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Bill Spohn

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Spicing It Up - Grains of Paradise Edition

by Bill Spohn » Mon Mar 19, 2018 11:30 am

I am a fan of North African and middle eastern cuisine and often try and incorporate some of the same spice and herbal notes in my cooking as well as keeping an eye out for spices I don't know about yet.

I keep things like za'atar, dukkah and ras al hanout, or the components to make them, in the cupboard, and use single components like sumac fairly frequently. Heck, I even add cardamom to my coffee when I am in the mood.

One that came up that I have never used is Grains of Paradise, described by my local supplier as

This spice, obtained from the ground seeds of Aframomum melegueta, a species in the ginger family, is also known as melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, fom wisa, and Guinea pepper. It gives a pungent, peppery flavour with hints of citrus. Before black pepper become wore widely available, this was used like pepper in the ancient Roman world.


Has anyone ever tried cooking with this, and if so how did it go - is it an effect one can replicate with other spices or is it unusual enough to pick up some and make a point of trying it.

BTW, experimenting with this sort of thing is a one person affair here after my wife experienced an inadvertent overdose of shichimi togarashi when I made her some bean sprouts.

My research shows that Alton Brown used it in an episode of Good Eats. Haven't seen that yet but will keep an eye out for it!

For reference:

https://www.thekitchn.com/grains-of-par ... -of-190970

https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/spi ... epper.html
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Jenise

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Re: Spicing It Up - Grains of Paradise Edition

by Jenise » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:55 pm

I keep a grinder of it by the stove and often use it in lieu of pepper.

In fact, on St. Patty's day, I inadvertently grabbed it instead of the black pepper, and that's what I garnished the cucumber martinis with. Gave a nice little kick to the last sip.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Spicing It Up - Grains of Paradise Edition

by Bill Spohn » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:04 pm

Hmm - must pick up some and see if I can find my back up pepper mill!
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Spicing It Up - Grains of Paradise Edition

by Jeff Grossman » Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:21 pm

I also have it in its own mill. You can see why piper nigrum has surpassed it - good black pepper has a wider palate of flavors - but Grains of Paradise are also attractive for the citrussy air, for its healthy bite, and for the sake of variety.
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Paul Winalski

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Re: Spicing It Up - Grains of Paradise Edition

by Paul Winalski » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:15 pm

Grains of paradise is also one of the botanicals used in Bombay Sapphire gin.

I bought a bottle of it, but I've never used any. I'll have to try it in place of black pepper in some dish or other.

-Paul W.

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