For the Love of Pure and Authentic Spices
Food! It signifies an emotional journey for most people across the world. We Indians, particularly, are extremely passionate about cooking. Food is an intrinsic part of our heritage and culture and we take great pride in cooking up a storm in our kitchens. Spices or ‘masalas’ as we call them, are the arsenal that sparks up this gastronomical journey. Pure and authentic spices make the gourmet experience more enriching and powerful.
What is a spice? It is any plant material that modifies and enhances the flavour of food. Spice can be a root, bark, various seeds or fresh and dried herbs. However as a consumer, we never consciously look at spices as a root or a bark. To us, these are the indispensable elements to our cooking which bring intangible experiences to our food. Be it everyday food or some exotic preparation, pure spices add that flavour, that taste, that aroma. Levels of purity and authenticity of these spices determine their contribution to enhancing our food in terms of flavour, health and nutrition.
How do we make sure we buy only pure & authentic spices for our kitchens? We need to ensure that are they Fresh, Pure & Authentic. We must also see to it that they are of the Highest Quality. Finally, take a nice deep whiff to check whether or not they are full of Flavour. We need to be sure that they are 100% what they claim to be.
Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when buying spices:
Source: Where are the spices sourced from? What kind of farming techniques are being employed to bring these spices to us? What are the checks in place to ensure there are zero pesticide residues in the raw material? A responsible approach towards this makes spices safer and healthier for you.
Processing Technology: Spices are highly susceptible to the processes they undergo to retain their nutritional value and flavours. Using the best techniques of sorting, cleaning and grading of raw spices are critical. Using the latest technologies like steam sterilization and cold grinding, with automation and no human touch at any stage of processing ensures we get pure and authentic spices.
Packaging: Convenient and hygienic packaging ensures ease of use while retaining the freshness, quality and nutritional value of the spices.
Quality Assurance: Benchmarking and adhering to stringent quality standards at every step - right from growing, sourcing, cleaning and grading to processing and packaging. This will ensure complete traceability of the product and control over the entire value chain.
One must check for all the above information on the packaging and if not available there, go ahead and read about it on the brand’s website or their social media. Good brands always post all such information that educates their consumers to make an informed choice.
Pure and authentic spices do not just bring about a delectable fusion and appeal to your food. Furthermore, they ensure that one needs to use a very little amount of the spices to get the same flavour. A little will go a long way.
Spices are that magical essence that can transform an ordinary dish into a memorable one. Let us make sure we use only the best.