Today Jane and I did a Spice Appreciation Class at Herbies (see http://www.herbies.com.au/). This was my Christmas present to Jane. The course was at Herbies in Rozelle and presented by Jacqui Newling (who has worked at Herbies and has done a Masters in Gastronomy with a thesis on on food in the first (European) settlement of New South Wales).
The course was held in the back shed where there were several nice wooden tables and a very aromatic atmosphere. We were given a general introduction to spices and then a run through of Saffron (best from Kashmir), Cinnamon and its cousin Cassia and Black, White and Pink pepper.
We then tasted four blends of spices (on chicken) and discussed their main components – lemon myrtle in the Native Barbeque blend; sumac in the Greek seasoning, Ras el Hannout (top of the shelf spice mixture and the various Paprika’s – in Smokey Barbeque seasoning.
We finished off with a coffee and Nutmeg cake. Yum!
All this was really inspiring stuff and we had a great time. It is well worth going to if you have the time.