lamb dish hailing from Kashmir and is quite popular in India, Pakistan, Singapore and the United Kingdom. Rogan (روغن) means oil in Persian, while josh (جوش) means heat, hot, boiling, or passionate. Rogan josh thus means cooked in oil at intense heat.
Thank you, Wikipedia! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogan_josh
A "passionate," "intense," "hot," "boiling" red sauce...sign me up! Look for a recipe soon.
With thoughts of Josh Rogan...er, Rogan Josh in my head, I stumbled upon the "Curry" section.
My spice guide assured me that the most interesting and flavorful was the
Maharajah Style Curry.
Just plain beautiful. I'll take one of you, thank you. So versatile...chicken, seafood, omelets, salad dressing, chicken soup. Oh, I am going to have fun with you.
I needed some sweet to my spicy, so I headed to the back of the store where there is a whole baker's paradise.
An extract bar, sugars galore, and the cutest little 50's style kitchen set-up.
I guess that's like Single Barrel Whiskey...
the good stuff.Single Strength Vanilla
35% alcohol. Pure extract from the highest quality 100% premium Madagascar "Bourbon Islands" vanilla beans. These beans have a rich and complex, smooth, true flavor. The cool-perking process retains the bean's full flavor, along with all of the desirable vanilla side notes. With over 400 flavor components in every high-quality vanilla bean, artificial vanilla (which contains only one-synthetic vanillin) will never come close to matching the wonderful richness of pure vanilla extract. This extract is 10% stronger than the pure vanilla extract sold in supermarkets, and has the great Madagascar flavor @ http://www.penzeys.com/
I wonder how this would enhance the flavor of my pie? Hmmm. Must have.
The most adorable tiny little kitchen. Complete with windows and scenery. Darling. Just darling. I want to take you home, too.
A Spice Ship for the mini-chefs. Really...bring your kids. There are a lot of breakables, yes, but exposing them early to the many flavors of the world is so important.
Now I know that the little girl on the blue Morton Salt container is super cute in her little yellow dress, skipping in the rain. But, unless you're just using your salt for tequila shots, then girlfriends--and guyfriends, you need some grown up salt.
Try Kosher first and go from there.
There's a whole world of salty options waiting for you.
My absolute favorite is Truffle Salt. It's not an everyday salt, but worth the splurge.
Your popcorn will thank you.
Here I am.... Can I just move in? I'll do the dishes. Promise.
Penzeys was a delight!