edit sections

pepper corns

new spices

  • Tamarind?
  • Indonesian ginger,
  • Guatemalan cardamom,
  • French chicory,
  • cocoa powder from Hispaniola,
  • Turkish sumac, a spice almost impossible to find on Canadian shores, for za'ta



  • Jamaica


  • August / September
  • Pimento is a semiwild crop in Jamaica and the nearby islands where most of the world's supply is produced (Chapman 1966).
  • Deliberate planting of pimento in Jamaica is negligible (Chapman and Glasgow 1961).
  • The trees grow in plantations.
  • The branches carrying the berries have to be harvested by hand.
  • The berries are spread by hand to dry in the sun for 12 days.
  • The drying berries have to be moved inside at night and if there is a threat of rain.(9)
  • The allspice tree needs rainfall of over 2 meters a year.
  • It reaches maturity in five to six years and reaches a maximum yield in about 15 years.
  • The fruit is harvested in an immature state and dried in the sun or artificially before being winnowed and graded.
  • The regular Jamaican grade is described as being ‘fanned and fumigated, 8 mm sieve’. Its price is set by the government based on demand.


  • vanilla growers in northeastern Madagascar who are willing to throw away half the immature pods in a hand of vanilla
  • so that the remaining beans can grow 22 centimeters long.
  • If you look closely, you can see the growers’ brand—a starburst of pinpricks—on each fragrant bean.


  • spices are some of the most pesticide-laden foods on the market,
  • as they are irradiated and chemically treated for toxins.
  • These toxins stick to the oils of the spices.
  • We buy in very small batches so that they’re always very fresh.
  • months of not sitting on warehouse shelves guarantees the spices are much, much fresher.
  • “You can taste the difference, and the smell, too. It’s more in cooking that you notice it; the volatile oils come out.”


  1. additives,
  2. preservatives,
  3. fillers,
  4. colourants,
  5. pesticides


  • the worst things you can do to spice.
  • Purchasing spices in glass jars and plastic packets greatly reduces not just the potency and quality, but the shelf life.
  • Bougourd says that the rule of thumb regarding spices is, if ground, a year to 18 months, and if whole, anywhere from three to five years, depending on what it is.
  • When in tins, these numbers are much higher.

edit sections

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License