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Bazaar Spices | Stop and Smell Me (Issue 8)

Welcome

Welcome to the October issue of Bazaar Spices' newsletter. Fall is our favorite time of year! The air is crisp and the leaves turn beautiful colors. And, who does not like pumpkin or apple picking at one of the many orchards and farms around the District? There are also so many late summer and early fall fruits and vegetables ready to be enjoyed.

One of the questions many of our customers ask us is "what spices do you guys have that would help me take my pickling to the next level?" To answer that question in this issue, we will share a snapshot of our recent Pickling 101 demonstration offered by Arondo Holmes of Oh Pickles. Also, we feature great recipes created by some of our wonderful customers to spice up your fall cooking, including a delicious home-brewed soothing tea to take away the morning chill. Lastly, we will cover the most important things to look for when buying high quality fresh spices and herbs. In addition to the wonderful aroma you get when you walk through our shop, the next time you stop by our shop you will know what distinguishes our spices, herbs, and botanicals from others. Thanks for reading!

Three Things to Look for When Buying Spices

Oftentimes we hear folks ask "what makes your spices better than X,Y, Z merchant" as one can buy "spices" in just about any grocery store in the city. We use that term "spices" loosely as the oftentimes old, stale, and just plain low quality fare that is often sold at your local grocery store are stand-ins for real spices and herbs. But hey, they are there and convenient so what the heck! I need my cinnamon now!  For us that question is our raison d'etre on why we opened Bazaar Spices. Like you, we were not able to get the quality and variety of spices that we wanted and we had a feeling that there were others that felt the same way.  So, we went about selecting and identifying the suppliers that sell nothing but the highest quality spices that are available. And that's how we are able to offer the freshest spices to you.

During our search we found out that like fruits and vegetables that have tell tale signs that they are at their peak of freshness and quality (who doesn't thump their watermelons?) so do spices and herbs. Here are three things to look for the next time you are buying your spices or herbs.
 
Shape: Pods, Seeds, and Berries should be unbroken and uniform in shape & texture. They should be fully developed, not immature or over ripe. They should be well rounded. Look for minimal malformed or empty pods.

Color: Should be uniform, vibrant, and bright;  NOT dull and flat.

Smell: Should be consistent for the respective spice or herb. odor should not be musty or flat and the taste should not be bitter.

So now that you know what to look for...next time you come by the shop feel free to compare our spices to what you see at your local grocers. We're sure you'll see the difference!

Win Free Tickets to The Metropolitan Cooking Show!

Got a great recipe using one of our spices? Send us a blog post (with a picture) using one or more of our spices for our Spicy DC blog and enter to win 2 FREE tickets ($50 value) to a day at the Metropolitan Cooking Show taking place November 2 and 3 at the DC Convention Center. Submit your blog post before October 29th to mgrover@bazaarspices.com.  This 2-day food lover's event will feature hundreds of exhibitors, cooking demos, tastings, workshops, book signings, and appearances by Food Network celebrities. Bazaar Spices is excited to be exhibiting its products at the show for the first time. Hope to see you there!

Vegetarian Holiday Cooking Workshop

Want to learn how to pack the most flavor into your holiday favorites in the least amount of time? Want to connect with others looking to ramp up their holiday veg-centric sides without a whole lot of fuss or money? Want to meet fellow DC home chefs and talk about spices and vegetarian cuisine in a related and fun atmosphere? Well, if you answered yes to any (or all!) of these questions, you should join Bazaar Spices and Como Water for their Vegetarian Holiday Cooking Workshop on Thursday, November 7, 2013, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, at Bazaar Spices, Union Market, Washington DC. In this part hands-on/part demo workshop, Tiffany Griffin of Comowater will guide you through techniques that will take your favorite veg-centric, holiday dishes from bleh to spectacular by incorporating fragrant and flavorful herbs and spices. At the end of the workshop, participants will have a chance to sample veg-centric holiday cuisine (cranberry sauce, baked sweet potatoes, stuffing and more will be featured), and to share their tried and true tips for making the most out of their holiday dishes. There is no cost for this event. Click here to reserve your space!

Meet Me At The Market, Union Market

Christina Sturdivant of Urban Scrawl recently paid us a visit and toured Union Market. Here's what she had to say: "Ivan Fitzgerald is the hospitable owner of Bazaar Spices—rated by Zagat as 1 of 16 artisans to know in the US. Bazaar’s products come from all across the country; top selling seasonings include their Za’atar and various rubs, especially in the summer months. Many customers choose different spices to experiment for new recipes. And for the culinary novices, “Be sure to come back for our classes. Next week we have pickling and summer bbq-ing,” recommends Fitzgerald." Click here to read more about the Christina's perspective on the unique merchants housed at Union Market.

Pickling 101 with Oh! Pickles

Bazaar Spices was excited to offer its first Pickling Basics class with Arondo Holmes of Oh Pickles, former neighbor at Union Market, who can now be found at several well-known farmers markets across the DMV area including at the Ronald Reagan Building and USDA markets. In late summer, Arondo spoke to 15 attendees about the history and culture of pickling. He touched upon the origins of pickling and demonstrated how to pickle and what spices are best to flavor your pickling products. Bazaar Spices carries a pickling spice (a blend of allspice, bay leaves, cinnamon, chiles, dill seed, mustard seed, cloves, and coriander) that makes it easy for you to pickle some of your early fall vegetables. You can follow Arondo on Twitter at @arondoohpickles. Be sure to visit us online to learn more about our upcoming classes.

Peace, Love, and Licorice Tea

Relax with this delicious blog post and recipe by our friend, Katy Bristow. "I've been playing around with soothing evening tea blends, recently, and I keep coming back to this recipe  over and over again. It's light and delicately floral, and the licorice lends a mild sweetness that really rounds out the flavor. The chamomile is a gentle soporific, which makes this a great little nightcap before you settle into bed." Click here to read more and get the recipe.

Chermoula, a Middle Eastern Chimichurri

Love North African food? Never tried it before? Creative and love to make new dishes? This blog post by our friend Tim Bristow is a must read! "Chermoula is a North African mix with some similarity to Ras ul Hanout. However, I would tend to equate chermoula as used traditionally in North Africa with the Argentine beef accompaniment Chimichurri since I think it is best used as a ‘wet’ mix with lemon juice and fresh parsley and cilantro, much like the Argentine condiment. The aroma from the chermoula is often used to invigorate ‘bland’ fish or other meats and can easily be used as a rub for meat or vegetables, especially cooked slowly on the grill or on the stove top. It could also be used as a very effective marinade with lemon juice or used dry as a rub to bring out the flavor of any meat or fish." Click here to read more.

Bazaar Spices is Now LIVE on Square Market

Feel like you just have to try the new Hawaij with Saffron blend we just got in at the shop? Waiting try out the new Himalayan Salt Brick to show off at your holiday dinner party? Want to send a spice gift bundle to your favorite aunt in Georgia? Is your foodie friend's birthday coming up? Well, we're offering the opportunity for you to buy our spices from us! We are very happy to announce our products are now available for sale online. Just in time for the holidays! Check out our online shop and product list.

Have a Passion for Spices?

Like to try new spices and have a passion for writing? Consider being a guest blogger for Spicy DC our blog dedicated to the spice enthusiast. Have you made something wonderful and unique with one of our spices, herbs, or bontanicals? We would love to feature your recipe on our website, in our next newsletter, or on our social media platforms? To submit a blog post or have your recipe featured, email us at info@bazaarspices.com.

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