Following a Whole Food Plant Based way of eating does not equal bland food. Our food should be vibrant and flavorful. We can recreate many of the flavors of world cuisines through the use of exquisite spices or spice combinations. Spices also provide numerous health benefits, as presented in several published studies.
The quality of our spices makes a world of difference in the flavor of our food. On a WFPB diet, our brains are not lulled into passive satisfaction through the use of fat, sugar, and excessive salt as found in the Standard American Diet. We depend on deep layers of flavor through the use of spices and we want the health benefits they offer, therefore, our spices should be exceptional.
I refrained from buying white pepper for years because each container had a musky, dank, rancid odor and flavor which can be attributed to poor processing. White pepper should have a bright heat and a pleasant peppery fragrance. I have also had this issue with black ground pepper and peppercorns. Rancid food of any kind is not only unpleasant, it is not healthy to ingest.
I devoted time to research peppercorns and found a beautifully curated sampler offered by Sir Spice. **Update** I’m sad to say, I believe he has closed his shop.** This unique sampler of black peppercorns are grown in various regions and named accordingly. The peppercorns develop slightly different flavor profiles and produce distinct characteristics due to the soil and climate of their particular growing area. It is very similar to sourcing coffee. Sir Spice offers several interesting sampler options. Penzy’s does offer several of the peppercorns shown. I hope you can find them. I’ll keep searching for another source.
My niece recently introduced me to a delicious Penzey’s spice blend that included delicious white pepper. As soon as I tasted the blend, I asked to look at the label. There it was ~ white pepper! To find a source of delicious white pepper was a wonderful gift because I had literally avoided it for fear of ruining an entire dish as had happened so many times! She was also kind enough to give me a gift box of Penzey’s salt-free spice blends which I’m eager to try. Penzey’s is a wonderful resource for spices. I have been pleased with all of my Penzey’s spice purchases.
I do not receive any benefit from these recommendations; however, because spices offer health benefits along with flavor, I hope you set a high standard when purchasing them. They should be fragrant, not dull. And, they definitely should not taste rancid or have a rancid odor due to poor processing!
Where do you buy your spices? Do you have favorite blends?
One last note ~ freshness transforms our taste experience. In the post Bread Small Changes Equal Big Impact, I discuss grinding flour from wheat berries. I hope you can try this at some point. It makes the world of difference!
Happy spice hunting! Enjoy your day!