“I really like soups, stews, and meats, so what kind of spices should I buy?” — Customer Sue from Spice Shopping with Angelo Sosa

Spice Shopping with Angelo Sosa

Arthur Bovino
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“I really like soups, stews, and meats, so what kind of spices should I buy?” — Customer Sue

Angelo Sosa responds that in general you want spices to have volatile oil, which is like a perfume; brighter spices have more oils and a fresher flavor. One of his favorites right now is Saigon cinnamon. As chef and an extractor of flavor, Sosa tears opens a bag of Saigon cinnamon and says, “take a piece and gnaw on it…gnaw like a beaver.” (Which we all did). “It tastes like an atomic fireball now.” He says that the best thing to do with spices is to lightly toast them over low heat, which releases more of the oils. If you toast it over too high of a heat, you will lose the fragrance. Let them cool and then grind them and blend with other spices (If you blend them while hot, you will also risk losing the fragrance.)