"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life." -BUDDHA

Saturday, May 12, 2012

McCormick Brings Passion to Flavor: SPICES 101

Do we share the same passion for cooking and flavors too? I am pretty sure you also  have some bottled herbs and spices in your cupboard that is same with mine.  Since time immemorial our family has been using McCromick products from  herbs and spices, to  seasoning blends and  meal recipe mixes, to food colors or  flavor extracts and wet condiments as well. It has truly become a household name that commonly used by most of our moms, aunts and grandmothers. When I was slowly learning the art of cooking during my highschool and collegiate years and  since basic cookery is a prerogative course for my bachelor's degree, I always wish to have a whole set of assorted McCormick products. What I did was I buy each bottle according to my needs and make sure that they were stored  in good condition always to preserve its freshness. Right now our kitchen never ceases to have small  bottles of  Cinnamon (my fave for hot drinks, pastries and desserts), Oregano, Spanish Paprika, Iodized Salt, Italian Seasoning and Oregano. They were like staples for our everyday dishes. 

I've always loved to be well-versed about the different retail products of McCormick so when I encountered these broad range of herbs and spices displayed during the event at Bonifacio High Street, I can't help but to get myself familiar with them again and again and again. They are making our dishes taste like delectable creations as they are the prime sources of flavors and aroma that's capable of enhancing anything we cook. Aptly called kitchen solutions! So can I now take you to a brief course on Spices 101? We'll do it in a McCormick way,  hence some snippets of information below came from their website.  Spreading some kitchen essentials now so read on  ^_^

They all look so exciting! I dreamed of  needing them all :) 
A spice and an herbSpices and herbs are aromatic natural products that are used to flavor food. Spices are the dried seeds, buds, fruit or flower parts, bark, or roots of plants, usually of tropical origin. Herbs are the leaves and sometimes the flowers of plants, usually grown in a climate similar to the Mediterranean.

McCormick Meal Recipe Mixes
These small packs were included in the lootbag I got from the event DISCOVER FLAVORS. Anyone who use this is expected to savor the flavor given the blend of herbs and spices you love in just one mix.  They are categorized as follows: Korean Fried Chicken, Buffalo Wings, Season N Fry, Filipino Cuisine, Adobo Extensions, Sinigang Extensions, Meat Marinades, Tex-Mex, Oriental, Chicken Surprise, Gravy, Fresh Catch, Grill Mates and Perfect Pasta.

Spices and herbs do not spoil, but they do lose their strength. Old seasonings will not flavor your meals the way they are intended to.
Spices and herbs should be stored in airtight bottles, away from the exposure to heat, moisture, and direct sunlight. These elements hasten the loss of flavor and aroma of spices and herbs. Avoid storing your spices and herbs over the stove, dishwasher,sinks, or near a window. Members of the red pepper family (capsicums), such as paprika and chili powder, should be refrigerated to help retain color and guard against infestation. This is important especially during the summer months and in particularly hot climates.

The best ways to know each of them is to see their general appearance, smell them, taste them and better include them in your cooking.

Shelf Life
The shelf life of properly stored spices and herbs is approximately 3-4 years for whole spices and seeds, 2-3 years for ground spices, 1-3 years for leafy herbs, and 1-2 years for seasoning blends.

 Replace the lid on bottles right after use. Measure seasonings in a bowl, then add seasonings to the pot. Do not sprinkle spices and herbs directly from the bottle over a steaming pot. Steam introduced into a bottle will hasten the loss of flavor and aroma. Steam will also result in caking. Make sure the measuring spoon is completely dry when you dip into the spice bottle. The added moisture may cause caking or flavor loss.

For recipes on Appetizers, Main Courses, Desserts, Beverages and Super Spices, visit this Flavor Headquarters online. Happy cooking!

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