As a food blogger it goes without saying, I love spices. My love is so evident that when my friends visit places renowned for spices they must bring me some.
When wanderlust chasing Rachael was in Zanzibar late last year, I got her to buy me some spices. I sent her for some that are rarely found in Nairobi and a few common ones.
1. Black peppercorns
There was a time last year when black peppercorns were missing from most supermarket shelves, imagine the horror.
Black pepper is something that should never miss in anyone’s spice rack. Just like salt, black pepper enhances the flavour of food. Works well in spice rubs and marinades. Investment in a good pepper mill is a plus, to ensure you have freshly ground pepper on hand.
2. Coriander seeds
I love coriander seeds, just a spoonful of ground coriander in a curry and everything changes. These are readily available in Nairobi.
I prefer buying whole spices then grinding them at home. I find that the spices are richer when freshly ground.
Nutmeg or kuku manga in Swahili works best in baked goods. I also love adding it to white sauce for creamed spinach.
I find it so rich and a little goes a long way.
It’s is rumored to have aphrodisiac properties.
4. Vanilla beans
They are so fragrant it’s amazing. Not easily available in Nairobi and also pretty expensive. They are apparently the second most expensive spice. Rightfully so, they are normally hand pollinated.
Vanilla beans, great in baked goods, ice cream, smoothies and used to make vanilla extract.
In intend to use some of it to make my own batch of vanilla extract which I hear lasts for years! I will post about that soon.
Meet the most expensive spice in the world. It’s derived from the Saffron crocus flower. The stigmas are extracted and dried. The saffron threads are normally used as a seasoning and colouring agent in food.
Looking forward to using it in several recipes which I’ll share.
This can be found in Nairobi.
Go on and add some spice to your food, life is too short not to