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All About Spices - 5

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of RecipesNow.com

Poppy Seeds

These tiny, slate-blue seeds add a nutty flavor to both sweet and savory dishes. Sprinkle over desserts and breads.

Saffron

This pice comes from the stigmas of a species of crocus. It has a distinctive flavor and gives a rich yellow coloring to dishes, however, it is also the most expensive spice to buy. Available in small packets or jars (either powdered or in strands - the strands being far superior in flavor). This spice is a must for an authentic paella or Cornish Saffron Cake. Also an extremely good flavoring for soups, fish and chicken dishes.

Sesame Seeds

High in protein and mineral oil content, sesame seeds have a crisp texture and sweet, nutty flavor which combines well in curries and with chicken, pork and fish dishes. Use also to sprinkle over breads, cookies and pastries before baking.

Star Anise

This dried, star-shaped seed head has a pungent, aromatic smell, rather similar to fennel. Use very sparingly in stir-fry dishes. Also good with fish and poultry.

Turmeric

Closely related to ginger, it is an aromatic root which is dried and ground to produce a bright, orange-yellow powder. It has a rich, warm, distinctive smell, a delicate, aromatic flavor and helps give dishes an attractive yellow coloring. Use in curries, fish and shellfish dishes, rice pilafs and lentil mixtures. It is also a necessary ingredient in mustard pickles and piccalilli. All spices should be stored in small airtight jars in a cool, dark place, as heat, moisture and sunlight reduce their flavor.


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