Mexican cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), actually the bark of a tree, is a type of cinnamon from Sri Lanka called Ceylon, but known as canela in Mexico. It is often considered "true" cinnamon, whereas the relative cassia, a much more widely marketed cinnamon common in the United States, is a native of Indonesia and has a harsher flavor. Canela is much softer and flakier than cassia as well, and is easier to grind into a fine powder. In fact, it will crumble between your fingers.
Before you begin reading about nutmeg, I am assuming that you are not here looking for information on how to get high and that you are not interested in using recreational drugs. This site does not promote the abuse of drugs, even if they are "legal." This article is for education purposes only, intended for the curious. It is not instructional or even remotely to be seen as promoting drug-use! Now, on with some very interesting information about that common household spice, nutmeg.
Grains of Paradise or melegueta pepper (aframomum melegueta), are the small brown to black seeds of a perennial reedlike plant in the Ginger family, or zingiberaceae. The plant is also related to cardamom.
Indigenous to the West Coast of Africa and growing in swampy terrain, the seeds look like small black peppercorns with a white interior when crushed.
Many recipes call for chili powder, but once in a while, you will find one calling for chile powder. Is this the same thing with a different spelling? Can you substitute chili powder for chile powder?
Chinese five-spice powder is a mixture of five dry ground spices that is used extensively in Chinese cooking. It is the most well-known spice mixture of China and is also used in various other parts of Asia, including in Vietnamese cooking. In Mandarin, five-spice powder is called wu xiang fen and in Cantonese it is ngh heung fan.
Sumac spice is a popular spice in many Middle Eastern countries, as well as other parts of the world used in meat, vegetable, and rice dishes to give a sour flavor.
Sumac spice is derived from the fruit of any number of trees from the genus Rhus, the principal of which is Rhus coriaria.
If you are an American reader, you probably know what bay leaves are. You most likely have a small plastic canister of the dried leaves in your spice cabinet. You've cooked with them many times. But when we think of laurel leaves, we may well think of the Olympic games. The laurel leaf was a symbol of victory in ancient Greek mythology. It was also a tradition, in Ancient Greece, that a person's hair might be decorated with certain objects that would identify their occupation, or rank, or achievements (such as Olympic victory). In the first Olympic games, held in Athens in 776 BCE, the winner of the race was crowned with an Olive wreath. Later, in the sixth century at the Pythian Games in Delphi, laurel leaf wreaths were awarded1 In the first modern Olympics, in 1896, second place winners received a laurel branch and a copper medal.
Anardana is a spice used in Indian cooking to give a sour-sweet taste to dises. It is made from the dried seeds of pomegranate fruit (Punica granatum).
The seeds are dried along with the pulp, either by sun-drying or other means of dehydration. They are then dried or sold in whole form.