Cyber Monday: Spice Wars Launch
First Look for Substack'ers at New Product Line
Cyber Monday is here and as a valued supporter you get a first look at a new product launch that has been in the works for quite some time 🙌
It’s not a stretch to say that the spice trade had had a great impact on world history, explorations and cultures across the globe.
As explorers sailed the vast oceans of the Atlantic and into Asia during the 15th-17th centuries this really was the Golden Age of spice discovery and the first time spices were mobilized across many parts of the globe through nautical trade routes.
Peppercorns, chile peppers, vanilla, allspice and many more become prized for ‘exotic’ aromatics, flavors, essential oils and medicinal properties.
As a result spices were used as currency of value in trade.
To prove a quick point, even before the Golden Age of the spice trade it’s said that in 410 AD the Goth Alaric charged:
5,000lbs of gold
30,000lbs of silver
4,000 robes of silk
3,000 scarlet-dyed hydes
Numerous pieces of luxury-made furniture adorned with precious metals
And 3,000lbs of pepper
in exchange to raise the 3rd siege of Rome.
The 3,000lbs of pepper ended up being the hardest item to acquire for this ransom due to the rarity and cost that was incurred from being secured and imported from the Indies.
That’s a pretty telling sign of how valued and desired spices have been over throughout the ages!
During the Golden Age spices were also a prime target for pirates on the openseas.
Don’t let Disney fool you into thinking that Capt Jack Sparrow was only looking for gold and rum. The pirates of that day were just as interested in getting their hands on spices that held an immense value in trade.
So what does this have to do with Cyber Monday?
Unleashing the Craken
What if I told you that there is an easy, hassle-free way to significantly improve your cooking and meals with no new skills required?
For all the time we spend talking about recipes, cooking techniques, high quality proteins and extra-virgin olive oils few people are addressing the lowest hanging fruit option.
The answer is in your spice cabinet.
Without putting any extra time and reps in your kitchen you can dramatically up the flavor and enjoyment of your meals by rethinking the value of the spices and seasonings you are using.
Dull & Spoiled
Did you know that spices can get dull and spoiled?
I’m not referring to spoiled as in “make you sick”. I’m talking about spoiling your meals and tastebuds because the spices and seasonings in many peoples’ cabinets are mere ghosts and phantoms of what the original product should have been.
Just as a great extra-virgin olive oil should be used within 6 months of opening; the aromatics, essential oils and flavors in most spices go stale far sooner than homecooks are using them.
Freshness matters and yet that’s only one part of the equation.
If your starting spice or ingredient wasn’t of great quality in the first place then the difference isn’t that dramatic which means a lot of homecooks have never had that “aha!” moment when you encounter a vibrant and intoxicatingly aromatic spice or seasoning blend.
This is largely the case with what you pickup off your local grocery store shelf
I remember the first time I tried a legit Super Negin Saffron.
My spice importer and I met up for a tasting/blending session and he says to me “before we start I want you to try this”
He proceeded to take a bare pinch of the most intensely dark red saffron threads I had ever seen put in a glass flask and pour hot water over.
We sat for a few mins talking to let the saffron steep but the room had already filled with the most intoxicating perfumed aroma of saffron.
I still remember the first sip: sweet, honeyed flavors with floral perfumes that were intense.
I then asked why the saffron tea was yellow and the threads were holding onto their color.
It was at this point I was educated that the highest quality saffrons don’t bleed much of their color. A yellowish tinge will occur but large color leeching is a sign of low quality or dyed corn silks.
Yup. Had no clue before but shady importers will take corn silks and dye them red, dry them and mix them in to a small amount of real saffron threads to skyrocket their margins.
I then peppered him with questions (pun intended) on spice quality, fraud and more.
He told me that while this saffron costs exponentially more than what you’re gonna find online or at the local grocery store/mideastern market, you also need to use much less because you’re getting the truest most intense flavor and aromatics of pure saffron.
Same goes with peppercorns and other spices high in essential oils.
In the case with spices and seasonings you don’t necessarily get what you paid for. You could be getting fleeced and not even know it.
So what’s the answer?
Quality, Trust & Access
You need all three of these variables to secure spices and seasonings that will blow your mind.
If you’ve never had great saffron, or peppercorns, or heck even caviar for that matter how do you even know if it’s good quality?
That’s where trust comes in.
I’ve known my spice importer for many years and through this trust and relationship I now have access to premium quality ingredients that it’s now time to share with you and have you enjoy in your home kitchen.
Many of you have asked over the last 12-18 months for this and the time has arrived.
Craken Spices & Seasonings
I’m very excited to share with you the launch of Craken Spices & Seasonings.
An array of spice blends and seasonings that have been tested and in the works for quite some time now. 🙌
The Kraken 🐙 is infamous in maritime culture and Norse mythology as an 8-legged sea creature capable of dragging ships underwater and scouring the depths of the seas.
I couldn’t think of a more perfect emblem for a Chef (Craken) that has been scouring the globe for the highest quality spices and ingredients; declaring war on dull-boring spice blends.
As a substack reader I’m giving you the first look and crack at orders before spreading word via other channels.
Your continued support on this platform is what makes all the research, travel and development possible to be able to offer this line up for your enjoyment.
There are 10 offerings for you to try.
I wanted to give a really good variety and also spectrum of flavors and applications that you can experiment with at home and enjoy.
While no launch can be perfect it’s time to get these lovelies out into the wild and hear from you after trying!
Thank you for again for your support, now go check out the deets on these spice blends and seasonings!
PS: Still making some website tweaks but all the spices/blends are live and ready for ordering; orders will ship Friday this week
There is still another roll-out coming so I’ll be sharing that with you soon, but also this week, back to our regularly scheduled cooking content post-Thanksgiving food comas 🙌