spice blends

Chasing Flavors

Creating Personal Spice Blends

By Carla Williams | October 9, 2012

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Photo: Alaskan Dude

Few things reflect the nitty-gritty of culinary culture like the spices cooks blend together in the privacy of their kitchens. These personalized creations are the hallmark of a cook, even as far back as medieval times when there were reported to be almost as many variations of  an intriguing blend “poudre fine,” aka fine powder, as there were cooks. I recently attended a luncheon with Anne Willan of La Varenne fame in celebration of her latest book, The Cookbook Library, which traces recipes from medieval times to the beginning of the modern era.  In addition to a delightful afternoon, I was treated to a taste of poudre fine – a blend of spices ranging from commonplace cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to more esoteric long pepper and grains of paradise. Read More

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