NEWSLETTER: Winter 2010
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Did you know all of our newsletters are archived on the website? In order to summarize the contents of each one, we’ve just been re-reading them, and re-living our history. We’ve relished the book awards, agonized over price rises and the highs and lows of the Aussie dollar, reviewed many Spice Discovery Tours and anticipated just as many, introduced new products, and sadly watched Coconut Extract and Argan Oil come and go.It’s certainly never dull in the spice business!
If you are seeking even more timely news on the spice business and you happen to be one of the millions of Australians on Facebook you may want to follow Herbie on his Facebook page ( http://www.facebook.com/HerbiesSpices ) .
On the subject of awards, the magazine Australian Traveller has published, in the April/May issue, its “100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences” chosen by a panel of expert and highly-respected judges. We are proud to say that Herbie’s Spices sits up there at number 28, amongst restaurants, providores, producers, cooking schools and other experiences Australia-wide. Grab a copy and check out what may be on your own doorstep.
By now almost everyone will have heard or read about the new book that Herbie wrote with Lyndey Milan. Priced at $49.95, Just Add Spice is full of fabulous, accessible recipes (100 of them!), spice and wine advice. Many people think that wines can’t be served with spiced foods, but in Just Add Spice, Lyndey shares her extensive wine knowledge to give guidance on suitable wines for each recipe. And we’ve prepared a big spice kit that includes Herbie’s 20 basics for making the blends in the book. In a stunning box of glossy gold and black, the Just Add Spice Kit is priced at $80.00. Pair it with the book for a special and visually pleasing gift.
What’s new at Herbie’s? A delicious tasty Spiced Salt, to refill your grinder. In a 100 gram pack, it’s a combo of salt, coriander, peppercorns, chilli and wattleseed, absolutely great on everything from egg on toast to barbecued meats, salads and sandwiches, priced at $6.80. We also have the spiced salt available in re-fillable grinders, priced at $12.50.
While we’ve been riding the Kit-Go-Round, we have introduced two new kits to the range. The Meals In Minutes Spice Kit is especially designed for working mums and dads, with great ways of feeding the family after a long day at work, with a minimum of fuss. We’ve put it in our lovely aqua box, and it’s priced at $30.00. The spices included are: Brazilian Spice Mix, Roast Vegetable Herb Mix, Crusting Mix, Family Friendly Stir-Fry, Garlic Steak Mix, Italian Herbs, and Mexican Spice Mix. We noticed Bob Carr on the ABC program Q&A, saying that we must stop people from “eating their way into hospitals.” We concur, and encourage home cooking with fresh seasonal produce … nicely spiced, of course.
And because we care very much about the importance of children eating well, learning to broaden the palate spectrum, and helping with home cooking, we’ve augmented our Baby Spice concept with the addition of a Little Kids’ Spice Kit for $30. Who could resist Crunchy Polenta Fish Fingers made with fresh fish, and simple meals-in-one-dish like Smokey Baked Beans and Mushroom Bolognese? Kids will love to assemble their own chicken kebabs, gently spiced with Ras el Hanout, and will have a great time helping to hand-roll the Eggplant and Mozzarella Balls, which all the family will love.
We’re happy to bring you the news that the price of Kashmiri Saffron has dropped, so instead of paying $14.95 for half a gram, it will now cost you $11.50. It’s nice to see that market forces don’t always push in the upward direction! Our spice blends containing saffron have also seen the price benefit, though only in a small way, and you’ll find that of Ras el Hanout, Super Ras el Hanout, Paella and Orange Peel Pieces are cheaper.
In some small changes to our range, we have decided to discontinue the superfine mustard powder as the ground mustard seed works just as well and actually has a little more bite. As we run ever tighter on available space in our little shop, we have also deleted Stevia Leaf Powder, Sumac & Pepper, Urid Dhal and Angelica, which is no longer available.
Don’t you just love the way soup and winter go together like a hand in a glove? Soups are such a fantastic way to incorporate hearty and healthy grains and pulses, such as barley, quinoa, lentils and split peas, into our diets. And our Herbie’s Spices blends make everything so very tasty. Try some of these combinations:
• Roast garlic and pumpkin soup with barley, with Chermoula (pic)
• Carrot and quinoa soup, with Tunisian Spice Mix
• Classic pea and ham soup, with Sweet Paprika plus a smaller amount of Smoked Paprika or Chipotle Chilli powder
• Chicken and assorted vegetable soup, with Berbere
• Broccoli, cauliflower and red lentil soup, with Balmain and Rozelle Spice Mix
Here’s a soup that’s really worth a try – it’s a little sample of what’s in our new Little Kids’ Spice Kit. (see above).
CURRIED CARROT AND CHICKPEA SOUP
This is a simple, tasty and nutritious soup. The chickpeas can be pureed with the carrots for younger children. Naan bread makes a good accompaniment.
- 1 Kg carrots, peeled and cut into thick pieces
- 1 litre water, or chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon Mild Curry Powder (use Medium Curry Powder for more mature palates)
- 400 g tin chickpeas, drained
- 4 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
Cover carrots with water or stock and add curry powder. Bring to the boil then simmer until tender. Puree soup and return to pan. Season to taste, add chickpeas and simmer for a further ten minutes, stir in yoghurt then serve. Makes 6-8 serves. Suitable for freezing before yoghurt is added.
Enjoy the winter with lots of slow-cooked meals – cook on the weekend, and re-heat for an easy mid-week meal. Ideal slow-cooking partners are Ras el Hanout, Baharat, Persian, Tagine, and of course, any of our fabulous curries. Try the Lamb Tangia recipe in Just Add Spice, perhaps, and the fabulous slow-cooked Baharat Beef with Olives?
Herbie and Liz