Dried spices for local sale
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CTA. 2008. Dried spices for local sale. Rural Radio Resource Pack 08/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57470
Spice up your market with some good tips
Dried spices for local sale Cue: What would our food taste like without flavouring? Can you imagine biltong without chilli? Or relish without pepper? In Zimbabwe, Busani Bafana investigates how restaurants use herbs and spices in their cooking to enhance the flavour in the food. Busani spoke to John Daines, owner of the Art Groove restaurant in Bulawayo, to find out more. As he discovers, if no spices and herbs are available in the market ? there are no alternatives. Nothing can replace the flavour or the colour that particular herbs and spices have. So, for smallscale farmers who produce them, there is a niche market. The secret is finding out more about it. If you are a smallscale farmer producing herbs and spices for the local market, listen in for a tour around the Art Grove restaurant to spice up your market ? and hear some good tips about what restaurants near you might be after. IN: ?We use both herbs and? OUT: ?fine or a coarse granule.? DUR?N: 5?54? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: That was Busani Bafana speaking to John Daines at the Art Groove restaurant in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. If you are a smallscale farmer producing herbs and spices for local sale, find out what restaurants near you might want. You could see your market improve. The interview comes from a resource pack produced by CTA. Transcript Daines We use both herbs and spices as ingredients for a lot of our meals to enhance the flavour of our dishes and when we purchase these spices and herbs we look at what is available at the market at the time. Bafana Where do you buy your dried spices and your herbs? Daines We buy them wherever we can. Sometimes it is in a supermarket, sometimes it is at a wholesale centre in Bulawayo or often than not we get them in from Harare. Bafana Is this close to your restaurant?Is this, say, down the road or several kilometres away from your restaurant? Daines Yes, it can be as close as just around the corner. We buy what we can and what is available at the time. Bafana What standards, then, do you expect from your suppliers of dried spices and herbs? Daines From a herb point of view when we are looking at the different herbs that are available we look at the colour and obviously a herb is very much of a green colour because everything is a leaf, whether it can be chives, whether it can be rosemary or oregano, we have mint, herbs like that obviously the brighter and the green, the fresher they are. If they are brown and dull and yellow we know that they have been sitting for an age. And from a spice point of view if we look at something like paprika we are looking at the redness, a strong red colour is absolutely important as opposed to a yellow and orange colour. And the same for if we purchase something like chilli, we look at the hot, the hotness, I do not know if that is good English but we want to burn the mouth when we buy that! If it is dull in flavour we know that it is not of good quality. Bafana How then have you actually maintained these standards that you talked about? Daines I think we just use sight and smell really when we look at these products. We know what we are looking for when we are buying and we just make sure that that is what we look for otherwise we just leave it. You know it is really important that we get good quality. Bafana What opportunities are there for smallscale farmers to supply businesses like yours? Daines One of the most common herbs that we purchase at this moment is something very simple called mixed herbs and it is just a basic mixture of dried herbs like oregano, marjoram, basil and those types of herbs and that is a very common ingredient to enhance the flavour of whether it is a soup or whether it is a gravy or a sauce or your meat and you actually simply cannot find it at the moment and we find ourselves actually purchasing the individual herb and rubbing and mixing them together. Bafana What kind of spices and herbs do you buy? Daines From the herbs I have already mentioned that there is basil, there is oregano, there is mint, there is chives, there is a whole array of herbs that are being used and on the spices side we have what a natural spice is like your paprika, like turmeric which is a root, like cumin, chilli, Bird?s-eye chilli which is the very small chilli which is really, really hot and then we can also get a blend of spices. Bafana When these certain types of spices and herbs that you mentioned are not available, are there any alternatives? Daines No, there are no alternatives, you know they enhance the flavour of your food and if it is not there you just have to go without. Bafana Do you buy in bulk or say even for a month supply or a week?s supply? Daines It can be like that even longer because you do not know when you are going to see it next. Bafana How long have you been buying these products yourself? Daines Well herbs and spices have been around for generations and I do not think there is not one restaurant or even a household that does not use them. Bafana What of the packaging of the spices and the herbs and could the packaging influence the reason to buy or not to buy? Daines Obviously the packaging can play an important part but I think we are not interested in the packaging because all it does is enhances the price. Bafana What is your advice to smallscale farmers who want to start selling dried spices and herbs but have no clue of where to begin? Daines I think that a little bit of investigating, they will see that there is a market and they just need to do a little bit of homework. Bafana I have been interviewing John away from the crowd actually of the restaurant but right now we will actually move into behind the scenes where the food is prepared so I can maybe sample some of these spices. SFX Kitchen Bafana We are actually behind the scenes in John?s restaurant, where he prepares the meals, and he is about to explain to us about all the spices that he uses. John, go ahead. Daines This is a product called turmeric and it is a very much yellow spice as you can see and this is actually made from a root and it is purely used for colour and it has no flavour. Bafana For what meals do you use it with? Daines Well very much it is used for curries and spiced Indian food. This one is black peppercorns, this is one that is used everywhere, it is the most simplest spice that we get and it is just basically used as a flavouring. It is left on our tables in the restaurant and it is very much used as an ingredient in our kitchen. Bafana It has a very strong aroma? There is black pepper and white pepper? Daines Black and white pepper and I know in South Africa you can get red and green as well just to enhance the colour as well. Bafana You also feel the texture of the spices? Daines Not really. Bafana Not really? Daines No, everything is ground very finely here and that is what we are looking at so that we don?t see any residue in the product that we are making, so it blends into the meal. Bafana So tell me, do these spices come already prepared, you don?t grind them yourself here? Daines Very much they come prepared except, obviously, for the peppercorns, which we can grind ourselves to how we want it, whether it?s a fine or a coarse granule. End of track