The Spice Revolution: Exploring New Flavors and Promoting Healthy Eating Habits

An array of colorful spices and seasonings arranged in jars on a wooden shelf.

Spices and herbs are essential ingredients in many dishes around the world, adding flavour, aroma, and complexity to our meals. From a sprinkle of black pepper to a blizzard of cumin, spices have been used for thousands of years in cooking, and their popularity continues to grow.

According to UK TV chef and cookery book writer Parveen Ashraf, also known as the "Spice Queen," the key to making food come alive is using spices. "It livens up food, gives it flavour, it makes it come alive," she says. Ms. Ashraf believes that turmeric is the current reigning spice and is found in almost everything we eat today.

Donald Pratt, in charge of sourcing for US giant McCormick, the biggest spices and herbs company on the planet, has observed a significant rise in the demand for herbs and spices in recent years. He attributes this trend to a growing desire to eat healthier, as well as an increasing number of younger generations interested in exploring different heat and flavour combinations.

The global market for herbs and spices is predicted to be worth $126bn (£103bn) by the end of 2023, up from $79bn in 2022, according to a recent report. Ms. Ashraf believes that social media has played a crucial role in increasing the use of different spices in cooking. With recipes and cooking videos being shared globally at the touch of a button, people can easily discover and experiment with new flavours.

Research also suggests that spices such as turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon have direct health benefits, making them even more popular. As a result, we can expect to see continued growth in the use of herbs and spices in cooking for years to come.

While India is the largest producer and exporter of spices globally, critics such as Sana Javeri Khadri argue that poverty is endemic in the sector. To combat low pay in the industry, she has created Diaspora Co., a spice trading firm that buys spices directly from 150 farms across India and Sri Lanka, rather than going through middlemen. This way, she can pay farm owners four times as much, and in turn, encourage them to pay their workers more. Ms. Khadri also wants to see farm owners improve living conditions for workers, which in poorer regions can be "absolutely awful."

McCormick takes a leadership role in raising standards across the industry, especially when it comes to stamping out worker exploitation and promoting sustainability. "What we're bringing - whether it be technically supporting good agricultural practices, or how to introduce biodiversity into their supply chains, or how to help them to improve their living conditions - are all part of our contribution," Mr. Pratt says.

In California, Krissy Scommegna, the co-owner of Booneville Barn Collective, sells dried chilies and other products made from crops grown on its seven-acre farm in Anderson Valley, some 125 miles north of San Francisco. She says that higher energy bills and other inflationary pressures are having an impact on the business, as they are on other farms and food producers. "We're trying to figure out how we can internalize some of the increased cost, instead of having to raise prices on people," says Ms. Scommegna.

TV chef Ms. Ashraf believes that despite the challenges facing some in the spice trade, consumer demand for spices will only continue to grow. She points to her own children as evidence that younger generations are more open to trying different flavours and spices in their cooking.

We're proud to stock a wide range of spices and we work with World of Spice. World of Spice is a company that specialises in providing high-quality spices and seasonings to customers all around the world. With a commitment to sourcing only the finest ingredients, World of Spice offers a wide range of products that cater to a variety of tastes and culinary preferences. Their spices are carefully selected from different regions, ensuring that each one is of the highest quality and flavour. From popular classics like cinnamon and cumin to more exotic blends like ras el hanout and garam masala, World of Spice has something for everyone. Their dedication to quality, along with their excellent customer service and competitive pricing, has made them a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike. Whether you're looking to add some extra flavour to your dishes or take your culinary creations to the next level, World of Spice is the perfect choice for all your seasoning needs.

Overall, the rise of the spice industry reflects a growing interest in exploring new tastes and flavours while promoting healthy eating habits. The next time you make something from scratch in the kitchen, don't be afraid to experiment with new spices and herbs – who knows what delicious combinations you might discover! Send us your delights and we'll share on our social media platforms!

Source BBC News

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