Friday, April 02, 2010

New Products

Have you seen these pepper blends by McCormick? They are surprisingly delicious and add a fantastic taste/fragrance to foods.

Pepper is a spice, (not to be confused with chili peppers - capsicum peppers) that accounts for 35% of the total world trade in spices. It is only second to salt in seasoning! Pepper - black, white or green come from the woody, tropical plant Piper nigrum. The vines grow to 30 feet long and take 3- 4 years for the first harvest. Plants are productive for 25 years. They are harvested in India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. The bushes need a lot of rain, heat and shade.
Pepper berries grown like blueberries, in clusters. They start out green then turn red when they ripen The stage at which they are picked determine the color of the spice.
Black pepper is harvested from green berries, that turn dark brown and wrinkly once picked.
White pepper is the result of red berries picked and the outer skin is hulled. The greenish yellow berries are then sun-dried to light gray/tan/white.
Green pepper are preserved in brine or with sulfites before drying.

There have been pepper blends on the market - the most famous is "lemon pepper" which is dried lemon peel ground with black pepper resulting in a lemon flavor with the bite of pepper.
Other combinations include - Bell's poultry seasoning, curry powder, pumpkin pie spice.

Now, McCormick has come out with 2 new ones, that I think are winners:
Worcestershire - great in meatballs, meat sauces and salads.
Smokehouse is fantastic on steaks, burgers and even chicken! When the seasoned meat is cooking, it smells divine!

I was pleasantly surprised to find these flavors. They are a nice way to add some flavor to foods, without the addition of fat or sauce.
I found these at Market Basket for $1.99 each. Well, worth it for the flavor.

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