Spice Sherpa

Your guide to a life full of flavor.

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How to Grow Your Own Spices: Caraway Seeds

Do you love the idea of growing spices but are faced with the reality of 3-month growing season? We can all admit that cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, saffron, ginger, and nutmeg all echo with the mystique of an exotic locale. No matter, there… Continue Reading →

Book Review: The Spice Merchant’s Daughter: Recipes & Simple Spice Blends for the American Kitchen

“It was the aroma. The exotic scent of spices: rich, alluring, and almost magical. A scent that would sometimes overpower the freshness in the air and sometimes subtly mingle with it to create a tantalizing bouquet. A scent that would… Continue Reading →

Pieces of Eight, Pirates and Spicy Treasure

If the title sounds like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean, there is good reason. September 19 (today) is National Talk Like A Pirate Day. The action is worldwide, I had to get Spice Sherpa in on the fun. Here… Continue Reading →

Vanilla Villains: Your Guide to The Bad Guys

In my last post, I shared how to make authentic, homemade vanilla extract. What ensued was a lively discussion over the confusion about the color of vanilla (check out the comments and chime in). People were surprised that vanilla was steeped in vodka… Continue Reading →

Herbs vs. Spices

Coriander is a spice, cilantro an herb, yet both come from the same plant. Lavendar, basil, rosemary, thyme, sage: herbs. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and cardamom are spices. Increasingly, I see the two terms used interchangeably. So what gives? I did… Continue Reading →

The Spicy Aphrodite

    Love, beauty, and raw sexuality. (Aren’t you glad you’re reading this post?) These are the qualities of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, whom the Romans called Venus. The Egyptians had Hathor, the Etruscans had Turan, Astarte for the Phoenicians,… Continue Reading →

Question Answered: Moroccan Spices

Last week a reader visiting Morocco sent a Twitter message, “I’m in Morocco. Marrakesh tomorrow and haven’t bought spices yet. What to get? Saffron? Paprika? Tell me, it’s overwhelming!” Overwhelmed in Morocco? It’s understandable. The sounds, souks, colors, culture, flavor and aromas…it’s collectively… Continue Reading →

Cardamom: The New Cinnamon

Cardamom is a new cinnamon? Okay, I’m willing to admit this is a bold statement. But we’ve had a new black (pink), thirty is the new twenty, and staying home is the new vacation. So let’s explore cardamom as the… Continue Reading →

Eat Like a Roman

Aaah, the Romans. What is it about this ancient civilization we find so fascinating? The jewelry? Gladiators? Canals? Bathhouses? Their gods? If nothing else grabs your attention then surely you must take interest in their food. They lived in a climate… Continue Reading →

Why Spices?

Spices hold intrigue and romance. Their allure initiated the Age of Exploration, fueled piracy and set forth chains of reaction that shaped civilizations. Bold statements for what is today considered common household staples. But that’s the point. Spices’ exotic stories,… Continue Reading →

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