We have come a long way since the first post, where we traveled in time and met the historical bond between humanity and spices. In TVT, we hope you have learned a lot from our previous articles and jumped in to share our passion for exceptional flavors.
Today, we want to share with you some interesting facts about the five rarest spices worldwide.
#1 - Saffron
Saffron is also known as Red Gold. It has remained for centuries as one of the most expensive spices by weight. That nickname comes from the fact that it costs —proportionally per gram— three times as Vanilla and five times the cost of Cardamom.
Saffron has a bitter taste, and its fragrance is similar to hay with metallic notes as well. This spice works as a condiment, fragrance, dye, and medicine against some diseases.
We have a whole post dedicated to this spice. You can read all the details by clicking here.
#2 - Sumac
Sumac belongs to the cashew family. There are 35 species of Sumac found in regions all around the world, ranging from the subtropical to temperate areas. Native Americans prepared a beverage known as Indian lemonade, or sumac-ade, with the Sumac fruit. During medieval times it was famous as a treatment for half a dozen different ailments.
The sumac plant's small red fruits or berries are dried and ground, obtaining a fine powder of intense red color and acid flavor.
The acid flavor of Sumac and its red color make this spice a unique ingredient to give taste and color to dishes. Due to Sumac's intense lemon flavor, it can replace vinegar in salads.
Sumac can be spread over every dish of vegetables, meats, poultry, and grilled fish to intensify their flavor with its acidity.
Sumac is hard to find, thankfully we have a solid network with the best suppliers from Turkey. We are direct importers.
#3 - Piment d'Espelette
This spice is a variety of the Capsicum annuum cultivated in the French commune of Espelette, traditionally the northern territory of the Basque people. This pepper attains a maximum grade of 4,000 on the Scoville scale and is considered only mildly hot.
After first being used medicinally, it became famous as a condiment and for the conservation of meats. It is now a cornerstone of Basque cuisine, where it has gradually replaced black pepper.
We have been importing only the best Piment d'Espelette, one of our best-seller specialties, for seven years, nowadays, we are one of the biggest suppliers of this spice in the US.
#4 - Asafoetida
This spice comes from a plant known as Giant Fennel. We know that its name does not sound tasty; however, it is not inaccurate at all!
Asafoetida has a strong smell similar to sulfur that thankfully disappears when cooked directly into the pan with fat; if used raw, the taste is strong and unpleasant.
#5 - Cardamom
This spice comes from the seeds of several plants in the family Zingiberaceae, native to the Indian subcontinent and Indonesia. The first references to Cardamom are in the civilization of Sumer and the Ayurvedic literature of India.
Cardamom has a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic, resinous fragrance. Black Cardamom has a distinctly smokier, though not bitter, aroma, with a coolness some consider similar to mint.
It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking. It is also often used in baking in the Nordic countries, particularly in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, in traditional treats such as the Scandinavian Yule bread Julekake.
This spice is also used in beverages, not only food. Cardamom-flavored tea (also flavored with cinnamon) is a hot beverage in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan.
We are closing an alliance with the best suppliers of Cardamom in India and Guatemala to provide you with only the highest quality. We will keep you posted about this product's availability.
Individual seeds are sometimes chewed to freshen the breath.
On which spice should start your journey?
You will find that completely transforming your regular dishes into something more interesting is simple if you use any of these rare spices.
We hope that you or your customers enjoy these top five exotic spices as much as we enjoyed talking about them.