The Spice is Right II Theme: Sweet Or Savory?

I am still blown away by the success of the first round of The Spice is Right; I want to thank all of the participants for making it such a fun, and rewarding event to host.

But now, we have to gear up for The Spice is Right II!

This time around the theme is “Sweet or Savory?”

What the heck does that mean? Well, in certain cultures, some spices are used primarily in sweet preparations, while in other cultures, they are used in savory foods. (Or, they are used in both.)

For example, in the US, most folks think of cinnamon as a “sweet” spice, and use it in pies, cookies, cakes, sweet yeast breads and other desserts and baked goods. Whereas, in Greece, say, it may be used in sweets, but it is also used to flavor meat, casseroles and stews. In India, it is used in sweets, but it is not considered “sweet” so much as “hot” and is used in masalas to flavor all sorts of savory foods with its warming aroma: dals, kormas, rice dishes, vegetable curries and keema.

So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick a spice, that is usually used in your native culture (If you are American, you can decide what I mean by your native culture–if you are Italian-American or African-American, then you take the food culture you grew up with) as either a savory or a sweet spice. You explain how it is used in your culture, and then, turn it all around, and use the spice in the opposing fashion.

So, as an example, I could pick cinnamon and tell you that it was most commonly used in my childhood in sweets, like Snickerdoodle cookies or cinnamon buns. And then, I would cook and present a recipe from another tradition that uses cinnamon in a savory context.

Do you dig it?

I hope so–it sounds fun, playing the old switcheroo.

The deadline is May 15th at midnight, and the rules are the same, except you don’t need to send me a photograph–just send a link. My software is so fast with sizing pictures, it is just as easy if I do it for you. (But you are welcome to indicate which picture you want me to use, if you wish.)

How does that sound? (Like fun, I hope!)

Once again–thank you all for such awesome entries. I hope to see you all again next month, and I would be honored if more folks come to play this time around. I love the fact that we had such a diverse group of international bloggers–and I hope that the trend continues as the months go by.

33 Comments

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  1. this sounds cool. I wish i didnt have to work so much so I could join in. Tonight I got home from work at 7 (early for a change), and I just couldnt be bothered to cook. I don’t usually suffer from that. In my head I been planning a SHF entry, in reality, I was empty and could do nothing at (except toddle off down the street for a spicy curry). If I do find time for this, I know EXACTLY which spice i would choose. No competition.

    Comment by sam — April 19, 2006 #

  2. How can non-bloggers participate?

    Comment by Hadar — April 20, 2006 #

  3. Oh!This time round its going to be much more challenging,Barbara.I look forward to having some fun with this theme.Great theme!

    Comment by sailaja — April 20, 2006 #

  4. “My software is so fast with sizing pictures, it is just as easy if I do it for you.” What are you using?

    Comment by Alanna — April 20, 2006 #

  5. I hate it when I don’t feel like cooking because of work, Sam. Drives me nuts. If you have time, I would love to see what you come up with.

    Hadar, if you or another non-blogging person wanted to participate, here is what you would do: either write up what you would post, photograph and all and post it on BS in your LS, and then email me, and I could copy it all and then post it here, as a guest blog from you here at T&S, or you could not post it anywhere, and just send it all to me, and I can cut, paste and all that stuff to make it pretty and then post it on T&S as a guest blog. I would be happy to do that for you!

    Just send it in to me -before- the 15th, so it can be posted prior to the deadline.

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

    Alanna–I use ACDC and the tools available with WordPress–and it is simple for me to suck a picture off the net, size it and then upload it to my blog with a uniform thumbnail size. It is actually easier than than I thought it would be. (It is certainly easier than it was back in the day when I worked as a newspaper copyeditor, and we had to size the pictures by hand and do actual paste-up!)

    Comment by Barbara — April 20, 2006 #

  6. Hi,
    I do feel this event is bit interesting .let me start thinking.take care of ur health.
    Vineela

    Comment by vineela krishna — April 20, 2006 #

  7. Thank you, Vineela–I am taking great care–exercising, eating well and resting as much as I can. And drinking lots of water….

    I hope you join in with the second event–I think it will be a fun challenge!

    Comment by Barbara — April 20, 2006 #

  8. Whoa… this one is going to be tricky, Barbara! I’ll have to put my thinking cap on. (If I can find it….)

    -Elizabeth

    Comment by ejm — April 21, 2006 #

  9. Hmmm… I know exactly which spice to use!! Couldn’t participate the first time around. Hopefully will do it this time! Hope the pregnancy is going smoothly.

    cheers!

    Comment by Saffron Hut — April 26, 2006 #

  10. I look forward to hearing from you soon, then!

    And so far, so good with the pregnancy!

    Comment by Barbara — April 26, 2006 #

  11. Hi there :)

    I had your new challenge bubbling in the back of my mind and went back to check it out further; wow! I’d love to take this one up! And…maybe I will…unfortunately I’m packing and cleaning in preparation for a move(within my building) next Monday…urgh…and, then, of course, unpacking…cleaning…etc.

    All of which is to say I’m chomping at the bit to enter one of your curatorial spice history efforts…in the meantime, a link to a restaurant where I recently had one hell of a great meal:

    http://www.sweetsandsavorieschicago.com/

    and, yes, the name’s not being cutesy…the chef prides himself in offering both elements in unusual juxtapositions.

    Comment by Christopher Gordon — April 27, 2006 #

  12. How fun!!! I’m definetly in and will use a Moroccan dish since it’s my primary culture.

    Gosh! That’ll be delicate though since we have so many dishes which are considered “sweet & savory” at the same time. Like couscous with cinnamon, raisins and sugar. This one we serve as a dessert or as an appetizer depending on the mood or the menu.

    I’ll find a way…

    Thanks for this second edition, it’s as fun as the first.

    Comment by Zoubida — April 29, 2006 #

  13. Zoubida–this is also an issue with Indian cooks–many spices used in Indian cookery are used in both sweet or savory contexts. The same is true in other cultures.

    In cases like this–mention it in your post, and talk about it. Sharing these little facts and details about our cultures are important–they give the flavor, as it were, of our cooking in ways that perhaps books and encyclopedia cannot offer.

    I look forward to seeing your entry–your last one was delightful!

    Comment by Barbara — April 29, 2006 #

  14. [...] The Spice is Right#2 [...]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » ... we adore good food — May 3, 2006 #

  15. Oooh. This looks such fun. great idea

    My Life As A Reluctant Housewife

    Comment by Gabriella True — May 3, 2006 #

  16. TSIR#2 Sweet Or Savory: Tapicoca with peppered Rhubarb

    Barbara from Tigers

    Trackback by ostwestwind.twoday.net — May 6, 2006 #

  17. Good one!

    Comment by Macky — May 6, 2006 #

  18. Woohoo!! i just chose something to cook up. a new recipe of mine. so I hope it works.

    Comment by Gabriella True — May 7, 2006 #

  19. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

    Comment by Barbara — May 7, 2006 #

  20. [...] For The Spice is Right #2: Sweet or Savory, we were supposed to choose a spice used primarily in sweet or in savory applications in our native culture, and then turn it around and use it in the other. [...]

    Pingback by Habeas Brulee » Blog Archive » Paprika Sticky Rolls — May 8, 2006 #

  21. love this idea! here are some korean chili flake cupcakes…

    http://roarsaidthebelly.blogspot.com/2006/05/tsir-2-korean-chili-powder-cupcakes-oh.html

    Comment by roaring belly — May 9, 2006 #

  22. Hey Barbara,
    This sounds too exciting to miss!
    I’ll be there with some interesting stuff …
    Nandita

    Comment by Nandita — May 10, 2006 #

  23. Barbara, this is great! Finally, a foodblogging event that gets me thinking instead of sending me to the cookbooks…

    Comment by shreyas — May 11, 2006 #

  24. [...] (Ha! We thought we had made too much syrup… but we’ll need to make more syrup for the next time!) At first I thought maybe this was going to be my post for Barbara’s (Tigers and Strawberries) event, The Spice is Right #2 – Sweet Or Savory?. (The deadline for posts to be added to Barbara’s The Spice is Right #2 – Sweet Or Savory? roundup is 15 May, 2006 at midnight EDT.) [...]

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

  25. Hi!

    I wrote this up and tested it out and tweeked this week! So fun and everyone loved it. so here goes. This is my first time joining this event.

    Photo URL’s (not sure which one is best)

    Lamb Kabob 1
    Lamb Kabob 2

    Event URL:
    Sweet or Savory – Cinnamon!

    Recipe URL:
    Sweet or Savory – Cinnamon!

    Let me know if you need anything or left something out. Appreciate all your hard work and dedication to this.

    Gabriella True
    My Life As A Reluctant Housewife

    Comment by Gabriella True — May 12, 2006 #

  26. [...] 1 Please read more about how to participate in The Spice is Right #2 – Sweet Or Savory?. The deadline for posts to be added to Barbara’s The Spice is Right #2 – Sweet Or Savory? roundup is 15 May, 2006 at midnight EDT. [...]

    Pingback by blog from OUR kitchen » Spice is Right#2 - What to do, what to do?!... we adore good food — May 12, 2006 #

  27. [...] For The Spice is Right II: Sweet Or Savory?, I was wracking my brains for something to do, because I’m Indian and that means that I have seen like every spice doing topsy-turvy every-which-way crazy things in the course of everyday eating and culinary experiments. [...]

    Pingback by Raven Swallows the Sun » Tejano Steak (The Spice is Right II) — May 13, 2006 #

  28. TSiR 2 – Sweet or Savory – Vanilla Meets Asparagus

    For the second issue of the “The Spice Is Right”-event, titled “Sweet or Savory”, Barbara from Tigers & Strawberries asks us to switch spices.

    So, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pick a spice, that is usually used in your nat…

    Trackback by FoodFreak — May 14, 2006 #

  29. The spice is right #2 / Home-made chocolate #3 – Curry chocolates

    I was very sorry to miss last months deadline for “The spice is right”. But not this month! Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries gave us this challenge:

    “This time around the theme is “Sweet or Savory?
    What the heck does that mean? Well,…

    Trackback by make life sweeter! — May 15, 2006 #

  30. Barbara:

    My entry is up. Here it is ..

    http://cookingmedley.blogspot.com/2006/05/spice-is-right-ginger-shortbread_15.html

    Comment by Luv2Cook — May 15, 2006 #

  31. [...] Enjoy the food blog posts I’ve linked to! They are splendid. As her entry for The Spice is Right #2: Sweet or Savory?, Linda made curry chocolates. Yes, those are exactly what they sound like: truffles filled with a curry powder chocolate ganache. I was thrilled. I’ve thought about using curry powder in sweets, but never actually tried it. I’m so glad that she did. [...]

    Pingback by Habeas Brulee » Blog Archive » Roundup of Food Blog Posts I’ve Enjoyed #3 — July 1, 2006 #

  32. [...] The Spice Is Right 2: Sweet & Savory: Chili Pepper May 12, 2006 Filed under: Recipes — mackytravelbug @ 4:56 am Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries has come up with another great theme for the second round of the Spice Is Right. It didn’t take me long to think of a spice for this event – Chili Peppers! As bizaare as this may sound chilis can be used in a dessert, something I found out a year ago when I tried the Chili Chocolate Crème Brulee at M Café (I’m quite adventurous when it comes to food). To my surprise, the combination of chili and chocolate went really well together. It’s now one of my favorite desserts. [...]

    Pingback by The Spice Is Right 2: Sweet & Savory: Chili Pepper « The Edible Garden — February 17, 2008 #

  33. [...] the second issue of the “The Spice Is Right”-event, titled “Sweet or Savory”, Barbara from Tigers & Strawberries asks us to switch spices. So, your mission, should you [...]

    Pingback by Foodfreak » TSiR 2 – Sweet or Savory – Vanilla Meets Asparagus — April 25, 2011 #

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