Tagged With spices

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Awards season is rapidly approaching, which means you should be watching lots of movies - so that you may express your smart and good movie opinions - and eating lots of snacks. A big bowl of fluffy, flavorful popped corn is the obvious, correct choice, but if you find yourself getting a little bored of the basic butter-and-salt situation, we have some ways to branch out.

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Indian cooking can seem complicated and convoluted to people who aren't inherently familiar with it; all that grinding of various spice pastes -- a dash of this, a smidgen of that. But the truth is that once you get the hang of a few basic spices, Indian cooking is as straightforward as any other cuisine.

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Stocking a spice cabinet can be a little overwhelming, simply for the reason that there are so many spices out there. It may be tempting to stock up on every exciting seasoning in sight, but these things do have an expiration date, and you can end up with a cabinet full of flavourless, expensive powders that need to be replaced.

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Under-seasoned meat is a crime. That poor, simple-headed chicken gave its life for you and ¼ teaspoon of salt-free lemon pepper per drumstick is your whole plan? Jesus, Barbara, have some respect. Thank goodness for spice rubs, which prevent crimes of improper seasoning by quickly imparting complex flavours to everything they touch.

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There are a lot of fancy kitchen toys out there -- some of which are more useful than others -- but there are some things that can't be improved upon even with the latest technology. The mortar and pestle is one of those things, and your kitchen needs one.

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Kitchen cabinets have a habit of accumulating a lot little jars, most of which contain spices and seasonings. If you're worrying about working your way through them before they lose their flavour, make like the folks at Extra Crispy and use them to make some "ad-libbed teas".

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That Parmesan cheese is actually wood, that honey has corn syrup and the cake is a lie. There's no guarantee the food you're buying at the store is what it says it is, so keep an eye out for these usual suspects if you don't want to waste your money on fake, inferior products.

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At their chemical core, all salt is the same, but many of the fancy, special salts you can find differ in texture, flavour and price. Here's how to know when you should bust out the fancy Himalayan salt, or stick with table or kosher salt.