Monday, October 5, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Deconstructed

This is pumpkin spice season for sure. Every food stuff , from  candy corn to lattes is now flavored with it. There are even pumpkin spice Oreos! Yet what exactly is pumpkin spice? Is one spice or an amalgam of a few? Another good question is how do we accept  it  after being oversaturated with it.

The spice is actually a blend of four spices, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg. Their combination is what gives that spicy, sometimes spiked taste. The dominant flavor notes are the cinnamon and ginger, while the allspice and nutmeg provide the more mellower ones. Everyone is so inundated by the combo, that they've sworn off the spice combo. Don't . On their own they are wonderful flavors that can be used in a variety of sweet and even savory dishes.Cinnamon is yummy  in  homemade rolls and coffee cakes. It adds a sweetness  to cereal and is perfect for dusting over cappuccinos. It can be used as a rub on any game fowl such as turkey and pheasant and is a perfect spice for bringing out lamb's flavor. We all know that ground ginger is the anchor flavor in gingerbread and snaps.It;s a strong , robust flavor that can  also be used in stuffing recipes for boost and color.Both spices have a lot of health benefits and you can also make restorative teas with both.

Allspice and nutmeg, "the quiet" spices are excellent on their own too. Their rich individual flavors are woodsy and intense. Allspice can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, Ground allspice  is always used in sweet potato recipes to give the dishes kick while the whole allspice fruits are used to flavor stews (whole ones are not meant to be eaten, they should be tossed after cooking). They can be used in making the traditional Jamaican jerk recipe too. Nutmeg is one of the loveliest fall spices. It   has a warm, sweet flavor, imagine a favorite fall sweater for your taste buds. It graces vanilla custards, adding color and flavor as well as  zinging up that autumn dessert Indian pudding.Nutmeg can also be used in savory dishes too.It's a must have for creamed spinach and vital in quiche Lorraine. Nutmeg is also the rare spice that can work well with seafood. Use it to sprinkle over scallops or in a creamy sauce to serve with them or shrimp,

Pumpkin spice should not be feared Deconstructed , It  yields four spices that are perfect additions to any sweet or savory meal. Try one,or try them all. They are the perfect spices for fall cooking.

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