Monday, December 04, 2006

Spice Art

Spice Cresent by Equalizer

Spices are very interesting for many reasons. Old empires were built on spice trade in the past. New empires are being built through its use. It provides markets with the most vibrant colors and most aromatic smells. It blows life into food that is otherwise dull and bland. In many cases spices have strong medicinal properties as well.

To celebrate these rich precious spices, I decided to make a peice of art using spices. To be honest, it wasn't a decision that I made. I realized that the mess I left behind after working with spices in the kitchen had some artisitic beauty to it, and it all made sense. What I saw was something that Jackson Pollock would have done if he hadn't tragically die. Its a chaotic mess with meaning and purpose.

In order to make a little bit sense out of this, lets disect this by the kinds of spices used:

  • Ancho Chili: A mild dried Poblano chili from Mexico.
  • Pasilla Negro: A Mexican purple black chili with an herby berry tones.
  • Aji Amarillo: A yellowish mild chili from Peru.
  • New Mexico Chili: A mild chile from New Mexico, USA
  • Black Pepper: The best quality comes from Tellicherry, India.
  • White Pepper: Similar to the black pepper, but is left to ripen fully before its picked.
  • Dark Brown Sugar: This is my favorite as the heavy amounts of mollasses gives it a deep toffee flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: Its white as flour, but gives a mild garlic flavor without all the peeling.
  • Onion Powder: Very difficult to find as the variety of onion used gives it its unique flavor.
  • Hickory Powder: Hickory is a type of wood used to give a BBQ an amazing smoky kick.
  • Maple Powder: Gives that amazing maple syrup flavor without the mess of a syrup. This is a highly concentrated formula that requires 300 trees to produce a cup of this powder.
  • Saffron: The stigma of a crocus flower. 120,000 flowers are needed to produce one kilogram of saffron. The word is derived from the Latin word of Saffranum, from Arabic Asfar (yellow).

4 Comments:

Blogger Intlxpatr said...

Hickory powder? Hmmm. We usually use a liquid to get the smoke.

Love love love the dark brown sugar. Love Zanzibar, where they grow CLOVES! What fun, to be working with spices.

12/05/2006 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Stinni said...

Sounds like a great mixture for a rub (BBQ).

12/07/2006 07:19:00 AM  
Blogger Bahraini Rants said...

A favor from a complete stranger..

I was wondering if I could lift the pictures you took of la fontaine from your trip to bahrain..

shoot me an email or something if you don't mind and i can tell you more about what the plan is..

cheers,
bahrainirants@gmail.com

12/07/2006 09:29:00 AM  
Blogger Equalizer said...

intlxpatr: Liquid hickory is fine to produce the smoke and flavor, but wont be able to mix it with other spices and store it. You should go to the spice capital Kerala.

Stinni: Well yeah it is, and you can play around with the flavors and all, add allspice, a bit of star anise, crushed rose petals and you got facier rubs.

bahraini rants: will do :)

12/07/2006 04:14:00 PM  

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