People of the world!

Spice up your life!
I came across these fun graphics while looking for a compendium of what are “must have” spices -we have a good base, but I’d like to try some other less familiar combos.  Plus, for the first time ever, I am going to actually clean my spice collection out;  dumping and replacing the less than fragrant bottles; refilling the empties, and cleaning and labeling them all (Oooh! An art project too!); and also expanding to include some less familiar spices. We have the most amazing grocery in Poulsbo, Central Market, (their parent company, Town & Country Markets has a  heartwarming back story) with more bulk items of more variety than I am won’t to have seen before.  I’ll be buying my replacements and new herbs/spices there. I’m super excited!

CookSmarts Guide to Flavoring with Spices

While looking for a recipe for a jerk spice blend, I came across these fun kitschy kitchen info-graphics! I mean, who doesn’t love a chart?! If I had more wall space in my kitchen I would frame them. As it is, if I use this handy dandy chart as a guide to stocking my spice larder, we are in pretty good shape. I love that they pair spices/herb with different key flavor profile. This is the kind of thing that makes me long to teach Home Economics!

I don’t usually use dry ginger- I try to keep fresh, or at the very least a tube of it in the fridge. (Side note: when retrieving a link for the ginger paste, I found this. Daikon paste?)

Not only is there the lovely guide for your basic stocked spice cabinet, but there are also, info graphics for 1- Spices by Cuisine; 2- Flavor Profiles; and 3- A guide to Aromatics.

Aromatics are combinations of  very specific combos  for different signature flavor profile groups. For example: “the trinity” in Louisiana cooking- celery, bell pepper, and onion; originated from the French Mirepoix (celery, carrot, and onion); and there are both Latin, and Italian Sofritos –really quite fascinating. An Italian Sofrito, is only different from a Mirepoix in that it is cooked in Olive Oil rather than butter. Huh. These combos are what give us those signature flavors we look for in different cuisines.

By this point, I am wondering what genius academy went to all this amazing graphic work to sketch out this wealth of knowledge in such succinct tasty morsels? CookSmarts. I’d never heard of ’em. But I like what I see.  Their About page declares:

“The kitchen can be a stressful place if no one ever taught you how to cook”

…and further that they are “here to empower you with the know-how and tools to live your best life in the kitchen because a simple home cooked meal can be the source of greater health, happiness, and community.”

I want to find out more information about them. They offer a “free trial”, so I signed up. The membership levels were a bit vague. Despite the 6.00 a month (72.00 up front) being the most popular, I went with the free one. I will share results in upcoming posts… so stay tuned!!!

More charts! For good measure:


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