A builder of empires and founder of countries, spices are the backbone of many of the world’s most popular cuisines. It’s impossible to imagine the food of China, for example, without star anise and cinnamon, or Spanish food without paprika. While our favourite spices and classic spice mixes will never fall from favour, there are always unfamiliar ingredients to discover and new combinations to try.
Wattleseed, harvested from the wattle tree and ground to a rough powder, is richly aromatic and beautifully versatile. With its mix of coffee, chocolate and hazelnut notes, it’s perfect for both savoury and sweet applications. Sprinkle it over kangaroo or beef fillets, toss through a simple lentil salad or mix into your sweet meringues. For a delicious celebration of national pride, incorporate wattleseed into your next batch of Anzac biscuits.
Mapuche Spice Blend
It is said that the Mapuche warriors of Chile gained the strength to hold back the invading Spanish conquistadors and Incan Armies for centuries from this simple spice blend. Combining the ground, wood-toasted Chilean goat horn chilli, ground coriander seeds and salt, the mix is warm, smoky and delicious. Use as a rub on meats for slow cooking, stirred into mashed potato to make the traditional Chilean side dish puré picante, or tossed through hot roasted nuts for a delicious snack with drinks.
Turkish Chilli Flakes
These chilli flakes borrow little from their Chinese brethren. The Turkish variety uses only the partially dried flesh of the chillies (no seeds), resulting in a bright red, sweet, smoky chilli that’s perfect over eggs, potatoes, tagines, salads and pizza.
With a sweet, fruity flavour, a deep, lasting heat and a warm, peppery bite, the Australian mountain pepperberry is a tasty alternative to black pepper.
Get recipes for some of our favourite spices here.