Announcing The Spice is Right #1:

Yes, I have finally cogitated upon the matter of the recurring spice-blogging event enough and thus come to a few conclusions.

It will occur monthly.

The deadline for entries will be on the 15th day of every month, meaning that for the first challenge, which will be in April, you will have extra time to think about it. I will announce the next month’s theme on the 15th of every month, here, as well as on the Food Blog Skool calendar and at IMBB, so you have several places to go to find out what is next in the queue of challenges.

The deadline is for you to send your entry to me by email–not a specific day you must post about your entry. I like the way Meena has arranged her “From My Rasoi” event, where sometime during the month, when you get around it and it fits your dinner schedule, you post your theme-perfect entry, and then by, on or before the deadline, you send her your emailed entry. This sort of flexibility I think is admirable and will help a maximum number of people join in the fun.

This is for fun, but I may choose winners and offer silly prizes now and again, and have guest judges so it isn’t just me and my own biases at play (or at work).

The Rules:

Every game has to have rules and food blog events are no exception, so here we go:

1. Email me your entry with your name as you want it to appear on the round-up, the url to the entry and a photograph, if you want me to use one, on or before the 15th of every month so I can do an efficient round-up post. Your post can occur wherever you like in the month–I don’t care when, just send it to me on, by or before the 15th at helgardeATgmailDOTcom. Include a link back in your entry to this post announcing “The Spice is Right” so that if other folks read it and want to play, they know where to go to find the rules. One entry per blogger, please. If you have no blog–email me a photo and a description and I will include you in the roundup anyway. (Or, be like the rest of us food-obsessed geeks and start a blog!)

2. The photo should be scaled to the following size: 1 inch width by .75 inch height and 72 dpi (pixels/inch) so that I don’t have to play around with sizes and whatnot. (Thank you Amy of Cooking With Amy for this idea!)

3. Your entry should include some background about the spice you have chosen to highlight. Whether this is something you learned from books, or that was passed down from your grandma or is from your own experience, tell us about it. Tell us why you chose this particular spice to highlight on this particular month. Describe how it tastes, and why you like it.

4. The recipe does not have to contain only the one spice you are posting about, however, the flavor of that spice should predominate. Say, you have chosen cardamom, and want to post an Indian dish featuring it. You could choose kheer–Indian rice pudding–which is predominately flavored with cardamom, which is fine, but you could also choose sindi elaichi murgh– a dish which has other spices in the masala, but the cardamom flavor soars above the other flavors, supported by their presence.

5. Finally, the definition of a spice that we will be using for the purpose of this event is as follows: “Any aromatic substance, fresh or dried, that is derived from the root, rhizome, bulb, bark, woody stem, flower, fruit or seed of a plant that is used to flavor foods.” You will notice that I left yout soft stems and leaves–that is because those are herbs. I didn’t want to step on Kalyn’s toes with her Weekly Herb Blogging event at Kalyn’s Kitchen. I am also not counting minerals, such as salt, as spices, though we may have a special “salty” edition of the “Spice is Right” challenge someday in the future.

So, I think that is enough in the way of rules–maybe I should announce the theme for April’s “The Spice is Right” Challenge:

The theme will be (drumroll, please) “Ancient Spices.”

You can take that to mean anything you want it to mean. It can mean spices that were used in the ancient world, that aren’t used so much anymore. You can interpret it to mean the can of curry powder you have in your cupboard from 1962. You can take it to mean a spice that has a very long history of use. You can use an old recipe that is written in Middle English that features your chosen spice. The field is wide open.

I look forward to hearing from you all!

30 Comments

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  1. Oh, this is a nifty idea! I’ve been a little burnt out on the shear number of food blog events of late, but I like this one very much. (As will Chopper, who is a spice fanatic.) Great excuse for more food-related research, too!

    Comment by mrs D — March 5, 2006 #

  2. Can’t wait to get started,Barbara..:)

    Comment by Sailaja — March 6, 2006 #

  3. As a compulsive spice gatherer (it’s nearly as bad as my cookbook addiction, but fortunately spices take up less space),I both welcome and fear this challenge. Ever since we got a local Penzey’s, I have been out of control.I may have to tidy my spice drawers (2) and cupboards (1) in preparation!
    Which of several interesting spices, thus far used only once or twice, will it be?

    Comment by lindy — March 6, 2006 #

  4. Any excuse is a good excuse for some food-related research, Mrs. D! And I am glad you are enjoying my blog–thank you.

    Sailaja–I look forward to what you come up with!

    Lindy–I love the Penzey’s store in Columbus. Adore it, love it and have spent way too much money there. Luckily, I have used all the stuff I have spent the money on, so nothing is wasted, but still–my spice cabinet looks all matched up and pretty, because of my Penzey’s habit.

    That is, until you go to the bulk spices area in the pantry–then everything isn’t quite so nice, neat and tidy…and matched.

    Comment by Barbara — March 6, 2006 #

  5. Ooooh, I’m excited. I had already had an idea of what I wanted to do for a spice blogging post when you announced it and I’m very happy to see that it will quite nicely fit in perfectly to the “ancient spices” theme.

    -Elizabeth

    Comment by ejm — March 6, 2006 #

  6. I think I have some glimmerings on inspiration on this already. I have in mind something that isn’t precisely to my tastes, but which will make a fabulous gift for my mother if it works out well.

    Comment by Danielle — March 6, 2006 #

  7. Now I am all curious to know what goodies people will be sending to me….

    Comment by Barbara — March 6, 2006 #

  8. Just saw the announcement on Is My Blog Burning…what a nifty idea.

    I’m going to think about this one :)

    j

    Comment by jasmine — March 11, 2006 #

  9. Cool Jasmine–I hope to see an entry from you.

    Comment by Barbara — March 12, 2006 #

  10. [...] When Barbara announced the theme of her new event, ‘The Spice is Right’, as Ancient Spices, I was lost. Truly, I had no idea what I would feature as an ancient spice. I had no clue to begin with! But then, hard as I thought about it, I decided to take ancient to mean digging deep into my memory box and pulling out some the earliest of times of what I can recall. Now that made things SO much more easier! [...]

    Pingback by Hooked on Heat » Nostalgia… — March 15, 2006 #

  11. [...] I must say that there wasn’t a whole lot of squeaking going on when we cooked it the other day (although T kept saying he could hear it squeaking). But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success. It was decidedly successful. So successful that I want to have it again soon. * I am planning to do a post about nigella seeds (kalonji) for Barbara’s (Tigers and Strawberries) the spice is right #1 event. [...]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » bubbly squeak... we adore good food — March 15, 2006 #

  12. Sounds like a fun new event! I’ve added the info to Sticky Date as well. Count me in. :)

    Comment by Cate O'Malley — March 15, 2006 #

  13. Barbara, this sounds delightful! I will certainly be participating, and am already looking forward to seeing what everyone else submits.

    Comment by Tania — March 17, 2006 #

  14. I look forwad to what you send me, Cate and Tania!

    Comment by Barbara — March 19, 2006 #

  15. Food- und Koch-Events der nächsten Wochen

    Eigentlich habe ich mir vorgenommen, an mehr Koch-Events teilzunehmen. Eigentlich… und dann verpasse ich sie doch. Damit ich im Überblick behalte, was aktuell so läuft, habeich hier für mich eine kleine Liste gemacht, vielleicht inspiriert sie ja …

    Trackback by FoodFreak — March 21, 2006 #

  16. I’m in the process of doing photos for my first spice post and was having a tiny bit of difficulty with the inches thing. It’s not that I don’t measure things in inches, it’s just that I usually resize images using pixels. The image program I have doesn’t like to preserve aspect ration when I resize in inches so I was having some difficulty with the following:

    The photo should be scaled to the following size: 1 inch width by .75 inch height and 72 dpi (pixels/inch)

    Here is a translation for those suffering from the same kind of mental challenge as I:

    The photo should be scaled to the following size at 72 dpi:

    width: 72px
    height: 54px

    At least I’m pretty sure that’s right….

    -Elizabeth

    Comment by ejm — April 8, 2006 #

  17. [...] click on image to see more photos of kalonji The Spice is Right #1: Ancient Spices – Nigella (Nigella sativa) [...]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » kalonji (aka nigella seed)... we adore good food — April 10, 2006 #

  18. TSiR 1 – Ancient Spices: Saffron

    It took me some time to decide on a particular spice to feature in this first edition of “The Spice Is Right” (see description and rules here at Tigers & Strawberries).

    First, I had coriander in mind, being well known as the Mexican herb – cilant…

    Trackback by FoodFreak — April 13, 2006 #

  19. The Spice is right #1 – Cardamom chicken

    Some days ago I just published the recipe of Cardamom chicken in German, then I saw there is a new food blog event called The Spice is Right hosted by Barbara of Tigers and Strawberries. A good coincidence for me!

    Cardamom is one of the world

    Trackback by kochtopf.twoday.net — April 15, 2006 #

  20. The spice is right #1: Eggs in Mustard Sauce

    Barbara from Tigers and Strawberries is announcing a new monthly event:
    The spice is right. This month theme are ancient spices. Mustard is one of the first spices known to humans. The spice is known in China since 3000 years and reached Europe ove…

    Trackback by ostwestwind.twoday.net — April 15, 2006 #

  21. [...] For general rules, look here, and for an explanation of what I mean by “Sweet or Savory,” take a glance here. [...]

    Pingback by Tigers & Strawberries » Reminder: The Spice is Right II–”Sweet or Savory?” — May 8, 2006 #

  22. [...] edit @ 15:17 EDT: I was just looking at Barbara’s rules (scroll down the linked page to find them) and see that perhaps this post might have fit into the event after all: [T]he definition of a spice that we will be using for the purpose of this event is as follows: “Any aromatic substance, fresh or dried, that is derived from the root, rhizome, bulb, bark, woody stem, flower, fruit or seed of a plant that is used to flavor foods.” [...]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » Red Chili Syrup... we adore good food — May 11, 2006 #

  23. [...] For the first time EVER, I’ve joined a food blogging event. Barbara announced The Spice is Right in March, giving us a nice time limit to join in for April. This months theme being Ancient Spices, and our interpertation of it. I must admit, I don’t have aspice I reflect on as ancient as in my ancient memories. And I haven’t been keeping spices for an eternity as I’ve only lived out of my mums for a few years, and on my own for even less time. (First shacking up with my sister, who took her half of the spices with her). So my oldest spice in the cupboard might just be a month or atleast a few, old. I was racking my brain trying to figure out which spice to use as my ancient spice. So I surfed the net trying to find inspiration of what to interpret as an ancient spice. For me ancient spices are pure. It’s the simplest flavour, that can change everything in the recipe if you leave it out. And at once I thought of something, mint. Mint can dominate a dish without any effort, and the first time I really noticed how much was when I first tasted a Mojito. I was with my mumat a tapas place and she ordered me a mojito as a dessert drink. I was blown away by the taste! The lime incorporated with the sugar and especially the mint makes this drink feel more like a sensation than an alcoholic bevarage and done right you wont even know the alcohol (except it’s subtle sting) until you’re getting tipsy. [...]

    Pingback by BOYBEATER.ORG presents CATCHING POINTS a food blog — September 19, 2006 #

  24. [...] When Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme “Ancient Spices” for her food event “The Spice is Right” ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had already blogged about sesame seeds in one of my earlier posts “Nuvvulu Annam”(seasame flavored rice),I decided to blog about Black Pepper which is one of the most exotic ancient spice of India after saffron and is known to be the King of all spices. Black Pepper,whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word Pippali and Latin name Piper Nigrum meaning pepper black,is native to Malabar, the Western Coast of South India(Kerala).Black Pepper was a valuable spice during ancient times and was used as a currency to trade between east and west. It’s been said that no other spice has had a greater effect on world history than pepper. The term ‘peppercorn rent’ actually came from rent which was paid in the form of pepper during the middle ages and that often a man’s wealth was measured by his accumulation of pepper.So high was its value that during ancient times it was used as a currency to pay taxes and there are stories of how 3000 pounds worth of pepper was paid as ransom/tribute when the Germanic tribe or Goths laid siege to Rome,soldiers being paid in pepper for a successful campaign,dowries of pepper given and it was also used as a sacred offering.Read more about the fascinating history of black pepper and how to select , store and tips on cooking with pepper [...]

    Pingback by Indian Food | Andhra Recipes | Herbs - Spices| Ayu » Blog Archive » Miriyala Annam - Pepper Flavored Rice — November 10, 2007 #

  25. [...] When Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme “Ancient Spices” for her food event “The Spice is Right” ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had already blogged about sesame seeds in one of my earlier posts “Nuvvulu Annam”(seasame flavored rice),I decided to blog about Black Pepper which is one of the most exotic ancient spice of India after saffron and is known to be the King of all spices. Black Pepper,whose name is derived from the Sanskrit word Pippali and Latin name Piper Nigrum meaning pepper black,is native to Malabar, the Western Coast of South India(Kerala).Black Pepper was a valuable spice during ancient times and was used as a currency to trade between east and west. It’s been said that no other spice has had a greater effect on world history than pepper. The term ‘peppercorn rent’ actually came from rent which was paid in the form of pepper during the middle ages and that often a man’s wealth was measured by his accumulation of pepper.So high was its value that during ancient times it was used as a currency to pay taxes and there are stories of how 3000 pounds worth of pepper was paid as ransom/tribute when the Germanic tribe or Goths laid siege to Rome,soldiers being paid in pepper for a successful campaign,dowries of pepper given and it was also used as a sacred offering.Read more about the fascinating history of black pepper and how to select , store and tips on cooking with pepper [...]

    Pingback by Miriyala Annam - Pepper Flavored Rice | IndiaKnows.com — December 26, 2007 #

  26. [...] The Spice Is Right: Ancient Spices: Star Anise April 13, 2006 Filed under: Recipes — mackytravelbug @ 3:24 am I’m participating in a food blog event for the first time. This event, called “The Spice is Right” is hosted by Barbara Fisher of Tigers & Strawberries and its theme for this month is Ancient Spices. This event will occur monthly. [...]

    Pingback by The Spice Is Right: Ancient Spices: Star Anise « The Edible Garden — February 17, 2008 #

  27. [...] It took me some time to decide on a particular spice to feature in this first edition of “The Spice Is Right” (see description and rules here at Tigers & Strawberries). [...]

    Pingback by Foodfreak » TSiR 1 – Ancient Spices: Saffron — December 2, 2010 #

  28. [...] of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme “Ancient Spices” for her food event “The Spice is Right” ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had [...]

    Pingback by Miriyala Annam – Pepper Flavored Rice | games4u.pcriot.com — May 13, 2011 #

  29. [...] of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme “Ancient Spices” for her food event “The Spice is Right” ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had [...]

    Pingback by Miriyala Annam – Pepper Flavored Rice | games4u.pcriot.com — May 13, 2011 #

  30. [...] of Tigers & Strawberries announced the theme “Ancient Spices” for her food event “The Spice is Right” ,the first thought that came to my mind were Seasame Seeds and Black Pepper Corns.Since I had [...]

    Pingback by - Special Cooking Recipes — October 28, 2011 #

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