I’ve written about The Spice House before (you can read the article here, if you’re not familiar with this great place). But now these excellent and enthusiastically uncompromising folks have started posting videos on YouTube. So far, they’ve just got a few, but you can learn more about the spices they offer, how they make their blends, and how to cook with some of the spices they carry. Don’t think Food Network–it’s not that glitzy. Think of it more as a good friend sharing information and giving tips.
The videos are all posted under ChicagoSpiceBoss. I thought the one on Kosher salt was a good introduction to Tom Erd, the Spice Boss, and then there’s one on their Back-of-the-Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub, which is one of my favorite things they sell. Nice to have a little more insight into these premier purveyors of outstanding spices and herbs.
There are a couple others now, and there will be more. These always make me want to order more goodies from The Spice House. (Have to try their porcini salt! Plus I’m out of the Back-of-the-Yards rum. Time for a visit.)
“There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance,” says mad Ophelia in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This was not a new thought, as the ancient Romans placed rosemary in the hands of their dead, as a remembrance. Nor is it a thought that is confined to antiquity, as Australians remember their war dead with sprigs of rosemary in their buttonholes on ANZAC Day. Interestingly, science is now finding that this is not merely a romantic fancy. A key compound in rosemary is rosmarinic acid, which is so effective in aiding memory that it is now being tested as a possible treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. So it is “for remembrance” indeed!
But that’s not all it does. Rosmarinic acid possesses antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, and has been used to treat peptic ulcers, arthritis, cataracts, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and bronchial asthma. And here you just thought it was a fragrant little herb. (And if you have ever grown it, you know that it is wildly fragrant when fresh. I have a friend in Australia who has it as a hedge around her garden, and just brushing past it is an intoxicating experience.) Continue reading