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Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Spice Trivia: Fennel, Cloves, Ginger & Cumin

I love to learn something new everyday and so thought it would be fun to put together a list of interesting facts about spices which you may not have known.

Let's start this trivia series with Fennel, Cloves, Ginger and Cumin.

Did you Know?


Fennel from India is prized for its strong and notably sweeter anise flavor. Turkish fennel has a somewhat subtle anise flavor and Egyptian fennel a very subtle anise flavor. 


Good quality Cloves are easy to spot: heads must be intact, the heads should be a lighter brown colour than the stems and the heads will float vertically in water or sink. Good quality cloves should have 15-20% volatile oil content.


The best ginger comes from Jamaica or India. Jamaican ginger is strong and pungent while Indian is lighter in colour and has a lemon undertone. Chinese ginger (mostly imported and sold in North America) is slightly more bitter and fibrous.


The name for cumin came from the Sanskrit word, sughandan, which means "good smelling." No wonder most of the cumin grown in the world comes from India!

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