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Temperate climate warming spices

 
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I've been thinking I want to try to grow some warming spices to make a blend approximating five spice or pumpkin pie spice or chai. Obviously the usual ones- anise, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, nutmeg, orange peel, etc- are basically all tropical or subtropical. Here are some alternatives I've come across.

Fennel- related to carrots and is hardy like carrots. Tastes like anise and star anise, actually they all have the exact same flavor compound. So this one's as good of a replacement as one could hope for, really.

Cinnamon basil- has cinnamates in it but still mostly tastes like basil. I wonder if it could be bred to taste more like cinnamon and less like basil. Or maybe the basil flavor wouldn't be so bad once it's dried and blended with the other stuff.

Trifoliate orange- considered inedible because the fruit is so bitter, orange peel is supposed to be bitter though so it should work, right?

Spicebush- hardy to zone 4 and the berries are supposed to taste about halfway between black pepper and allspice. Siberian ginseng has a pepper/allspice-like berry too but I can't find any accounts of anyone eating it nevermind how it tastes.

Ginger- okay this one's not really a replacement, it's in a lot of the usual blends. I don't know how it grows in places with cool summers though. I suspect it's like sweet potatoes in that it needs lots of heat to really thrive, but a modest harvest is possible anyways.

Can anyone think of any more? I think I had one or two others but forgot to write them down.
 
pollinator
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Prickly Ash (similar to green peppercorns), Sumac (citrus taste), Chilies (warming), vodka filtered with birch charcoal (will taste like citrus), Lemon Balm (citrusy minty flavor), Bergamot (orangey flavor), edible varieties of Juniper berries (like lemon pepper seasoning), Anise Hyssop (anise flavor), licorice (anise flavor), etc...

 
pollinator
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White tupelo/ogeechee lime. -citrus.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Have you considered fermented seasonings? Beans, meats, grains, fruits, peppers, and herbs... all turn into a totally different beast when fermented.
 
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L. Tims wrote:Ginger- okay this one's not really a replacement, it's in a lot of the usual blends. I don't know how it grows in places with cool summers though. I suspect it's like sweet potatoes in that it needs lots of heat to really thrive, but a modest harvest is possible anyways..


I agree with you. I've grown it where there is mild winter snow, you get better yields where it's hot and moist, but i imagine you could overwinter it in very harsh winters in a basket in the house, like turmeric.
 
L. Tims
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I was under the impression that you could grow it like potatoes, storing the rhizomes indoors over the winter and planting the sprouty bits in the spring. Good to hear it handles mild snowy winters though, I had figured it was completely frost tender like a tomato. That might mean an extra month of growing in some places, which is wonderful.

Ryan- some excellent ideas. I'm gonna be nitpicky though and say that capsicums are actually cooling and not warming. Also, bergamot isn't any hardier than regular oranges as far as I'm aware. I know Earl Grey tea is famously British but they don't actually grow the bergamots for the oil there (:
 
Ryan Hobbs
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L. Tims wrote:
Ryan- some excellent ideas. I'm gonna be nitpicky though and say that capsicums are actually cooling and not warming. Also, bergamot isn't any hardier than regular oranges as far as I'm aware. I know Earl Grey tea is famously British but they don't actually grow the bergamots for the oil there (:



There is a bergamot herb. It is common in the US in hummingbird and bee gardens.

Chilies are quite warming and in fact are used as a remedy for muscle pain by virtue of their strong warming effect. When eaten they are also responsible for the burning sensation associated with Southwestern food. They are my favorite fruit. The hotter the better imnsho.
 
L. Tims
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Aha, I've found another one. Nutmeg flower, nigella sativa. It's a traditional spice in Poland. The flowers are supposed to taste like nutmeg while the seeds are supposed to taste like onions, black pepper and oregano.
 
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Pepperweed has an interesting pop, a bit sweet and spicy with essential oil delivering the warmth.

Flying dragon is a cold hearty citrus which is not inedible. Peel is fine for pectin anytime. If you pick the ripe fruit and store in fridge for a few weeks, it gets sweet enough to use in a margarita :-)
 
L. Tims
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I think flying dragon and trifoliate orange are the same thing. Or else, flying dragon is a variety of trifoliate orange.

Good to hear about the peel being good for pectin. Have you tried using the grated peel as a spice in place of orange peel?
 
pollinator
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I’ve read that spicebush bark can be used like cinnamon. I believe they are in the same family. Mine are too small to sample though.
 
L. Tims
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Hey, they are in the same family! That's awesome.
 
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i read about spruce tips having a slight lemon citrus taste , so i tried them as the new growth emerged ---and yes they do ---my other taste test was fresh nastursium  seeds --when they are still green ---and they had a wasabi like kick to them ---well at least they did to my taste buds ,another pepperish /corriader seed like kick was from hogweed seeds ---not the giant hogweed of course.Then good old rocket lettuce has a corriander leaf like taste to me as well
 
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I grow Citrus Trifoliata (Poncirus) and my experience is that the best way to describe the flavor is lemon and gin.  Alternately maybe lemon and pine resin.  

The flavor can very quite a bit from tree to  tree and depending on how long the fruit has been on the bush.   I've made jelly a few times,  and the gin/resin flavor is definitely there with the citrus.
This flavor is in the peel too, because there is literally a sticky resin in the peel, and this gets on everything you use to prepare or cook poncirus fruits in.  You pretty much have to use acetone or
a similar solvent to get it off, dish soap won't work.

Not trying to discourage you, but I thought you should know that.  Alternatives I  use for a citrus flavor is Sumac, but also other citrus such as Satsuma mandarin (very cold hardy, I grow them in the ground in my unheated greenhouse)
also calamondin, which I grow in a pot. Calamondins are great though because they practically fruit year round, even indoors with good sun.

 
pollinator
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I've always perceived Chai blend tea to have subtle notes of raisin and sweet gherkin/Celery seed - maybe reverse the flow and see if raisin and celery seed help make something taste closer to Chai?
 
L. Tims
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Tony- Most wasabi is just horseradish dyed green anyways. Which is already a cold climate spice. I've heard that the real thing doesn't cause the nasal burn effect. So I've never had it, haha. But I like horseradish with it's accompanying nose burn so that's fine by me.

Cris- That's OK, thanks for telling me. I'm gonna find some kind of orange peel flavor somehow. I don't think the evergreen tree stuff everyone keeps mentioning is right for this though. Maybe bergamot herb is right, or seabuckthorn. Remember it's supposed to be a warming undertone, not sharp like a lemon.

Dustin- raisin and celery seed you say? I've never noticed that, I will have to pay attention for it the next time I drink some. To me, the cheap ones taste like black tea with pumpkin pie spice added, mostly cinnamon. The nicer ones have a mellow ginger and clove flavor.
 
tony uljee
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yes , i have wasabi growing as well , i nibble on the leaves and flowers --in season ---as the main stems are not quite big enough---and have eaten  the fresh grated wasabi paste ---but not the water grown stuff --it was field grown ---supposed to be a lesser quality ---but still a good breath taker---with some good after taste, i am germinating arrowroot violet at the moment which i have read about the roots having a horse radish type taste.Yes why not just grow horseradish some ask---i like to try out stuff and variation---Theres a scottish foraging web site --cant recall the name , but hes done a lot of taste and testing to identify temperate climate spices and herbs growing wild in uk ,that were used in pre spice trade days and of course back in time before it---i dont believe our people from the past were just content to munch up bland carbohydrates every week they must have sought out stuff to pep up the meal.
 
tony uljee
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just found the site -galloway foraging---and check out my now new favourite herb ---water pepper---or better known as or rather fondly called arsesmart around that part of the world
 
L. Tims
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Hey if you're growing wasabi successfully you should look for a fancy Japanese restaurant to sell it to. The industrial farmers have had no luck with it, from what I've read. Demand is way higher than supply so it's really expensive.
 
tony uljee
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yes the wasabi growing and selling get rich quick plan , i had grand visions of it ---but  the kiwis and the chinese have beaten me to it ---they supply world demand it seems despite the reported shortage always being talked about , i do believe it has a potential here in ireland once it becomes available to a wider market---just we are slow here to mainstream accept things related to food--yes we have posh resturants and menus but  we are only just getting the hang of pasta and rice over spuds as an option. I suppose if its marketed as a type of cabbage with a kick
 
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The bergamot herb of which you speak, grown in a temperate climate, is actually a monarda species, not a true bergamot, like what is in the earl gray tea. But you may want to test its flavour. The leaves are used as a pleasure tea and it's very attractive.
 
pollinator
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The dry bark of Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus) is supposed to replace cinnamon.  I had one growing in my previous place in the Pyrenees but I moved before it was big enough to use it so I can't vouch for it.  At any rate, it makes beautiful flowers and it thrived at 2,500 feet altitude and snow in the winter.

Check it out on Pfaf:
https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Calycanthus+floridus
 
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tony uljee wrote:yes the wasabi growing and selling get rich quick plan , i had grand visions of it ---but  the kiwis and the chinese have beaten me to it ---they supply world demand it seems despite the reported shortage always being talked about , i do believe it has a potential here in ireland once it becomes available to a wider market---just we are slow here to mainstream accept things related to food--yes we have posh resturants and menus but  we are only just getting the hang of pasta and rice over spuds as an option. I suppose if its marketed as a type of cabbage with a kick



I know this is a year old, but I laughed and laughed and laughed. I could try selling that to my nana- cabbage with a kick.

I am Canadian, but my family is as Irish as they get (they are from Kerry) and I remember the once a year we would order special Chinese takeout and everyone would be baffled by the exotic offerings of rice and steamed dumplings.

If you see this, thanks for the laugh! Living in such a large and cosmopolitan city as Toronto makes people wonder why I am always so fascinated by their cuisines and why I love to cook everything from all over the world,  but definitely I grew up on porridge and boiled dinners and thats the truth of it now.
 
Sionainn Cailís
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Oh and to add something useful to this thread, I grow hinkelhatz peppers and "Grandpa's Siberian" peppers here in containers.

They are nicely hot *with* a good flavour. They are also very small plants that can easily fit into a small pot and the light requierements are such that they will still survive a really dark Canadian winter without much in the way of sunlight- ESPECIALLY the siberians which are basically meant for producing through a miserable and lengthy siberian winter. One cat bit once last year and will never make that mistake again.

Hinkelhatz are "Pennsylvania Dutch" (which I believe is actually german-american) and is some transliterated version of "chicken hearts" to relate to their chicken heart-shape and size. The red hinkelhatz have been kind of jalapeno level of heat (so not very) but the yellow hinkelhatz I have grown to date are HOT. close to or comparable as fresh cayennes. I tested last year amongst all willing guests and everyone thought they were amazingly hot, but still with a nice flavour, if that makes sense.

I cannot normally grow hot peppers. They simply wont produce hot because they need more sun and heat than my local microclimate can provide. But I discovered these a couple years back and they produce a more modest crop over winter indoors, and a more happy crop outdoors on my patio in summer.

These can also dry and be used as powder, or ferment to use for sauce. The flavour is nice and a touch fruity.

I also grow lemon balm, and am attempting to grow lemon grass this year. I have it outside now for the summer, but it will be like my rosemary that I dig up and bring indoors for the winter. The lemongrass is wonderful - all the lemon citrus flavour but without the bitterness of lemon balm or the sourness of actual lemons. Very nice in cooked dishes and in gin cocktails. I am really hoping it can hold itself for the winter indoors, as it promises to be less finicky than an actual potted lemon tree. ( I grow precious few tropical things because I live in Canada, but warm-loving grass seems more promising than actual lemon trees.)
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