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Review The Parsley Porch
The Best Spices At Great Prices

After purchasing “The BEST Spices at GREAT Prices”, you may find yourself wanting some inspiration for what you can do with our spices. Once again, we are here to help. Using our blog, we are here to provide you with the best recipe ideas, health benefits, and uses for our spices!


Posted 2/28/20

While all of our products are of outstanding quality, I (Andy) have invented, created and originated several that are found NOWHERE ELSE.  These are my personal favorites, driven by popular demand and tweaked to a culinary level that is exceptional.

Salsa Supreme is an absolute favorite of family and friends but needs a promotional agent or in this case a blog.  This product will make RESTAURANT quality salsa in minutes which used to take me hours to produce.  Add SALSA SUPREME to chopped tomatoes.  While you can use canned diced tomatoes, personally, I prefer Roma or plum tomatoes that are meaty and cut them in half and then process them through a "French fry" slicer to get chunks that are about a 1/2 long.  Add to taste but 6-8 tomatoes with 1-2 tbls. of SALSA SUPREME will give you a fresh, vibrant salsa that will have your friends and family uttering superlatives.  Personally, I drizzle a bit of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and while there is salt in the blend, I like a wee bit more. Stir and let the mix "marry" for 20-30 minutes for best flavor.   Without question, this is the #1 blend request I get all the time from friends and family. 
One of the hottest condiments in current society that has enormous popularity is "Guacamole".  Avocados are among the healthiest fresh vegetables loaded with nutrient rich, heart-healthy vitamins & minerals with a flavor that many customers LOVE.  Local sub shops charge $1 for a dollop to any sandwich.  SALSA SUPREME makes mouth watering guacamole in record time.  Just keep the ratio of avocados to tomatoes, 2:1.  Add SALSA SUPREME to suit your individual tastes.  Remember you can always add MORE but can't take it out.  EVERYTHING you need is in there! 

 Salsa Supreme  onions, bell peppers, garlic, cilantro, parsley, jalapeno, salt, blk. pepper, lime juice pwd., vinegar pwd

Bon appetit! 


Posted March `12, 2020


Parsley Porch Pepper & Peppercorns

Pepper has been called the "King of Spices"  It crosses every culture and there are many choices of enjoying the dried berries of Piper nigrum which are ground into particles of many sizes.  Like all spices, freshness is a key quality.  Parsley Porch, fine, medium and coarse ground pepper is purchased at the peak of freshness and has a mouth watering aroma.  Convenience is a primary reason for buying ground pepper.  However, as the owner, I highly recommend investing in a good pepper mill and buying WHOLE peppercorns.  Fresh ground pepper is a culinary delight often provided by servers at the finest restaurants.  Why not enjoy it every meal?  I tell my customers that grinding peppercorns is similar to grinding coffee beans prior to brewing coffee.  Taste and smell are always connected.  Let's review options for Parsley Porch whole peppercorns:

BLACK Peppercorns:  These are the most common and the fruits of a flowering pepper vine.  Sometimes they are cooked but always sun dried turning their characteristic black color.  Flavor nuances come from the soil, climate and harvesting methods.  Our "Black Peppercorns" are "Lampong" and are a very high quality grown in Sumatra (Indonesia).  Our PREMIUM peppercorns are "Tellicherry" and grown in India.  Considered by gourmet chefs to be the finest in the world, they are kept on the vine longer, are larger and have a flavor complex unequaled.  This is MY primary pepper choice for meal preparation.

WHITE Peppercorns:  These are what you have after black peppercorns are soaked and the dark skins removed.  They are less pungent and because of color are often preferred in cream sauces, fish preparation and light colored dishes where you don't want the color of pepper to stand out.

GREEN Peppercorns: These are picked while immature and unripe, hence the green color.  They are aromatic, with a fresher, fruitier flavor than white or black peppercorns but not nearly as sharp.  They are unique in flavor and popular in French cuisine.  At The Parsley Porch freshly ground green peppercorns are what give "Montreal Steak Rub", one of our best selling  blends, it great flavor and aroma.  Less than an hour before this post I grilled hamburgers seasoned with Montreal Steak Rub.  Yum!! :-)

PINK Peppercorns: Not true peppercorns, but berries of totally different plants (trees) from Peru or Brazil of the genus Schinus.   These are milder with bits of sweetness and highly fruity.  Great for flavor and color in any dish.

4 BLEND Peppercorns:  You guessed it!  All 4 of those listed above are combined.  Terrific flavor profile and look great in a clear pepper mill.  The best of all worlds in flavor and color.

Saffron & The Parsley Porch

 

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world and by weight is 20% of the value of gold.  Culinary uses of saffron go back to the Bronze Age (1500 BC) and it was celebrated in many cultures across the known world.  Saffron comes Crocus sativum and the 3 red stigmas in the female portion of each flower.  Gathering saffron is extremely labor intensive as it takes 167 flowers to produce 1 gram and there are 80,000 threads in one pound.  Since it is so expensive it is the most “pirated” spice in the world as dishonest purveyors will add floral waste to increase the weight.  International law (ISO-3632) has lab tests for saffron quality.   The content of safranal, which gives the aroma and picrocrocin which gives the flavor and color results in ungraded, saffron 3, saffron 2 and saffron 1 which is the highest grade. The Parsley Porch sells ONLY saffron 1.  Picrocrocin readings of over 200 are necessary for this rating and we have sold saffron that measures 230+ on the ISO 3632 scale.  Having a Master’s +60 in biology, and having taught 41 years, I get this.  But what my customers care about is the coloring and taste.  Since saffron has been around for 3000+ years, TASTE is how many experts determine quality.  Similarly, we can express hot peppers in Scoville heat units but we know how a hot pepper is when we TASTE it.  If Parsley Porch saffron were not of the highest quality, our sales would not be what they are.  We have over 200 products at The Parsley Porch and saffron sales makes up about 10% our total business income.  Saffron 1 is commonly sold for about $11 /gram.  If you buy the “blister packs” at the checkout you pay $3+ for 3 grains.  While grains and grams are both units of weight, there are >15 grains = 1 gram and thus you pay $15 for a gram at the grocery store.  Parsley Porch saffron is $6.50 for 1 g and $12 for a 2 g vial.  We stand by our “catchphrase”…”The BEST Spices at GREAT Prices”.  Bon appetit!

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Vanilla Beans & Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla beans are actually pods (like peas) of the growing form of climbing orchids of the genus Vanilla. The Parsley Porch sells the 2 most common species of vanilla beans.  Vanilla planifolia beans are sometimes called “Madagascar” beans because that is where many are grown.  They are the most common vanilla beans used by the corporate sources for vanilla extract.  Thus, their flavor is easily recognized by most people.  Vanilla tahitiensis which are grown in Tahiti and other Pacific islands are wider with superb aroma and bouquet prized by pastry chefs.  BOTH species are terrific and The Parsley Porch uses BOTH in making our pure vanilla extract, which is one product that our loyal customers rave about.  Like saffron, vanilla beans are labor intensive making them the 2nd most expensive spice, right behind saffron.  In the USA, vanilla flavor is not prized among the average person because we grow up with so much ARTIFICIAL vanilla flavoring in cheap vanilla ice cream and soft serve, which we cover with chocolate, cherries and a variety of other toppings.  Gourmet chefs in the finest restaurants and people who make homemade vanilla ice cream know that vanilla beans provide an exquisite flavor opportunity that is absolutely top shelf. 

Since it is a lot of work to separate the seeds inside the vanilla pods and since vanillin, the chemical with the flavor, dissolves in alcohol most people turn to pure vanilla extract.  There is a LEGAL formula and recipe that one must follow in order to call it PURE VANILLA EXTRACT.  Customers often ask me “How many vanilla beans should I buy to make extract?”  I tell them it is not a number because vanilla beans can vary greatly in size.  10 big beans can WEIGH more than 2x as much 10 small beans.  Thus, the most consistent way measure vanilla beans is by WEIGHT.  The recipe:  13.35 oz. vanilla beans in 1 gallon 35% ethyl alcohol for a minimum of 60 days = PURE vanilla extract.  The Parsley Porch uses 80 proof vodka = 40% ethyl alcohol and our beans percolate in the vodka for AT LEAST 6 months and up to a year.  We go beyond the minimum that the law requires.  National brands make good extract.  The Parsley Porch makes BETTER pure vanilla extract.  We put a bean in every bottle of vanilla that we sell.  We put TWO beans in every bottle of TWO FOLD.  TWICE the weight (26.7 oz) per gallon of 35% ethyl alcohol means it is TWICE as strong so you use ½ as much.

$14 / 5 oz. bottle of Parsley Porch Pure Vanilla Extract is a top shelf bargain…$19 / 5 oz. of TWO FOLD just may be our “Best Buy”.


SALT, LOW SALT & NO SALT BLOG

The Parsley Porch has MANY options when it comes to the above.  We have many salt blends such as garlic salt, onion salt, celery salt, hickory smoke salt, and Season All (season salt).  We have many TYPES of salt, including FINE Sea Salt, “Kosher” MEDIUM Salt, COARSE Sea Salt, and Himalayan Pink Salt.

All Parsley Porch RUBS and other Parsley Porch blends are “low salt” meaning < 10% salt. 

Found ONLY at The Parsley Porch are NO SALT Blends:

Cajun Seasoning

Bouquet Garni

Dilly Dip

Fish Spice

Garlic Herbs

Jerk Seasoning

Lemon Dill

Lemon Pepper

Pizza Seasoning

Taco Seasoning

 

No salt blends are a bargain as you are getting ALL quality spices blended and at a weight not adulterated by salt.  Salt is “dirt cheap” which is why SO many competitors add it to greatly enhance the weight of a blend.  FEW people don’t add salt to their food, but we believe how much you add should be YOUR choice.

 

ENOUGH from the Spice Purveyor. 

 

Time for a mini-lecture from the Biochemistry teacher and the Anatomy & Physiology teacher.

 

EVERYONE needs salt in their diet to live a healthy lifestyle.  In the USA, salt is overabundant in our diet.  Unless you working for a paving/ road crew, install roofing, or have a similar occupation where profuse sweating is part of the job…You probably get plenty of salt in your diet.  MANY of us have TOO much salt in our diet resulting in hypertension (aka high blood pressure).  Salt ATTRACTS water.  Think how to kill slugs on vegetation.  Putting salt on these pests draws out water and kills them. 

Eating salty foods, potato chips, pretzels, corn chips, popcorn, etc. makes your thirsty because it draws water from your body cells and osmoreceptors in your hypothalamus say “I’m thirsty!”.  After your beverage of choice, the salt is absorbed into your blood stream and salt WITH the water it attracts is like putting more pressure on your plumbing system (blood vessels).  Just like any plumbing system with too much pressure, pipes can burst.  Aneurisms (ballooning of a blood vessel) or strokes (bursting of a vessel in the brain) can result.  High blood pressure makes the pipes stretch and weaken particularly as we age and can make us prone to cardiovascular accidents.

Flavor and seasonings are personal choices and preferences.  With 200+ products let The Parsley Porch help you accomplish your culinary goals in not only in a flavorful but also healthy way.  Bon appetit!


ALL ABOUT “HOT PEPPERS”

What are hot peppers?  What makes them hot? Can we measure the different levels of heat?  Why do we like them? Are there health benefits?  What peppers are available at The Parsley Porch?  This blog will answer these questions.

The Parsley Porch has dozens of peppers and spice blends that contain pepper.  While all peppers have some degree of spiciness or at least a flavor profile there are some chemical differences.  In a previous blog, pepper in the form of peppercorns which are usually ground contain a chemical called piperine which provides a different type of “heat” which is flavorful but much more temporary.  This blog is about the different chili peppers, many of which are listed below in the illustration.  There can be many different names for the same chili pepper based on language, culture, preparation and geography.  Chili peppers with the exception of Sweet Bell Peppers which have no heat, have varying amounts of a chemical compound called capsaicin It is the amount of capsaicin that a chili pepper has that determines how hot it is.  The heat a pepper has can be scientifically quantified using “Scoville Heat Units” aka SHU.  (Allow me to change to a lab coat and the former biochemistry teacher will explain this precise method.)   

To determine the # of Scoville Heat Units, an alcohol extract of capsaicin oil from a dried pepper is mixed with a solution of water and sugar to the point where a panel of human taste-testers can't detect the heat of the pepper.  (Taking the lab coat off) Simply put, the bigger the number, the hotter the pepper.  The letter “K” is often a prefix in front of the number which stands for “kilo” meaning 1000X.  Cayenne pepper is a staple of the spice cabinet for many people that like cooking.  Most grocery store cayenne is around 30 KHU, adding heat in a pleasant way.  I have seen brownie recipes with small amounts of cayenne adding a “bite” to the chocolate brownie recipe. However there can be many heat levels for cayenne peppers.  At The Parsley Porch, we have 3 different levels of heat for a cayenne pepper.  In other words, the SAME flavor with very different levels of heat.  For example, our Parsley Porch Mombasa has on the label 90 KHU which means 90,000 Scoville Heat Units. Translation: it’s pretty hot!  But looking at the illustration below, it is only about 70% up the illustrated pepper in terms of heat.  Another cayenne we offer is African Bird, having the classic cayenne flavor but with a Scoville rating of 160 KHU!  THAT’S HOT!  It is over 5x the heat level of our basic cayenne which most people consider hot. 

Our customers like hot peppers because they add a certain satisfaction and flavor experience that is beyond normal sweet, sour, bitter and salty.  Hot peppers can offer a maximum taste bud stimulation for a minimum calorie consumption.  Fiery peppers pack major health perks. In terms of vitamin C, they beat oranges 3 to 1. They're also stuffed with vitamins A, B, and E. Some studies suggest capsaicin acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells and helps tamp down inflammation.  Researchers have shown that capsaicin can improve heart health, prevent diabetes, and prevent cancer. Hot peppers can even lower blood pressure and make you feel less hungry.

Besides, the 3 types of Cayenne, The Parsley Porch has MANY other types of peppers and offers dozens of spice blends that have varying amount of hot peppers in the recipes. As every one of our valued customers have unique palates, I always recommend adding small amounts of peppers and then taste and sample…Adding more as you see fit.


Here are some of the other peppers and blends offered at The Parsley Porch for your enjoyment.  Don’t over look our 3 delicious Mexican blends… FAJITA…SANTA FE….TACO…while all having some similarities are all deliciously different!

Chili Powder, including the HOT blend

Ancho Chili Powder

Habanero

Jalapeno

HOT Curry

HOT Paprika

Bon appetit!!!!




Other Helpful Links

Delicious and tender steak recipe

Heart Healthy Recipes

Crock Pot Chicken Soup

Andy's Favorite Jambalaya Recipe

80 Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Spice Substitutions, Equivalent Liquid and Dry Measures

Slide Show of Uses for 9 Common Herbs and Spices

50 Amazing Turmeric Recipes

Grilling Recipes From the Mayo Clinic

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Review The Parsley Porch