Out With The Caraway, In With The Ginger
April 6, 2015 4:22 PM   Subscribe

 
I do wish they'd control for overall consumption, instead of just % change. I suspect that cumin use is MUCH greater than anise seed, at least among consumers, but the chart could easily mislead a reader otherwise.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:30 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Surprises:

Declines in mace and nutmeg, despite the pumpkin spice boom.

Growth in pepper. You'd think the rises in other savories would offset the default seasoning spice. Maybe people are finally using it properly? It'd be interesting to see if it maps with salt.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:40 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's possible people started buying pre-blended pumpkin spice mix instead? I wonder if this is total consumption or just packaged retail?
posted by GuyZero at 4:43 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Glad to see the decline in the terrible celery seed. Bring on the Ruth Bader Ginger.
posted by Morrigan at 4:45 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Look


The spice must flow.
posted by The Whelk at 4:46 PM on April 6, 2015 [16 favorites]


The company does annual spice forecasts, and this year’s is all about spice blends that are readily available in other parts of the world (teriyaki and shawarma, for example) but aren’t as well-known in the U.S.

I'm always amazed by things I think are boring and ordinary and are exotic to other people.
posted by winna at 4:58 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I had caraway in a lemon muffin the other day. It was amazing. In Ireland, not the US, though.
posted by ambrosen at 5:05 PM on April 6, 2015


TIL: caraway, cumin and fennel are related!
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:14 PM on April 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


i dinft know that either!!!
posted by PinkMoose at 5:15 PM on April 6, 2015


The decline in celery seed imports is further evidence that the U.S. is facing an unprecedented coleslaw deficit which
threatens to undermine the spiritual core of our country.
posted by dephlogisticated at 5:23 PM on April 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


winna: "spice blends that are readily available in other parts of the world (teriyaki and shawarma, for example)"

Teriyaki? But...teriyaki contains no spices...
posted by Bugbread at 5:23 PM on April 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


Caraway may be in decline, but the world would be a sadder place without the occasional slice of seed cake. Its unique combination of friendly sweetness, subtle mystery and almost austere restraint of flavour is a great example of what I love most about cookery and food, the beauty of quiddity. Seed cake is not particularly complex, nor ostentatiously delicious, but it is very clearly what it is, and wholly satisfies a category of experience it itself defines.

All of which may sound insufferably pretentious. If it does, please hold that fact against me, and not against the seed cake that I strongly encourage you to bake. I suggest serving it with Assam tea or (as the linked recipe suggests) a glass of Madeira.
posted by howfar at 5:28 PM on April 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


The sesame oil in teriyaki comes from sesame seeds, which likely fall within the scope of spices.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:29 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I do wish they'd control for overall consumption, instead of just % change.

I guess it works for what they're looking at. Of course cumin's more popular. To my dad's side of the family, cumin was about as ubiquitous as salt. The anise thing confuses me, though, because anise is definitely in there with caraway in "things I think of as stuff my grandmother would cook with". Also, marjoram. I don't even know what marjoram is, but I know it was in the box of spices she gave me when I first got my own place. (As was celery salt that I have never used for anything but coleslaw.)
posted by Sequence at 5:29 PM on April 6, 2015


Still no lovage. America is wrong.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:36 PM on April 6, 2015


Don't you talk bad about celery seed. Over the weekend, I made a batch of homemade bread-and-butter pickles that are awesome—thanks to an assortment of spices, including celery seed.

I'm always amazed by things I think are boring and ordinary and are exotic to other people.

Things that are boring and ordinary to you aren't necessarily available to other people. I see that you live in a fairly large city. Have you ever spent much time in more rural parts of the US? Say, places where the biggest town within an hour's drive has a population of 40,000? There are few restaurants offering any kind of "exotic" fare, and even fewer grocers selling the ingredients you would need to make it at home. (And many people who live in those areas don't have the disposable income to spend on items which are, basically, imported luxury goods. You could get spices and some other ingredients via mail order—if you somehow knew what dishes/cuisines you liked, and what ingredients were needed for them—but that would get expensive quickly.)

I don't even know what marjoram is

Marjoram's good! It's an herb, not a spice. I rarely cook with it myself, but I enjoy it when I taste it in things. I'd love to hear everyone's favorite way to use it at home.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:37 PM on April 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


... Chervil falls into that bucket for me, and tarragon (outside of its use in eggs and occasionally chicken I have no idea when you'd use it.)

Also summer and winter savory.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:38 PM on April 6, 2015


Cumin is delicious and the spice I use the most after pepper and cinnamon. I dislike anise and fennel, and enjoy caraway but don't typically bake with it. But there are so many other spices I am curious about (sumac).
posted by jeather at 5:38 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Teriyaki? But...teriyaki contains no spices...

If you follow the link in that paragraph, it's actually talking about Shichimi Togarashi.
posted by thefoxgod at 5:42 PM on April 6, 2015


What about MSG? MSG never gets any love.
posted by oceanjesse at 5:44 PM on April 6, 2015 [11 favorites]


Sumac is so good on Fattoush and over hummus. Here's how hummus gets 10x better:

Leave a little divot in the center of your hummus pile.
Fill that divot with olive oil
Put one solitary cooked chickpea in it
Shake some sumac over the top.
Magic.
posted by leotrotsky at 5:47 PM on April 6, 2015 [9 favorites]


I ordered some sumac from Penzey's recently. MeFites gave me some good recommendations on how to use it. It's good with chicken and chickpeas. It's very bright and tangy; you could probably use it in any Middle Eastern dish where you might otherwise use citrus juice or even vinegar to brighten something up.

Ooh! And I also discovered shichimi recently. Fruity chili heat, plus bright citrus, plus sesame and other things. Hell yes. I always sprinkle it on my homemade ramen or soba or whatever. Good on popcorn, too.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:48 PM on April 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


Celery seed is really good in beef stew, but you must use it sparingly, no more than a quarter of a teaspoon of ground celery seed per pound of beef. Overdoing celery seed would be bad.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 5:48 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


No Lawry's?
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on April 6, 2015


Old Bay or GTFO.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:00 PM on April 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


thefoxgod: "If you follow the link in that paragraph, it's actually talking about Shichimi Togarashi."

Ah, okay. That makes sense. I think putting shichimi on teriyaki is incredibly rare (check out this page of images of teriyaki, and try to find any with shichimi on them), but it's not unthinkable or anything. Feels kinda like calling chili powder "french fry spice mix" because you can put it on french fries, though.

escape from the potato planet: " I'd love to hear everyone's favorite way to use [marjoram] at home."

You can't really get Italian sausage here in Japan. I mean, I'm sure there's some importer I could take a two hour train ride to reach, and pay 4 or 5 times the price of regular ground pork, but in a practical sense, there's no Italian sausage. So when I make lasagna I make fake Italian sausage by combining regular ground pork with sage, thyme, marjoram, and fennel.
posted by Bugbread at 6:11 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I also came here to say SUMAC

I went to an incredible Lebanese place while on vacation a while back, and for the first time in my life begged the waitress for the recipe for something: a lavash wrap which involved rotisserie chicken, pickled cabbage, toasting for the lavash, and a generous amount of sumac on the outside. The place also put sumac on the fries. That stuff is like crack. (And Trader Joe's has it in a four-pack with some other interesting Middle Eastern spice blends, if you're interested.)
posted by gusandrews at 6:15 PM on April 6, 2015


I think putting shichimi on teriyaki is incredibly rare (check out this page of images of teriyaki, and try to find any with shichimi on them), but it's not unthinkable or anything

Yeah, it would not be my go-to example of shichimi. They seemed to be talking about yakitori (which would be, generally speaking, a great example of where to use shichimi) but then picking an example of yakitori with teriyaki and shichimi, possibly less common, although I'm used to seeing shichimi as a table condiment at yakitori generally.

(Actually the article they linked to was fine in general, the FiveThirtyEight article was arguably wrong in summarizing it as "teriyaki").
posted by thefoxgod at 6:23 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


That spike in the late 90s for vanilla - I remember that. There was vanilla scented everything then.

I'd love to see a similar chart for flavor trends. Was pomegranate ever a thing before 2002ish? Did we hit peak coconut last year? Is caramel apple trending to be the new pumpkin spice? Do they tie out with superfoods trendiness or Bath and Body works scents? When did green apple replace lime as the default green flavor of everything? Can it be tracked through the entire archive of candyblog? Is cherry passe and childish? Is peach so 1992? etc. Give me that.
posted by asockpuppet at 6:33 PM on April 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


Marjoram's good! It's an herb, not a spice. I rarely cook with it myself, but I enjoy it when I taste it in things. I'd love to hear everyone's favorite way to use it at home.

It is amazing on roasted carrots, with some butter and maybe lemon juice. So's tarragon. So's cumin, actually. Basically, there are a bunch of herbs that are fucking delicious on carrots and it is a damn shame that in North America we mostly just eat them plain or hide them in stews.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:36 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I made this carrot salad with cumin over the weekend. It's quite good and refreshing.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:44 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


Marjoram is amazing in lemon-y olive-oil-y seafood salads. It's a lot like oregano, but milder and more floral.
posted by neroli at 6:49 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


The mexican market now has a rack of Middle Eastern spices in 4 oz bags. I just started cooking with sumac, I must go through 4 oz of cumin a year, and fresh ginger tons of it. I just started sauteeing with fresh turmeric root, that is really rare and delicious. The market also has fresh chick peas in the shell. So if you cut the tips off the pea casing, they are great sauteed with fresh garlic, onion, and turmeric. I think sumac in small quantity would be good on this. Salt to taste with spike or soy sauce. Any other crispy vegetable is good in this dish, red pepper, celery. But, you don't eat the pods, just taste the exterior while pulling out the peas. This is a nice vegan meal, served with whole grain bread, mmm maybe with balsamic and olive oil.
posted by Oyéah at 7:00 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Anybody know why fresh ginger quadrupled in price during 2013 and remains that way?
posted by telstar at 7:15 PM on April 6, 2015


Apparently China had a really poor ginger crop last year, but this year yields are better and prices are expected come back down.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:23 PM on April 6, 2015


If I want to do some simple scrambled eggs, marjoram and either chives or green onions are delicious.
posted by TungstenChef at 7:26 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


Marjoram is the signature herb in many Bratwurst and other European sausage recipes.
posted by werkzeuger at 7:36 PM on April 6, 2015


Team Sumac, all the way. I can't believe I have as much trouble as I do finding it in Los Angeles, even on the useless side of the Valley. I couldn't even find any at Jon's, I had to get a tiny little tin at Trader Joe's.

(But also everything in TJ's 21 Seasoning Salute, including the powdered lemon and tomato.)
posted by Lyn Never at 7:45 PM on April 6, 2015


Try Rancho Markets.
posted by Oyéah at 7:52 PM on April 6, 2015


In my kitchen it's basically just CARDAMOM 📈
I am this close to getting a mom tattoo, but with CARDAMOM
posted by oulipian at 8:09 PM on April 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


When did green apple replace lime as the default green flavor of everything?

I don't know but this is the WORST and signifies everything wrong with America TO THE CORE
posted by sciatrix at 8:25 PM on April 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


MAjoram is the key to my families chicken, it made everything better
posted by PinkMoose at 9:33 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


All I have to say is, pumpkin spice is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the world. THE WORST!
posted by primethyme at 9:44 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hell yes, sciatrix...cardamom fist bump!
posted by zinful at 9:50 PM on April 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


A crucial component of most akvavit, caraway can never wholly decline. I've never actually used it for anything non-Scandinavian though.

Lots missing that I would love to see statistics on:
When I first moved to Northern CA in the late 90s the trendy seasoning was effing Rosemary (herb?). On EVERYTHING. Black cardamom is the bees knees; it's all knobbly and smoky and makes your curries that way. Cilantro (herb?) isn't mentioned at all, let alone the actual coriander seed. Guessing its use has gone up significantly in the States. Also shoot, nothing about the noble clove? Lemongrass? Ginger's beautiful cousin galangal? Keffir Lime? Fenugreek?

WRT the comment above about rural/urban spice availability, in my experience that's been improving, at least in the mountain West.
posted by aspersioncast at 10:10 PM on April 6, 2015


I'd like to give a shout-out to Mexican Oregano and Smoked Spanish Paprika.

Caraway can carasuckit.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:16 PM on April 6, 2015


MEXICAN OREGANO IS AMAZING. Like, I always used to think dried oregano was a waste of time, but that shit is good.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:23 PM on April 6, 2015


Persian dried limes are where it's at. Like an earthier citrus flavour without the acidity. Great with saffron, turmeric and leafy herbs in stews.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 10:28 PM on April 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


there are people out there who haven't had Parmesan and smoked paprika popcorn

pray for them.
posted by The Whelk at 10:32 PM on April 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm just dropping in to rave about something Alton Brown suggested off the cuff at the end of an episode: raw apple slices dipped in caraway. Evidently the inspiration was that Shakespeare mentioned caraway in 17th-century cooked apple dishes, but a few caraway achenes/seeds on a slice of raw apple has finally pushed apples into the category of something I can enjoy as a snack. The tartness in nearly every cultivar of apple has always been slightly too much for me but the caraway flavor mitigates it just enough.
posted by XMLicious at 12:48 AM on April 7, 2015


Good riddance; caraway is disgusting.
posted by ktkt at 1:31 AM on April 7, 2015


Cardamom ice cream!
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:34 AM on April 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'd love to hear everyone's favorite way to use it at home.

Marjoram's pretty much mandatory in traditional Swedish pea soup, ärtsoppa (even if this guy uses oregano instead). Otherwise it's mostly found in sausages and leverpastej spread in Swedish cuisine, things I'm generally too lazy to make myself. Often used together with thyme. A quick scan of a recipe site indicates that it's also popular in Swedish chili recipes.
posted by effbot at 2:53 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Cardamom ice cream!

Oooh good idea; will report back. I know that Cinnamon ice cream is one of the best I've ever made; topped only by the dark chocolate and white pepper ice cream I made for the same event.
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:33 AM on April 7, 2015


Cardamom is delicious with chocolate too.
posted by jeather at 5:21 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't know but [green apple replacing lime] is the WORST and signifies everything wrong with America TO THE CORE

I will never forgive Skittles for changing from lime to green apple. "Original" my ass.

(More on topic, I recently was making a rub for some meat and threw in some caraway seeds that were hanging around, because why not. It was ... pretty good? Different? Hard to say)
posted by tocts at 7:01 AM on April 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


>> > When did green apple replace lime as the default green flavor of everything?

I don't know but this is the WORST and signifies everything wrong with America TO THE CORE


As American as Mom and ... Green Apple Pie?
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:19 AM on April 7, 2015


Render bacon, add a handful of caraway seeds, thinly sliced onion and apple, sweat, add a sliced head of cabbage and a few ounces of apple cider vinegar, simmer for 30 minutes, and then tell me you hate caraway.
posted by mubba at 8:24 AM on April 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


As long as it's red cabbage, we're good.
posted by GuyZero at 8:55 AM on April 7, 2015


Whenever I use the recipe-recommended amount of caraway seeds in anything, my husband always says, "This tastes like it must be healthy!" I've learned to reduce the quantity by at least two-thirds.
posted by artistic verisimilitude at 9:12 AM on April 7, 2015


I have been looking for that cabbage recipe up there for the longest time! You can substitute a good sausage for the bacon and make it a meal.

Cardamom in quince marmalade, and quince butter!
posted by Oyéah at 10:16 AM on April 7, 2015


Cardamom is delicious with chocolate too

A good tip for perking up instant coffee is to throw a small handful of cardomom pods into the jar when you buy it. After a few days it will be lightly scented. If you add a pod to the cup when making coffee, you get a stronger flavour. I find this useful at work, because the eighth cup of black instant during the day really starts to get kinda tiresome.
posted by howfar at 10:54 AM on April 7, 2015


Render bacon, add a handful of caraway seeds, thinly sliced onion and apple, sweat, add a sliced head of cabbage and a few ounces of apple cider vinegar, simmer for 30 minutes, and then tell me you hate caraway.

A juniper berry or two will go down well here too. If you have none, try adding a very small slug of gin.
posted by howfar at 10:57 AM on April 7, 2015


My stroganoff contains a good sprinkle of carraway
posted by acrasis at 3:35 PM on April 7, 2015


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