Thursday, January 14, 2021

Looking after spices for cooking

A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or flower of a plant or a herb used in small quantities for flavor, color or as a preservative. Whole spices retain their aroma and potency much longer ground spices, so it is advisable to purchase them whole.

Ground powder often give no indication of age or taste until it is too late. If a spice smells faint or musty, discard it immediately and buy a fresh amount otherwise you will end up with a dusty weak taste in your cooking.

Globalization has made these spices easily available, and increasing their popularity. Preliminary preparations, such as grinding, roasting, or flaking of whole spices, are generally carried out before adding the spices to processed foods.

All spices are more aromatic when crushed or ground. To capture their fragrant and full flavor, it is best to crush or grind them as  needed how to use them.

Spices can be grinded by hand with a mortar and pestle, or use an electric spice mill. When making pastes where species and aromatics are blended together use a food processer or an electric blender. When blending spices, it is extremely important that all the spices combine harmoniously.

The blend should give a fullness of palate when tasted. Some spices are extremely pungent and over powering and should be used with caution so as not to upset the delicate balance created with blending. Depending on its form, the same dried spice will deliver different flavor perceptions in the finished product. Ground spices have better dispersibility in food products than fresh whole spices. Some volatile oils are released through grinding, which partially breaks down the cellular matrix of the spice.

Spices are even more important today as around globe there is a clamor for tastier and ‘spicier’ foods. Spices or their extracts are also used in medicine, pharmaceutical, perfumery, cosmetics and several other industries. Their functional properties as antioxidants, preservatives, anti-microbial, antibiotic and medicinal have been well recognized and made use of.
Looking after spices for cooking

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