Gift Ideas For Christmas Pt 3:- Spice Lover

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I’ve been in love with spicy food for a number of years, although it wasn’t until later in life that my love for all things chilli developed.

In-spite of the fact that I studied Indian cookery as an extra-curricular activity at college, it wasn’t really until my stint living and working in India that I really started to explore cooking with spices much more.

One thing I have discovered since being back in the UK though, is the real lack of good quality spices, which can make a real difference to the dishes themselves. I have stumbled across a few good places to stock up, but there’s always those tricky ingredients.

One such company is Seasoned Pioneers, a company based on the Wirrel that was set up in 1999 by Mark Stein, who like myself had travelled extensively and then became frustrated that he couldn’t obtain the right quality spices that he would need to recreate some of the amazing dishes that he had experienced around the globe.

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Today Seasoned Pioneers produce over 300 different Spices, Herbs, specialist seasonings and blends from around the world, which have received high commendations for chefs and food writers alike.

More recently, Seasoned Pioneers have launched a Spice Subscription service named The Spice Pioneer 

The Spice Pioneer is a simple idea that utilised the great tasting spices from Seasoned Pioneers and allows the subscriber to experience a taste journey around the would.

Signing up for a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription, the receiver will receive a monthly box through the post.

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The box contains a culinary expedition to a new destination.

I have been trying out a few of the destinations and have to say, I have been thoroughly impressed.

My first months box took me to Spain, containing a recipe card for three dishes, a shopping list of what I would need to buy, a postcard giving me the background as well as all the fresh spices that I would need for the dishes.

But that’s not all, the subscription also gives you access to an online resource, where you can listen to music from the destination, either to listen to while cooking away, or while serving up to a loved one, it really is a special added extra.

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I took the shopping list and bought the extra ingredients that I would require, such as the chicken and chorizo for a stunning Paella and started working through the instructions.

The cards are easy to follow and allowed me to produce three dishes with ease – A chicken and Chorizo Paella, Pinchitos Morunos and a Tomato and Chorizo Salad.

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Month 2 took me to a brand new destination, this time Turkey, with the main player being some Turkish Meatballs served on a Festival Rice. Again the shopping list, and easy to follow card made the whole thing so easy to follow, and every dish was full of so much flavour thanks to the incredible spices from Season Pioneers.

Going through some of the recipes I start to wonder, why have I never tried this dish before, or even why have I never tried cooking this dish that reminds me so much of a previous trip. That’s one of the great things about food, it can transport you back to times gone past, to memories forgotten, or even create new ones.

Month 3 continued my journey to another one of my recent trips abroad, this time to Thailand.

Thai food is complex, using lots of unique ingredients and in order to get the authentic taste you can’t rely on a pre-prepared paste, but many of the authentic flavours aren’t easily access able or cheap – and that’s where Spice Pioneer really excels.

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Thai Holy Basil, Dried Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Powder and Thai Seasoning Blend

By packing up all the spices you need in one little box, you are spared the search and expense of buying all the different ingredients needed, whilst allowing you to decide if you like it enough to then buy it in larger packets from seasoned pioneers.

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Prawn Penang with Sticky Rice

The spice boxes are centred around the spices that are produced by Seasoned Pioneers and they are perfect for anyone that likes to eat some spicy food as well as looking for new inspiration.

So if you know someone that would enjoy experiencing The Spice Pioneer in the same way that I have – Why not get them a gift subscription for Christmas here

Don’t forget you can see parts 1 and 2 of #12GiftsofChristmas for the Bacon Lover or the Home Chef

Plus there are TWO great competitions to enter for the #BaconLover and #WineLover on Twitter

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