Ah, America. Land of the free, home of the brave, country of the culinary challenged. The Food Network has made cooking a competitive spectator sport instead of an interactive experience. Microwaves and take-out have turned our stoves into useless counter space, our hearths ignited not by tradition and nurturing foods that sustained our ancestors for thousands of years, but by timing the arrival of the Pizza Hut delivery guy to just before kickoff.
What we’ve lost—and what seems to scare us most about cooking—is not how to chop, dice, puree, sauté or bake, but it’s the connection to the seasonings that we no longer grasp. Spices turn food into meals, taking us on journeys through histories and cultures, far away lands and exotic customs. Fragrant and mysterious pods and leaves, medicinal and delectable roots and seeds all were once as commonly recognized as KFC and Pepsi are today. Do you know what star anise looks like? How about fenugreek, cloves, galangal root, cardamom or coriander?
It’s certainly healthier to cook at home than eating fast food. Freshly prepared food is better for you, but it also connects you to unspoken traditions and knowledge thousands of years old. I know, it sounds a little woo-woo, but stick with me. Here’s the secret: Spices are actually super healthy for you. Turmeric is anti-cancer, cinnamon can control diabetes, parsley will get rid of your bad breath and there are bushels more that have real benefits to your health.
In one bite of Channa Masala, a sip of Tom Ka Gai soup or in chipful of guacamole, we can taste the differences (and similarities) between cultures, but most of us could not tell you what spices make that happen. The kind folks at Mobile Foodie know this (they have ESP). Not only have they formulated spice kit blends to help us easily and healthfully satisfy our hankering for tasty Indian, Thai and Mexican dishes at home, but they also source sustainably harvested organic spices whenever possible, which is actually a lot harder than you think.
Mobile Foodie is also quite worth their salt by working with a team of adults with physical and mental handicaps at Poughkeepsie, NY’s Mid-Hudson Workshop for the Disabled to pack all the spice blends. While you’re stirring a pot of authentic Mexican mole sauce with help from Mobile Foodie’s Mexican essential blend, you’re at a real vantage point—able to smell and taste an ancient tradition, and by supporting a conscious business model, you’re also simmering a tasty new one.