We are busy doing markets, studying packaging, labels, graphics, doing press work and planning marketing strategies with our head media adviser Anais Alvarez . A mountain of topics await coverage here, from salt free diets, how people can cook tasty and healthy food, the impact of social changes on eating habits or the recent development in kitchen technology.
The first topic I would like to discuss is bread spices, something very common in Central and Northern Europe. Illustrating the importance of spices to us is a photo of chai ingredients we mix in our coffee grinder. Clockwise: Mace, coriander, cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, allspice and somewhere under this pile we buried some Tellicherry peppers.
Bread spices are not used a lot in the American culture, even in Central- and South America, with their tortillas, Chalupas, Arepas, the lard loaded Cuban bread, Amaranth and flour mixtures of the Andes to the Yuca flour cheese breads of Brazil.
In Central European countries like Germany with its 400+ types of bread, Austria as well as Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland bakeries use many spices like cumin, coriander, mace, star anise, cloves, caraway, fennel seeds, anise, allspice and pepper. Depending on the mixture people enjoy cardamom as well among the others, mostly the tiny black seeds, while the green pods are reserved for Indian cooking and beverages. White cardamom is very mild and elegant in its smell and regularly employed in European Christmas baking.
Black cardamom is suited for many dark dishes, such as bean and meat stews since it has a smoky, mild flavor with a typical oriental hint to it.
Undoubtedly a spice mixture of any kind will not have one outstanding ingredient but preferably evoke a sensation which does not allow for one spice to be determined before others. I guess this makes it fuller in taste, and as an added benefit, provides minerals and vitamins to the consumer. Another benefit for bread lovers might be a better metabolism since rye, spelt and whole wheats are better digested with fennel, caraway and the likes. Others help disinfect the system, like cloves, while allspice and cumin calm down the nervous system. We grind the spices for the crackers and breads just before we start the dough. It took us a trial of three months with a baking session or two every week to find out the standard we finally applied to a batch. I am not sure whether it is necessary for the production to do that or if a reliable purveyor of freshly ground spices would do the same job. But, I know how the room smells once the lid of the spice grinder is opened, and judging by the way the powdered spices make me feel, it is not the worst part of a working day.