Basil

Albahaca
Lamiaceae (mint family).
The name basil is derived from Greek basileus king, because of the royal fra­grance of this herb. Best harvesting season is before flowering.
The essential oil is of complex and variable composition. Within the species, several diferent chemical races exist, and furthermore climate, soil and time of harvest influence not only the amount but also the composition of the essential oil. The most important aroma components are 1,8 cineol, linalool, citral, methyl chavicol, eugenol and methyl cinnamate.
Basil, it is fundamentally used in italian cuisine. It is a flavouring for tomato sauces, mixtures of ricotta cheese and pesto.

Savory

Savory has a strong aromatic flavour, which could be compared to thyme (particularly, thyme harvested in summer), ajwain or the common strain of epazote.

Savory contains an essential oil in varying amounts; good quality should range between 1 and 2%. In contrast to the olfactorily similar thyme, savory contains only minor amounts of thymol, but the main component is carvacrol, a position isomer of thymol (30 to 45%). Furthermore, p-cymene (max. 30%), γ-terpinene, α-pinene (8%), dipentene, borneol, 1-linalool, terpineol and 1-carvone are reported.
Despite savory’s similarities to thyme, its applications are rather the opposite: It is rarely used for meats, but mostly for vegetables. Savory is very often employed for legumes, especially dishes prepared from dried lentils or beans, where it aids digestion significantly. Furthermore, I find it is very well suited for mushrooms. As an authentic flavouring for traditional Central European food, savory may well be combined with hyssop for rustic bean or potato recipes.

On the other hand, savory is frequently found in commercial spice mixtures for sausages, pâtés or pickles. Though not obligatory, it is often part of the Southern France spice mixture herbes de Provence, and it is found in most versions of Georgian khmeli-suneli. It is quite a popular culinary herb in Germany; thus, it is often employed in German versions of bouquet garni.
Ajedrea

Fennel

Fennel belongs to the family Apiaceae. It is native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.
Fennel is widely cultivated, both in its native hábitat and elsewhere, for its edible, strongly flavoured leaves and seeds. The flavour is similar to that of anise and star anise, though usually not so strong. The taste of fennel varies from sweet to slightly bitter.
The largest quantity of herbal essential oil is obtained by hydrodistilling fresh or slightly wilted foliage just before flowering. Fruits can be distilled any time after harvest, but they must be milled or crushed and distilled immediately to avoid oil loss by evaporation. The temperature must be high enough to prevent the oil from congealing. Essential oil from different plant parts and between different regional cultivars tends to be very variable.

hinojo (3)

Ginger, a great ally

In this hot summer Monday, let’s learn how ginger can help our health; benefits and properties.
Ginger is one of the most popular plants in Chinese medicine, it is usually given the quality of treating diseases related to excess of yin, this is, diseases caused by cold. Besides this, it has more healthy benefits, it is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps fight respiratory diseases, arthritis and digestive problems.
We will explain briefly how it can assist the different systems of the human body. It is healthy for the digestive one because it treats intestinal disorders, aids digestion and prevents from intestinal problems caused by alterations of the intestinal flora. It is anti emetic, combats nauseas in trips, helps in chemotherapy treatments and pregnancy and post-operative vomiting. It also prevents from ulcers and diarrhea.
Circulatory system: it promotes blood circulation, helps your body dissolve clots and decreases cholesterol levels in blood.
Respiratory system: it acts against the symptoms of influenza, colds and sinusitis.
Studies have confirmed its importance as an aphrodisiac, and also that it has a beneficial effect on fertility, increasing sperm volume and improving sperm mobility.Jengibre I
There are lots of ways to take ginger, here you are a recipe of tea.
In a litre of water, with a spoon of ginger, boil during 5 minutes a spoon of cinnamon podwer. Take the casserole pot out and let it rest for 15 minutes. Add 5 spoons of honey and it is ready. Drink a glass after breakfast and another one after dinner. Drink for a month and stop 15 days. Here we leave you a delicious recipe of creamy chicken curry. http://www.rsabater.com/en/our-recipes/ We expect you enjoy it! Happy week!

Turmeric

Turmeric of commerce is the dried rhizome of the plant Curcuma domestica. Turmeric is used in curry powder, chicken bouillon, sauces, gravies, dry seasonings, backing mixes, processed cheese pickles, relishes, breading soups, beverages, and confections in addition to its use in medicine, religious functions and as biopesticide. The antiquity of turmeric dates back to the Assyrians of 600 BC. Ethnobotanical evidence indicates that the use of turmeric has been in India since very ancient days. It is believed that the crop spread out from India to distant Asian countries under the influence of the Hindu religión.
Harvested turmeric is washed well to remove the adhering soil; roots removed, the fingers and mothers are separated. Mother and finger rhizomes are boiled separately for about 40-60 minutes under slightly alkaline condition in copper, galvanized iron earthen vessels and sun dried on bamboo mat clean drying floor for 10-15 days so as to bring down the moisture content to 10%.
After harvest, fresh turmeric is kept in gunny bags or baskets or heaped open in well-ventilated sheds.
Turmeric is available as whole, ground, oleoresin and oil. Turmeric is used mainly as fine ground turmeric in cooking in the West while those in the growing countries buy turmeric mostly in whole or Split form. Importing countries in the West buy ground turmeric, turmeric oleoresin and oil.
Turmeric is valued mainly for its principal colouring pigment, curcumin, which imparts the yellow color to turmeric, besides other nutritive constituents like potassium.
CURCUMA I

Cumin

Cominos 1
Cumin is a strong aromatic of dried ripe fruit (seed) of Cuminum cyminum L. It is variously known as: cumin, kummel, comino, zireh-e sabz, cumino, kemon, zira, kamun. Cumin is indigenous to northern Egypt, the Mediterranean región, Iran and India.
Cumin is a mixture of united and separated mericarps; yellowish Green or yellowish Brown, elongated avoid; 3-6 mm in length.
These fruits (seeds) belong to a small anual herb 15 to 50 cm in height, with long slender and White roots, bidivaricated branching stem, long, narrow deep green slender leaves and small umbels of white or rose-coloured flower, covered with tiny hairs.
Cumin has about 2-5% of volatile oil and about 10% fixed oil, together with tannins, oleoresin, mucilage, gum, protein compounds and malates. The characteristic cumin odour is due to the presence of its essential oil. This odour and flavour is due principally to the aldehydes present or cuminol, p-menth-3-en-7-ol and p-mentha 1,3-dien-7-ol.
Cumin seed is an ancient spice with a strong aromatic smell and warm, bitterish taste. It is widely used in Iran and India both as a condiment and flavouring in many Eastern dishes. In Biblical times cumin seeds were value for their digestive properties and were used for flavouring bread and other dishes during the periods of ceremonial fasting, to make up for the lack of meat.
Cumin seed and distilled cumin are used as a stimulant, antispasmodic, carminative and antimicrobial agent. They are used as a carminative particularly in veterinary practice. Cumin is used widely in traditional medicine to treat flatulence, digestive disorders, diarrhoea and in the treatment of wounds.

Clove

The clove, belongs to the family Myrtaceae. The spices is indigenous to certain volcanic islands of North Molucca, in the eastern part of Indonesia.

The tree is of medium size, fine, evergreen, reaching up to 20 m in height and varies in its canopy shape from cylindrical to pyramidal, depending  on the variety. The tree can live up to 100 years. The trunk diameter can reach 30 cm in mature plants. The leaves are opposite, oblong obovate in shape, bright pinks in newly-formed leaves which turn to dark green when mature. The flower is a hermaphrodite with a fleshy  hypanthium that is surmpunted by the sepals. The colour of unopened buds at the young stage is usually green, turning to flushed pink when they reach their full size, at which time they are ready for harvest. At the stage the statemens are still inside and covered by petals which from the head of the dried cloves. Early picking or overripe buds will produce lower quality clove bud. The tree is grown primarily for the unopened buds which are dried to produce the familiar spice of commerce.

The main products of clove are: whole or ground clove buds, essential oils, produced from clove buds, stem and leaf and clove oleoresins.

Whole or ground clove contains 15 to 20% by weight of volatile oil.

The use of clove in whole or ground is mainly for domestic culinary purposes and as a flavouring agent in the food industry.  Clove can also be used as food. Whole cloves are seldom used in food processing as they are not a ready source of flavour.

In the foods industry, cloves are often used in the form of ground, extracted essential oils or oleoresin in a small amount  because of their intense flavour.

 

Clavo 1

Discover how paprika can help you

Weeks ago, we talked about one of the most characteristic ingredients in our cuisine, garlic. At the same time, paprika can be noted as one of the essential spice in our gastronomy.

Paprika podwer is red and with special taste. It is used for seasoning a lot of dishes; it is a product obtained by grinding dry pepper. So today we are going to learn about its properties and utilities.

Paprika has lots of properties for the digestive tract, encourages digestion and provides us with an important amount of vitamins like: vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and B5…also, it has magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphate and fibre. It also contains a powerful antioxidant and anticarcinogenic called beta-carotene and bioflavonoids.

As it has a high potassium content, it regulates blood pressure, so it is beneficial for people who has high blood pressure.

In addition to it, paprika hasn’t got cholesterol, so it helps you to control cholesterol levels, wich it is healthy for our heart.

Gout patients can also use paprika in their diets because it reduces uric acid levels.

These are some of the most important benefits of our “beloved paprika”. We expect you will enjoy our advices. Click on the link to see a tasty recipe of cabbage with paprika http://rsabater.com/en/our-recipes/cabbage-salad/2/

Happy weekend!

 _A0R1655_pimentón

Coriander

Coriander is an important spice crop and occupies a prime position in flavouring substances.  It was one of the first spices to be used as a common flavouring substance. The stem, leaves and fruits all have a pleasant aromatic odour. The entire plant when young is used in preparing chutneys and sauces, and the leaves are used for flavouring continental curries and soups. The fruits are extensively employed as a condiment in the preparations of curry powder, pickling spices, sausages and seasonings. Coriander seeds are also known for their medicinal properties and are considered carminative, diuretic tonic, stomachic antibilious, refrigerant and aphrodisiac. The volatile oil is also used in flavouring liquors and for obscuring the bad smell of medicines.

Seed spices contain a variable amount of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibres, minerals and vitamins. However, owing to the very small quantity used in the foods, their contribution to nutrient requirements is not significant. Proteins, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins are thus less important in delineating the quality of spices.

 Cilantro

 

Cardamom

Cardamomos

Elettaria cardamomum Maton

Cardamom are the dried seed capsules of a small group of spices or plants belonging to the family Zingiberaceae witch contain seeds possessing a pleasant characteristic aroma and flavour.

The order Zingiberales to wich the family Zingiberaceae belongs, appears to have originated as wild plants in the tropical evergreen forest. Zingiberaceae, the largest family if this order, is found throughout the tropics but is predominantly Asian. This family has provided important spices which are mostly aromatic, 40 genera and 900 spices being recognized.

The main conditions for growing large cardamom are: temperature range max 14°C-33°C; min 4°C-22°C. Season: April-September.

The flowering season starts in May and continues up to August. It takes about four months for the fruits to mature. Harvesting is done by collecting panicles containing ripe fruits with the help of a special chisel-shaped narrow knife, which is specially made for this purpose.  Harvesting is done once a year, and because of this there will be some immature fruits in the harvested lot. After harvesting, the individual capsules are separated from spikes by hand.

Cardamom is used for flavouring various vegetables and meat preparation in Indian dishes. It is also used as a flavouring agent in confectionery, hot or sweet pickles and in beverages.

Large cardamom is also credited with curative properties in Ayurvedic and Unani systems of medicine. Essential  oil, oleoresin. Encapsulated flavour, cardamom cola, large cardamom flavoured biscuits and large cardamom flavoured liquors are some of the products  developed for diversifying the uses of large cardamom.