Cooking is an art that can only be perfected with a lot of experimentation and a lot of innovation with new and exciting ingredients. Instead of just using the same old condiments, or just buying ready to eat dinners, you can easily spice up a meal by trying out new flavors and ingredients when cooking. You don’t necessarily have to be a top chef in order to use these, you just have to be someone willing to experience different things instead of just settling for the same old dish every time.
A great way of adding a twist to old dishes is the use of paradise spice. The grains of the paradise spice, while they may be peppery spice grains, are in fact, more closely related to the spice that is ginger. Some connoisseurs consider the taste akin to that of the more commonly used black pepper, but they claim there is are more complex flavors to it. Instead of just the peppery taste, one can detect overtones of coriander, citrus and even cardamom. It is popular in cuisine of West Africa, and has also found use in traditional and herbal medicine recipes. This is not an easy spice to find, so here are some tips you may want to keep in mind when looking for your grains of paradise spice.
- Your first stop should be the grocery. While this is an uncommon spice, you can take the off chance that they hold it in stock somewhere. At least you will not have to deviate from your familiar route to and from the grocery.
- If that doesn’t turn out well, your next stop should be the nearest gourmet store. These specialty stores stock up on rare spices that the food connoisseur is sure to demand. It should just be a matter of browsing through their spices section to see if there are any grains of paradise spice in stock.
- It will be best if you look for stores that are known to specialize in rare and exotic spices, or at the very least, are known to cater to cuisine that is of African, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean origin. These are the regions that are known to regularly use paradise spice grains in their cooking. If even that turns out to be a bust, ask the shopkeepers to recommend places where you can search for these spices.
- Do not be deterred if you are unable to locate a store for the spices. The next step is to look for restaurants that offer West African, or at least, traditional African cuisine. Stop in for a meal and scan the menu to check if there is anything that has paradise spice grains as part of its ingredient list. Ask to see the chef or the restaurant manager and indicate your interest in finding paradise spice grains for your own use. They will probably be very helpful and refer you to their supplier of paradise spice grains. These orders may be bulk orders from a wholesaler, but at least you have a lead on where to look for retailers that the wholesaler supplies.
- The Internet is an invaluable resource. You can easily search for online shops that offer and deliver grains of paradise spice or other rare spices. Find one that is near your locale and inquire if they can deliver directly to your doorstep.
This spice is a relatively rare one, so you will definitely have a harder time than usual looking for the spice. Just try to be creative in searching for it. Joining online food groups and forums dedicated to food enthusiasts will be a definite help for you.