PSST - Your Kitchen Cabinet Passport
BY J. EVERETTE PERRY
Savory Spice Shop seems to specialize in turning amateur cooks into gourmet chefs. The charming “spicery” delivers the world’s most exotic herbs to El Paseo in Palm Desert. Owner Mary Cardas educates her clients through cooking classes led by top chefs and sensory tours that include the tasting and the history of each spice. Cardas selects a few favorites that are popular this fall.
California fennel pollen is the craze among gastrosnobs and foodies. The nutty, tingly herb became an overnight sensation because of Food Network’s Anne Burrello’s brined pork chop. But we have to say “grazie” to Italian immigrants for bringing it to the states.
Black onyx is the darkest of all cocoas, turning anything it’s mixed with into a coal-colored delicacy. Rich in antioxidants and with a slight caffeinated jolt, this South American plant will turn your dark chocolate cheesecake into a healthy pick-me-up.
Pound for pound, organic Moroccan saffron is one of the world’s most expensive spices. It takes 20 men to pluck the tiny stigmas off 150 crocus flowers to bring us a single gram. Fortunately, most dishes — like bouillabaisse and paella — only call for a few threads.
Turkey and other Middle Eastern countries use sumac berries as a table condiment, while Native Americans have used it to fight infections and fevers. Lately, the citrusy fruit has appeared on trendy menus in the form of sumac-crusted chicken and zesty salads.
Guinness World Records knighted India’s rare ghost chili as the world’s spiciest. Wheeling a punch that’s five to 10 times hotter then any habañero, the pepper could be your steak fajita’s secret weapon.
Savory Spice Shop
73399 El Paseo, Suite 103
Palm Desert, CA 92262
400 herbs & spices ground fresh weekly, Over 140 unique hand-blended seasonings available in amounts for 1/2 ounce to pounds. Gift sets, organics and extracts.