One of my favorite aspects of this job is finding and tasting new products from small companies and then turning around and sharing them with you. That's how this whole game began back in 2013. Specifically, I have noticed that I am drawn to first or second generation Americans who have created products that celebrate their heritage, using all-natural ingredients, without losing the authenticity of the flavors. It includes the following:
White Pumpkin and Almond Murabba (with Cardamom & Vanilla): Indian long gourd, almonds, cinnamon, cardamom, and vanilla make up this delicious murabba (similar to preserves) from Le Bon Magot. Owned by Naomi J. Mobed, a brilliant maestro who was born in Karachi; raised in Tehran; lived in Hong Kong; educated in Princeton, Boston and London; worked in New York, Paris, then Dubai, then Muscat, then Johannesburg and all points in-between. She's created the epitome of "cooking without borders."
Organic Sazón from Loisa, brings Latin flavors - oregano, cumin, garlic, coriander, achiote - without MSG, using organic spices.
Up next is our Tomato Achaar from India by way of Brooklyn Delhi. It's a condiment made with locally-grown tomatoes, tamarind, a mix of Indian spices, red chili powder, unrefined cane sugar and sesame oil. It has a savory, spicy and tangy flavor. Use it just like you would Sriracha or harissa. I absolutely love it.
Auria's Malaysian Kitchen's award-winning Pandan Kaya, a rich, creamy spread for toast made from coconut milk, cane sugar, cage-free eggs and pandas leaves. The mixture is slow-cooked for hours following a traditional method and yields a smooth, scrumptious delight that can be used in many ways. Dairy and gluten-free.
Coco-For-Garlic sauce, from Essiespice, is an exquisite, flavorful product reflecting the flavors of Ghana. Use Coco-For-Garlic before sautéing or braising to marinate poultry, meats, fish or tofu, to spice up stews or soups. Go ahead and add it to omelettes, frittatas, quiches and even pizza for unexpected but exceptional flavor.
Our Fiery West African Jerk Paste from Kitchens of Africa (Gambia) is delicious: they start with a base of sweet and tart tamarind puree, soy sauce and two types of mustard to create depth and dimension. Highly fragrant spices such as cardamom, cloves, Vietnamese cinnamon and star anise are artfully added for intense aroma and flavor. Cumin and paprika bring smoky complexity. We then introduce pungent elements like fresh cilantro, ginger and garlic. Habanero peppers add fruity floral notes and fiery heat. Finally, a few other secret ingredients round out and balance flavors.