While shopping in middle eastern markets in Los Angelees a few weeks ago, I kept coming across fenugreek. I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've never had it in my kitchen, but when I was a kid, my mother had one of those spice sets that came in a large wooden thing you hang on a wall. It was my first teacher about spices and I routinely smelled my way through them until I could name any one of them blindfolded. But my point is that this set (of about 20 or 25) was probably meant to include one each of all the most neccessary herbs and spices needed in the American kitchen of the time and a few more exotic/trendy items, and fenugreek was one of them (so was hickory smoke salt--go figure).
As I looked at fenugreek a few weeks ago, I wondered what had made it trendy enough to be in my mother's spice set all those years ago, and why I've never worked with it since.
Btw, in shopping I was also interested to find not just the seed but fenugreek leaves, which smelled wonderful even through the packaging. Have you ever used the latter?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov