To toast or not to toast, that's one of the questions!

06 July, 2021 0 comments Leave a comment

Do you use whole spices? If so, have you tried toasting them? If not, a gentle toasting can brighten flavors, bring out floral or spicy notes, and otherwise alter them, usually for the better. The only downside is that you should only toast when you are going to use the spices then or in the next week or so. 

If you are in the mood to experiment, try this: take a spice you intend to use, be it black pepper, coriander, cumin, fennel, or some other seed or bark. Decide what dish you want to use it it. Say, for example, you're making a roast chicken. Divide your chicken in half. Heat up a little honey in a saucepan divide it into two little bowls. Add the salt and some minced garlic to both bowls. Take some whole peppercorns and grind half of them into one of the bowls with the honey-garlic-salt mixture. Take a skillet and dry toast the other whole peppercorns until their aroma becomes pronounced. There's some kind of alchemy that happens when you toast black pepper; the flavors seem to expand and become brighter and richer. Set those peppercorns aside to cool and then grind them into the other honey-salt-garlic bowl. Smear one of the mixtures over half of the chicken and the other onto the other half. Roast the chicken at 375 degrees until it reaches the proper internal heat. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then dig in. 

Can you taste the difference? Please, let us know how they taste different to you. We'd love to hear.

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