Thursday, June 11

Spice Snobbery

I'm guilty. Yes very guilty.

I don't like packet mixes - I might use them if it's french onion soup mix or .. hang on.. maybe that's it.... I used powdered stock instead of making it but I really dislike how 'cooking' these days for most people is bunging a packet mix of something in with some water/milk.. and presto! There's your beef burgandy! Umm don't people realise that there's really only about 5-6 ingredients you need to make it from scratch? What exactly is in those mixes? Cornflour/stock/dried herbs and goodness knows what else? Those companies are making a "packet" out of the 'un-cooking' world.

Look I'm all for convenience but I've come to realise - people cook to eat and others cook to cook and eat. I love creating something 'from scratch' and knowing I can call on the recipe without consulting Mr McCormicks or Ms Maggi.

Even the magazines are doing it - Moroccan Seasoning, Korma Curry paste are just two I've come across in the past couple of weeks. I don't have either so I look them up on google - and what do you know? I have all the ingredients! So I actually can make the recipe, and I don't need to buy another jar for my fridge or my pantry!

To illustrate my point - here are some widely used herb spice combinations you may have lying around your house:

Korma Paste (makes 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
few shakes chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander/cilantro seeds

Moroccan Seasoning (makes 2 tablespoons)
1 1/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander/cilantro
5/8 teaspoon allspice
5/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

Taco Seasoning can be found here

now I'm thinking about it - do people have individual spices or are people mainly just buying packet mixes and 'herb and spice mixes -seasoning" instead of traditional individual herbs and spices?

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7 lovely comments:

Chantelle on June 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Making Beef Stroganoff is so easy from scratch, and a billion times more delicious. I totally agree.

I tagged you on my blog:

I hope you play along. x

Miss Rosie on June 11, 2009 at 7:02 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I agree completely. Food made from scratch tastes better, made with love and full of flavour.

The show 4 Ingredients annoys me. Most of the time it is a packet or a jar of something and one or two other things. Seriously you need instructions for that???

Also just wondering does anyone use french onion soup mix as soup mix, or are 100% of sales for use as flavouring.

Katy on June 11, 2009 at 8:48 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What about ready-made pastes? I just find them so much more convenient, and althogh I've tried from scratch, it just doesn't taste right!

Heather on June 12, 2009 at 7:36 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Ready made curry pastes are about all I use too. Oh and deviled sausage mix but thats only because I'm too lazy to look one up yet.

How about a list of thr basic spices we need in our pantry to make almost everything?

Krys on June 12, 2009 at 11:29 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Liss I swear some people wouldn't even know what herbs & spices are, imagine if they saw them fresh in a garden!!

I am another that uses the ready made curry pastes, because I find they always get the flavour right and I am too slack to mess around with all of the spices trying to get the blend just right.

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I agree - we don't buy packet mixes. Like most other commenters we do use ready made curry paste though.
The flavour is so much better when you make it from scratch.

Shell on June 16, 2009 at 11:09 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I completely skip that section of the supermarket!!
I found a rather nice looking BBQ cook book once - was about to buy it for my BIL - until I realised it was obviously sponsored by Masterfoods and EVERY recipe called for something of theirs!
Needless to say it was put back on the shelf!


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