Friday, January 29, 2016

Spicing Things Up

Jalapenos, coriander/cilantro, allspice, star anise

The Dietary Guidelines of America were released earlier this month. Tucked in the 500-plus page report is a call for the use of spices in lieu of salt. I had hoped they would get greater mention as I rely on spices to enliven everything I eat. Oatmeal? Check. Smoothies? Check. Soup? All the time! It's a practice I learned from my immigrant Indian mother. The antioxidant-rich nuggets of flavor enhance texture. Consider pepper encrusted steak. They also blanket dishes with a lovely layer of color. Saffron, for instance, gives paella a golden glow. Unlike many other flavor boosters, spices have few calories - yet another reason to layer them on!

Are you interested in learning more about spices in the New Year? Start with our quick quiz.

1.) A teaspoon of of garlic has ____ calories.

    a) 12

    b) 4

    c) 10

    d) 8

2.) ______ is referred to as the "queen of spices."

    a) Saffron

    b) Cardamom

    c) Vanilla

    d) Turmeric

3.) _____ is referred to as the "king of spices."

    a) Saffron

    b) Mustard seeds

    c) Tamarind

    d) Black pepper

4.) Coriander and ____ are from the same plant.

    a) Cilantro

    b) Parsley

    c) Thyme

    d) Rosemary

5.) Tamarind is a key ingredient in ______.

    a) Mustard

    b) Ketchup

    c) Mayonnaise

    d) Worcestershire Sauce

6) _____ is referred to as "devil's dung" because of its pungent odor.

    a) Turmeric

    b) Allspice

    c) Asafoetida

    d) Cardamom

7) _______ is the world's most expensive spice.

    a) Saffron

    b) Cardamom

    c) Vanilla

    d) Mustard seeds

8) Studies have found that _______ can help to regulate blood sugar.

    a) Allspice

    b) Curry leaves

    c) Cinnamon

    d) Amchur

Want to learn more? Click here for tips on how to find high quality spices. Learn how to cook with them. Also, be sure to visit the Cardamom Kitchen Spice Center on Pinterest.

Answer key:

1.) b 

2.) b

3.) d

4.) a

5.) d

6.) c

7.) a

8.) c
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