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Spice School: G – N


** This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Ginger:

Flavor and Aroma: Warm, sweet and deep, with a citrus and peppery flavor.

FYI: Ginger has been used for centuries by many cultures, and was introduced to Britain by the Romans, and Queen Elizabeth I was credited for the creation and tradition of giving out Gingerbread men Cookies to children at Christmas!

Benefits: Ginger is high in anti-inflammatory properties, and has been used to help alleviate Migraines and Arthritis. It also helps with Motion Sickness and Morning Sickness. Studies have shown that it lowers cholesterol levels, as well as blood pressure, and can help prevent blood clots, so it is a very helpful spice!

Marjoram:

Flavor and Aroma: Delicate, and sweet with a hint of mint, similar to Oregano but not with the punch.

FYI: Marjoram stems from the Mediterranean area, where it was renamed as a minor variety of Oregano, and still confuses people! They both are members of the Mint family. It has a deep history from many cultures, some folklore being that the Greek Goddess of love, Aphrodite, favored both Oregano and Marjoram, and for this reason, if a girl was to anoint herself with it, she would dream of her future husband. It was also worn as a crown on the heads of Greek bridal couples, to signify happiness, love and honor.

Benefits: Steeped in tea, it may help with symptoms of insomnia and anxiety, and to relieve tension headaches. As a poultice it can also relieve inflammation of the muscles and joints.

Mace:

Flavor and Aroma: It has a flavour similar to Nutmeg, warm and nutty, a bit of sweet but not as peppery.

FYI: Mace comes from the “lace like” membrane over the Nutmeg shell, and therefore they are from the same ‘fruit’. However, it is more expensive than Nutmeg, as 100 lbs. Of Nutmeg will only produce 1 lb. Of Mace. It is used to preserve meat in warm climates, and has been used to make Garam Masala which is also used in Curries.

Benefits: see Nutmeg

Nutmeg:

Flavor and Aroma: Warm, nutty, strong peppery flavour with a hint of sweetness.

FYI: Goes great with white sauces, and is used in small amounts in any cooking. The Early traders from Connecticut were believed to have sold a ‘fake’ version of nutmeg from wood, and that is how it came to be known as the ‘Nutmeg State”. In Europe in the 18th century, Nutmeg was valuable and fashionable, and the wealthy carried their own nutmeg grinders when dining out, some in the form of a pendant. If you ever come across these rare Nutmeg grinder pendants they are considered extremely valuable.

Benefits: Nutmeg is a powerful spice, and can induce vomiting and even have hallucinogenic qualities if swallowed in large amounts, therefore it is not advised for pregnant women to use this spice. It has been used to treat gout and arthritis as well as lowering blood pressure.