As we visit other cultures on our travels we become inspired by the intense flavors and unique traditions. Even those of us who have zero experience in the kitchen sometimes find ourselves feeling bold enough to attempt a Moroccan or Indian recipe. In a way, the flavors bring back memories of our travels and celebrate those cultures. It’s always fun, but not necessarily easy to find the spices you need—and when you do find them, you’re stuck with buying an expensive jar which has way more than you need. The marketplace is starting to recognize this and now variety bundles are popping up which make great gifts for anyone who enjoys international flavors. And by that I mean everyone.
Quite unique are the hand-carved wooden spice boxes made in India (shown above), housing fine spices that are essential for making authentic Indian, Moroccan and Latin cuisines respectively. The Indian Spices Gift Box contains ginger, cumin, fenugreek, paprika, cinnamon, tumeric and bay leaves, while the Moroccan Spices Gift Box contains a similar set of spices but adds mace and black pepper, and the Latin Spices Gift Box adds oregano and nutmeg. Get one now for $24.99 from World Market.
Alternatively, World Market is selling a “World Traveler Spice Collection” that doesn’t come in a hand-carved box, but rather little containers housed in one tin box. It holds a broad selection of spices (12 in all) including Portuguese Piri piri, Chinese 5 spice, Egyptian dukkah, Greek Tzatiki, Jamaican Jerk, Lebanese Za’atar, French Herbs de Provence, Mexican Adobo, Kansas City BBQ dry rub, Indian Garam Masala, Japanese Shichimi Togarash and Moroccan Ras El Hanout. Get it now for for $17.99 from World Market.
Spice blends might be the best way to go for those of us who are cooking-challenged. FreshJax is a relatively new and hugely popular brand of organic foods and spices; they work with local farmers directly sourcing their product and no artificial ingredients or flavors are ever used. Their spices have rocketed in popularity and their set of 5 spices of the world blends include Jamaican island spices, Tandoori Indian spices, Mexican Taco spices, Thai spices and Greek herb spices. It sells for $34.99, get it on Amazon now.
Most popular though are collections from The Spice Lab of sea salts and finishing salts of the world. Open your world to the flavors and textures of salts with these the Murray River Australian salts, Flake salt from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, Fleur de Sel from rural France, Himalyan Black rock salt, Red Alaea salt high in iron and deep red in color from Hawaii, smoked salts which are great for BBQ, and other salts from Bali, El Salvador, and the Andes Mountains in Bolivia. Get one now for $29.95 and up on Amazon.
Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!