Saffron – The Most Expensive Spice

Lately I have been interested in flora which can produce a spice and one that got me very excited is saffron. Did you know that saffron is the yellow-orange stigma from the crocus flower, commonly known as the Rose of Saffron? Today saffron is cultivated all around the world, however the main producing countries for…

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Wasabi – The Japanese Horseradish

When I was growing up and started learning about different cuisines, I fell in love with sushi. Not only for the Eastern mystery of unknown culture and ceremony in its way but mainly for the chef’s respect to each ingredient used to make the little nibble full of incredible history and flavour. The gentle, unexpected,…

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Turmeric: The Golden Spice

Recently I saw several coloured café lattes (green – matcha, orange – turmeric) and wondered how they were made. Meanwhile, I fell in love with a drink called “jamu” which consisted of turmeric juice, honey and water. Here’s to learning more about turmeric… Indian turmeric is considered to be the best in the world. The…

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Cassia Bark: Aromatic Bark

I fell in love with cassia bark as well as many other spices and botanicals during my working experience in London cocktail bars; Graphic and Zetter Townhouse, where I learnt all about gin. One of these very interesting ingredients is the cassia bark. Cinnamomum cassia or Chinese cinnamon tree originates from Southern China where it…

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Shiso – the Asian nettle

Have you ever been to a sushi bar or any other Japanese restaurant? Then you definitely would have seen Shiso leaves aka Perilla, the big green leaves used mainly for plating to add contrast to the food being presented to you. While there is only one species in the genus, there are three varieties. There are…

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Masala aka Curry leaf

I believe one of the most popular dishes that everyone associates with Thai & Indian food is curry. The seasoning we think of as curry is actually a combination of several spices blended together. This spice blend is publicly known as masala across India and countries around. The curry tree is native to India, Sri Lanka…

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Pandan

Have you ever visited Asia and experienced a very pleasant, bready and nutty aroma during a taxi ride? I know I have! When I asked the taxi uncle, “What is that smell?”, he replied with it’s “Pandan, it keeps away the cockroaches” with smile on his face.   Pandanus amaryllifolius is a tropical plant/ bush grass which…

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