My love of rubs and spice blends is well documented. I am a rub-o-holic. At last count I owned 30+ vials of spice blends, most bought at gourmet stores and markets, some of which I have created on my own. And when Furry and I were packing to go on our recent holiday, I was tempted to pack some.
When Furry and I holiday, we pack differently to most holiday makers. We take 2 suitcases. One has our clothes, togs, sarongs, thongs, maybe a good casual dress or two for going out, a pile of dodgy holiday reading.. stuff like that.
The second suitcase houses a wok, a bamboo steamer, a non-stick pan, a non stick saucepan, a cast iron fry pan, 2 cook's knives, a cleaver and various essentials like flour, rice flour, herbs and spices, up to 3 types of rice and a few assorted gow gee wrappers.
Can never be too careful, is our motto.
Our reasoning is that if you're going away somewhere for only a week, there's no point buying sushi rice for the one night you might feel like cooking it, arborio for the single risotto, 2 tablespoons of rice flour for a crispy battered fish, etc.
And god forbid that we have a hankering for Furry Balls in a small town whose supermarket doesn't stock won ton wrappers!!
The spice blends are good when that freshly caught fish just screams Sri-Lankan fish curry. I mean who is going to go out and buy the individual sachets of turmeric and asafoedita in Merimbula??
So this holiday I packed home made Greek, Italian, Indian and Mexican blends, my sea salt, black pepper and oregano rub, some store bought z'aatar and rasa al hanout, some sumac and a few other assorted bits and pieces.
So imagine my sheer joy to find The Saucy Spice Company selling its wares at Eden Whale Festival Market!!
The first thing that catches your eye is the packaging. Simple. Bold. Bright. Like a barracuda with ADHD, I can't resist anything bright and purple. Their stall is row upon row of little paper bags, all purple or pink or yellow or orange, all in line like little soldiers! Each package contains about 50g of spice mic, and a simple recipe instruction leaflet.
Each sachet contains only herbs and spices, no preservatives, fillers or other nasties.
I picked up a Creamy Seafood Chowder, a Seafood Laksa, a dhal and spinach soup mix, a Jamaican Jerk for chicken and an Afghani Lamb.
So far I have only used the chowder, but was very VERY impressed with the simple instructions, the depth of flavour and the authenticity of the mix. The Chowder mix was a combination of coriander, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, cinnamon, black pepper, garlic, onion, chili, turmeric and parsley. Each pack costs about $4.50, and my chowder pack made 5 litres of soup!!
They have hundreds of different spice blends, from the ubiquitous Butter Chicken to a Mulligatawny blend, a spicy braised rabbit to a South African Boerewors mix for meatloaf or patties. They even have an Egyptian fish blend, flavoured with honey!!!
They sell on line, as well as in markets throughout the South Coast (NSW), and are based in Pambula, or contact Nick Bamford on 02 6495 7818. It's a small, family-owned company and while it imports many of its ingredients, uses locally grown or Aussie owned stock where it can.
If you're looking for spice blends that aren't full of filler, and "anti-clumping" agents, and want to support a small, local Aussie business providing a superior quality product, drop by their web site.