Once around the world with taste – Sea Salt Mixes
Steaming pots, fragrant aromas, appetizing colours, crispy crusts, tender meat, melting sauces, fluffy creams - we like to be seduced by a good cuisine. And every good cuisine has its little and big secrets, characterized by the quality and freshness of the ingredients, the way they are prepared and, above all, the spices used. Every national cuisine has its own special blend of spices that makes it so popular and unique. Good cooks are like artists who can compose a bouquet from spices that harmonizes the flavours. Spices not only round out the taste to surprise and delight our palates with flavour aromas, we also use them to make food more digestible or even longer lasting. Ayurvedic cuisine, for example, uses spice mixtures that are put together in such a way that they enhance our well-being.
When we speak about spice mixtures, it is specified, at least for Europe, that they only contain spices. For example, a spice mix can be a roast spice, goulash spice or a rice spice. If spices and other ingredients are included that are not considered spices - for example vinegar, soy sauce or mustard - the term spice mix is used.
Seasoning salts, on the other hand, can consist of one or more spices and thus also be a spice mixture and also contain cooking salt. The proportions of spices and salt in spiced salts are calculated in such a way that a balanced ratio is created and you do not have to add more salt or season your food with the spices in question.
The cuisine of each country has traditional spice mixes that are used and make up the typicality of that country's cuisine. In Mediterranean cuisine, with its abundance of herbs, the flavours of local herbal spices such as basil, rosemary, oregano, thyme and lavender are balanced. Northern European cuisine gets by with relatively few basic spices, while Arabic cuisine celebrates its variety of spices, and the many different national cuisines of Asia also positively revel in flavour aromas, which is of course also due to the fact that a large number of different spices are used and also originate from these countries. The large number of dishes spiced with chilli in warm countries like Mexico is not just a matter of taste. Chilli also ensures that food does not spoil so quickly, which was essential for survival without refrigeration. Certain spices stand for the typical cuisine of a country and also always satisfy our wanderlust, because we can always take a world tour in terms of taste.
Fortunately, today it is easy to buy the spices, herbs, spice blends and spice mixtures we feel like at the moment. The spice drawer in our kitchen should be well stocked - but it also needs regular care, because spices do not keep indefinitely. The flavour-giving essential oils in ground spices and opened spice packets evaporate after a certain time. Spices in an unprocessed state, consisting of seeds, buds or hard plant parts, have the longest shelf life.
Spices derive their aroma primarily from essential oils, but also contain minerals, vitamins and secondary plant compounds. Especially the secondary plant compounds are said to have healing and health-promoting properties. When using spices, a moderate amount is crucial; some spices can even be poisonous in large quantities or trigger undesirable reactions.
The whole world of spices can be at home in your kitchen and you are invited to share it with family and friends. If you dare to try something new and an exciting recipe, you can celebrate an extensive cooking session with friends. Maybe you already have a spice preparation in your spice rack that you can easily add while cooking. This way you can add new nuances to your favourite dishes and immerse yourself in a new world of flavours. If you have a salt mix to hand, you can give your dishes an extra kick right at the start. In no time at all, you can conjure up spicy accents with chilli, lemony freshness with lemongrass or emphasise toasted notes with a smoky barbeque blend. Our team of experts at SAL de IBIZA has put together sea salt mixes that add both flavour and visual accents to barbecues, Asian and Mediterranean cuisine, meat dishes, soups and salads.
If you want to make your own spice blends, it is important to process the individual components properly and to have them all in stock. To release the aromas of the spices and mix everything well together, you need to grind hard ingredients with a suitable grinder, for soft ingredients and herbs it is best to use a stone mortar.
Herbs such as basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram or lavender only become leaf spices when dried. The dried leaves still need to be ground or rasped so that they develop their full seasoning power. Seed spices such as pepper, coriander or mustard seeds can also be used whole, but are usually ground or crushed to release the flavour-intensive components from the spices.
Depending on how many different spices need to be processed for your desired spice mix, this can almost become a cooking session in itself.
Depending on how many different spices need to be processed for your desired spice mix, this can almost become a cooking session in itself. If the spice mix consists of your favourite spices that you use frequently anyway, you probably always have them fresh in the cupboard. Otherwise, you can decide whether to buy all the spices individually or use a ready-made mix. Spices should be stored in a dark, dry and cool place to preserve their aroma for as long as possible.
It is a pleasure to watch an expert do this or to freshly grind and mix spices or herbs yourself in a stone mortar. This is how the spices combine with the salt and other seasonings. Freshly ground spices develop their aromas best and you get the best spice blend.
Well marinated meat, vegetables or fish are the be-all and end-all for a successful barbecue. To make it really tasty, the barbecue master marinates meat and vegetables in a mixture of barbecue herbs and spice preparations to make the meat tender and the vegetables aromatic. The spice mixture sets the tone and you decide whether the grilled food will be Mediterranean, American or Asian. When the marinated grilled food is on the barbecue, the spice mix is rounded off with toasted notes. Dips made from spice blends with chilli salt, for those who like it hotter, should be ready on the table.
If you are invited to a barbecue or dinner, you will surprise the host if you bring a special sea salt mix as a souvenir in addition to good humour.
If you are in a hurry or don't have all the spices to hand, you can simply use a ready-made spice mix. Our SAL de IBIZA sea salt and spice blends are available for a variety of dishes. They are balanced, contain fine sea salt and give your dishes a new zest. Maybe you just want to drift through the culinary world and pick out a nice sea salt mix when you look at the shelf.
Our SAL de IBIZA sea salt mixes should only be added to cooked dishes at the end of the cooking time to get the best flavour. The spices are contained in ground and rasped form in the spice mix and the essential oils responsible for the flavour would evaporate if cooked too long.
When preparing cold dishes such as salad, dressing or marinade, the spice flavours need time to combine well with the other ingredients. Therefore, they should be added right at the beginning.
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