Library of Spices
We have developed a comprehensive categorization system organized into seven groups based on the intrinsic characteristics of each spice, inviting you to expand your palette.
1_seeds + pods
2_flowers, leaves + berries
3_roots + barks
Our naturally pink Pangasinan Salt is produced in this ancient province whose name means â��land of salt.â�� On the central west coast of the Philippine island of Luzon, artisanal farmers using time-honored traditional methods alternate between farming tiger prawns and harvesting salt. The delicate rosy hue of the shrimp and a hint of their distinctive briny flavor are imparted to our moist, coarse Pink Pangasinan Salt.
Sel Gris, or grey salt, from the Ile de RÃ© gets its distinct flavor and color from the native clay of Franceâ��s Brittany coast. Sun and wind evaporate seawater into a brine that crystallizes in direct contact with the clay that lines the salt ponds. It is harvested in the same way it has been for centuries, raked by hand. The resulting unwashed, unrefined, additive-free salt is moist and rich with a high mineral content.
Harvested by hand only when it has matured and the essential oils have reached their peak, our Indian Tellicherry Pepper is blanched in its hull, sun-dried on bamboo mats for a week, and then meticulously cleaned and sorted. Only the most perfect peppercorns are selected for our special extra bold Tellicherry, its richly aromatic flavor matched by a lustrous brownish black color and classic wrinkled texture.
Ras el Hanout literally means the â��top of the shopâ�� in Arabic. One of the jewels of our spice repertoire, it has been developed and perfected over many years. Stopping at nothing to achieve its unique character, we blended 26 different herbs and spices of the highest quality, emphasizing aphrodisiac elements like grains of paradise, cubeb pepper, Javanese long pepper, and Iranian saffron. Its sparing use will delight the most discriminating taste.
The seed-like fruit of Egyptian Coriander is collected in summer only when ripe, for the best flavor and aroma. The warm, nutty, slightly sweet and citrusy flavor of coriander seeds doesnâ��t fully develop until completely dried. These are dried in the shade, which helps protect their color, then cleaned by winnowing and shade-dried further. Our highest-grade seeds are light-colored, round and ribbed, with little splitting and a pleasantly strong aroma.
The best-quality nutmeg from the Moluccas Islands in Indonesia are harvested at the start of the rainy season when the ripe yellow fruit
is split open to reveal the nutmeg seed. The mace covering the nut is separated by hand, and the seeds are sun-dried before theyâ��re dipped in a solution and further dried to preserve their luster. Our high-grade Nutmeg has a sweet, camphorous aroma with hints of clove and a bittersweet, woody flavor.
Our pure white low-sodium sea salt is hand-harvested from the ancestral salt beds of the Philippine province of Pangasinan. Small producers using traditional, sustainable methods extract natural salt from the tidal waters, letting the salt water evaporate in shallow beds, collecting the crystals with rakes, then gathering them into baskets called tiklas to drain. The structure of our White Pangasinan Salt produces a lightly crunchy texture that accents its bright, clean flavor.
Our Cloves are selected by hand for only the plumpest, uniformly bright-brown buds. These superior buds are hand-picked later in the harvest season under optimal weather conditions, plucked just as theyâ��re about to open and laid out in the sun on palm mats, the best method for drying. Well-dried cloves break easily and are oil-rich, with a pungently sweet, fruity, sharp flavor and a slight numbing effect
on the tongue.
Harissa, from the Arabic for â��break into pieces,â�� is a heady, brick-red North African hot sauce, traditionally made by pounding chilies in a mortar. Dried chilies are soaked, then pounded with garlic, caraway and coriander seeds and mixed with oil. Our nuanced version is a dry spice mix with medium heat to which spearmint is added for a refreshing finish. Add extra virgin olive oil for a paste or use as a rub or garnish.
Shichimi Togarashi, the Japanese â��seven-spice blendâ�� largely credited to a Tokyo spice shop dating back to the 17th century, combines sansho pepper and dried red chilies with other key ingredients. Our special chukara — or medium-heat — blend rounds out the dominant flavors of sansho pepper and chilies with ingredients such as fragrant dried orange peel. This piquant, peppery mixture is excellent with soups and noodle dishes as well as grilled meats.
For the finest Fleur De Sel from the Ile de RÃ© on Franceâ��s Brittany coast, saltmakers rake the purest, whitest crystals from the surface
of the villageâ��s salt ponds. The salt crystallizes naturally from evaporation by sun and wind. Within 24 hours of crystallization it is collected with the only tool authorized for raking, the traditional â��lousse Ã fleur.â�� This delicate fleur de sel has a silken, flaky texture and mild, elegant flavor.
Allspice is collected from plantations in summer, when harvesters set up camp among the pimento trees, manually cutting branches to gather
the green fruit, or â��berries.â�� Our high-quality allspice, named for its complex flavors of cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg, is from Guatemala. The berries are blanched, then dried at a high temperature, resulting in clean, brown-black berries. The seeds of the allspice will rattle when a handful is shaken, a sign of proper drying.
Pleasantly hot and more pungent than regular black pepper, our aromatic Javanese Long Pepper is native to Indonesia. Grown year round, the best long pepper comes from the island of Madura, where the dryness and balanced ph of the soil, along with perfect weather conditions, conspire to produce the largest fruits and leaves. As soon as they mature, our long pepper is harvested and immediately sun-dried to capture
its unique flavor.
Grains of Paradise are peppery seeds native to West Africa that are an important ingredient in the spice blend ras el hanout. The pods are harvested in Ghana between February and June as each changes color from green to red, indicating the seeds have fully developed their flavor. Only then are they dried in the sun. The seeds are often ground and added at the end of cooking, imparting their cardamom-like, slightly bitter, peppery flavor.
Our best-quality Star Anise is harvested in the fall in Chinaâ��s southern Guangxi region. The star-shaped fruit is picked by hand so that flowers and young fruit arenâ��t damaged. Theyâ��re boiled and stirred constantly until the fruit turns completely yellow, then spread on bamboo mats, dried in the sun and flipped occasionally for several days. The star anise becomes shiny brown-red, with a spicy-sweet licorice flavor more potent than aniseed.
Vadouvan, which means â��sun-dried spicesâ�� in French, is a unique blend of aromatics and curry spices that originated in Southern India â�� a region conquered 300 years ago by the French which is still reflected in their cuisine. Golden Vadouvan has been simplified to our taste. The key ingredients are onion, garlic, and shallot, to which weâ��ve added our special curry blend for a rich complexity. Be warned that Vadouvan is very intense! Use sparingly as an accent.
Piment dâ��Espelette chilies are cultivated under exacting conditions in the Espelette region of Franceâ��s western Pyrenees. The Gorria-variety chilies are hand-picked only when at least 80% of the surface is red, for the most vibrant color and aroma. The chilies are sorted by hand, then ripen in a warm, airy place for at least 15 days before they are oven-dried and finally ground. Our deep orangey-red powder is robust, smoky, fruity and not overly piquant.
The â��queen of spices,â�� our Green Cardamom is cultivated organically in Guatemala, where the pods are picked by hand just as each ripens between September and early December. Firewood-fueled dryers reduce their moisture content at an optimum temperature so that the pods retain their dark green, lustrous color. The highly aromatic brown-black seeds have a delicately sweet, floral flavor, slightly citrusy with notes of eucalyptus, mint and black pepper.
These highest-grade Pink Peppercorns are grown in Brazil, carefully harvested by hand during the month of May. Not true peppercorns, they are the dried berries of the Brazilian pepper tree. After cleaning and sorting, only the brightest-pink fresh berries are selected, then air-dried on sieves for just one to two days. They have a mild, pleasantly sweet, fruity flavor with a slightly spicy finish.
Our White Pepper is allowed to ripen fully on the vine before being hand harvested and carefully selected. Clear running mountain spring water is piped into tanks where the fruits are soaked under controlled conditions to remove their hulls. The constant monitoring of water circulation produces a uniformly high-quality, creamy white peppercorn with a mellow and mildly piquant flavor.
Mace is the lacy, bright-red covering of the nutmeg seed. The mace is fastidiously separated from the seed by hand. After blanching, it is flattened, then air-dried at a high temperature until it turns the orange color of high-quality mace, with a flavor similar to but sweeter and milder than nutmeg. The amount of fruit it takes to make 100 pounds of nutmeg will produce only a single pound of these coveted mace blades.
Harvested from the saffron crocus flower, the red stigmas of our premium Saffron are cut and separated into threads, and then sun-dried in a process that releases the precious safranal oil which produces saffronâ��s prized crimson gold color, intensely rich fragrance, and distinctive mellow taste. With an ISO grade of I, color strength of 246, fragrance level of 35, and flavor level of 90, our saffron is of the finest quality for cooking and baking.
Cubeb pepper, native to Indonesia and long used in traditional herbal medicine, is distinguished by its attached stalk â�� the reason it is also called â��tailed pepper.â�� The berries are harvested by hand so as not to damage the delicate plant, cured, soaked, then dried in the sun to a deep brown-black. Our Cubeb Pepper has a minty and lightly peppery flavor, with notes of pine, eucalyptus and allspice.
PimentÃ³n de la Vera, Spanish smoked paprika from a designated region in Extremadura, is produced under rigorous standards from ripe, hand-harvested varietal chillies. They are gently smoked using only oakwood and slowly ground by emery stones at local mills. Our smoky-sweet pimentÃ³n is distinctive for its shiny, deepest red color, indicating highest quality. The color is measured in ASTA units, and the minimum required for pimentÃ³n de la Vera is 90; ours is 120.
Brightly aromatic, fresh-flavored Green Peppercorns are the dried, unripe berries from the same Piper nigrum plant as black and white pepper. Once picked, the berries are steamed and quickly dehydrated so that they retain their vivid green color and smooth texture. Avoid green peppercorns in brine, as they lose their true flavor. Ours are piquant and pleasantly fruity with a milder pungency than black or white pepper.