Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Soul Searching Twenty-Something Seeks Food Love: Settles For Food Like Most Days

Friday, April 29, 2011

Fresh Spices Make All the Difference

I know. . .

We've all heard that using fresh herbs and grinding your own spices makes a huge difference in cooking.  We can add that to the list of advice that tells you organic makes a difference or fresh is always better than frozen or canned.

Well, if you've tried comparing fresh fruits and veggies to their canned or frozen counterparts or enjoyed the organic produce available, you know I'm right.

BUT, just in case you aren't ready to buy into the "fresh-ground spices" hoopla quite yet, I've put together a little visual inspiration for you.  For Easter's Ravioli, I decided to try grinding whole nutmeg in my little spice grinder instead of using the powdered crap that has been sitting on my shelf for a few months.  I didn't know if it would really make a difference or not, but I figured I might as well give it a go on one of my more luxurious recipes. 
This is what I was able to shake out of the jar. Almost no fragrance and kind of monochromatic.
This is what a whole nutmeg looks like before being beaten
Preparing for take-off in the little spice grinder.
After 15 seconds of the daily grind.
Our friend, the nutmeg, looks decidedly more tattered.
The result:  We have this colorful fresh spice. 
Beautiful shapes and sizes in different hues ranging from tan to dark brown.  Plus, it smelled amazing.
Just a reminder.  The front pile is what nutmeg is meant to look like.  And smell like, although it's hard to sniff my blog.
The back pile is a preserved, flavorless powder with no aroma.  YUK!

So the next time you are thinking, "Is it really worth grinding a whole spice/using fresh herbs rather than dried?"  I'm betting the answer is "Yes!"  Even if you can't taste the difference in the end product, you'll better be able to appreciate the healing aromas while you prepare your food.  And that is cathartic enough to warrant a teensy bit of effort, wouldn't you say?

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