We have been using salts and other condiments for thousands of years to add to the pleasures of eating. There’s so much more to use than ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Our spices, special salts and rub collections will add so much more flavor and layers to your meals!
Rubs are mixtures of spices, often combined with salt that do much to help you quickly add natural and wholesome flavors to your food. They can be “rubbed into” your meats, fowl or fish or be simply added to them (or your veggie meal) as they cook on the stove. You will find that each of our rubs enhance your dishes and make cooking easier and your meals tastier!
Rubs are part of our 4 Element Zesti’simos Collection. Think of them as a mélange of spices, generally more fine than coarse in their composition, with salt as part of their formulation. While they can be rubbed onto meat, poultry, or fish before cooking, they can also be sprinkled into any cooking skillet of food – whether they be all vegetables or all meat or some soon-to-be delicious combination of both. Many ethnic cuisines use these blends of spices and Dr. W recommends having a few on hand to help you maintain a healthy (and tasty) diet. So pick three or four; our tins are attractive, easy to keep on the counter, are flavorful and fun to use.
We offer some of the best salts from around the world – not your average commercial salt. In addition to our seasoned salt, we have three others: a traditional Sea Salt, Himalayan Mountain Salt, a special hand-harvested one from France.
While we recommend pinching directly from our easy-to-use containers – with the exception of the French Sel Gris Salt, all of our salts can be put into a typical salt shaker as well.
While traditional American spices like dill, oregano, basil, and black pepper can be useful to have on hand, Dr. W is a proponent of having a certain foursome of spices at the ready for regular use: fennel seed, caraway seed, cumin seed and celery seed.
They are all members of a certain family of herbs that have great culinary and health purposes. Read more about them below to get a sense of how useful and valuable they are.
Condiments are what we as humans have been using for thousands of years to add to the pleasures of eating. Our national obsession with catsup and mustard expresses America’s way of using condiments to make our collective food-eating experience a good one. In simplistic terms, catsup brings sweetness when added, while mustard brings sourness.
Salt and pepper is another duo that is a big part of our food-making. Besides salts and spices, there are prepared seasonings – dried rubs that mix salt and spices, as well as pastes and sauce combinations like salsas, curries, chutneys, simmer sauces, BBQ sauces, Worcester sauces, dipping sauces.
Condiments were first used as a means for food preservation. Salt preserved foods, as did the ferments, or pickling that naturally would happen to certain foods. Salts and certain spices were added to dishes not only for their flavoring but as a way to extend the life of their foods.
It did not take long for our ancestors to discover that many of these spices made them healthier – by helping to ward away sickness, tiredness and pain even as while making their food taste better. Check out our Organic Spice Collection where you’ll find the finest spices in very attractive containers that will inspire you to create healthier meals!
Condiments – Food Principles in a Tasty Balance
4 Element Thinking sees everything as “a set of principles in balance”. Our awareness of food principles in balance begins on the tongue level with our 4-5 types of taste receptors – sweet, salty, sour, and bitter and umami (or savory). But it doesn’t stop there.
Always keep in mind that Nature did not stop with just a set of four elemental principles. Nature is filled with life-positive principles – thousands of them –which we can draw upon as we create our meals. The taste of a spice, a food, a meal is a reflection of the way those principles are balanced within it.
In 4 Element Thinking, it is in the biochemistry of an herb (or spice) that these principles are given their footings in our physical here-and-now world. In other words, what creates the taste and health-energetics of a particular spice’s principle is its biochemistry – how it might strengthen or reinforce parts of our body’s whole.
Organic Spices + Salts= Rubs
Along with our individual spices, consider our “Organic Rubs”.These are our own mixtures of particular spices and salts that you can both rub into meats and vegetables – or even just sprinkle onto your cooking skillet for delicious seasoning. These rubs can also be thought of as seasoning salt – only more adventurous and health-positive.
Keep in mind that if you are not one who eats a lot of prepared, packaged foods, you can probably add as much salt to your meals as you would enjoy taste-wise. Salt is not dangerous to the vast majority of people when used in this way. Our special Salt Collection is a great way to tap into Nature’s Salt Principle’s flavors. For now know that salts serve as an Earth element foundation for other tastes-biochemistries-principles to engage your tongue and body-whole.
After dried spices and the spice-salt combo of a rub, there are humankind’s condiment pastes and sauces. Slowly, such condiments became part of a culture’s cuisine; different regions would make variations on that condiment theme – like the barbeque sauces of the south have slightly different ingredients, or balances of those ingredients, depending on where it’s being made. Similarly for Worcestershire sauces or hot sauces – it is the specific balance of these ingredients – sometimes with a few unique ones thrown it – that creates the gastronomic dynamics of a particular one such as Lea & Perrins steak sauce or Louisiana Hot Sauce.
Curries, Chutneys and Harissas – Oh my!
There are the curry pastes – made from combining spices such as cumin, turmeric, garlic, coriander, ginger and black pepper. These pastes are added to the skillet of cooking vegetables. Different versions of chutneys, chili sauces, curries and fish sauces express different balances of natural principles and tastes.
Take a look at our selection of condiments. Some of them may not be familiar to you – like our jars of ajvar and harissa. Besides a variety of traditional ethnic condiments, one of the great things about today’s cuisine is that many creative people have come up with new balances of spices and their tastes.
With all this said, we recommend having several jars of condiments in your refrigerator to inspire you to cook. Don’t let that kale spoil; find a way to use those parsnips, peppers or okra that you have in your fridge, make a dish extraordinaire with those beans – all as you add some tasty condiments to their cooking pots.
In summary, the herbs and spices that make up most condiments are healthy to have as part of your diet. Not only do they work together to create a tasty meal, condiments also bring a set of natural principles into your body that can be used to help it stay strong and vibrant.
We’ll be slowly building up our collection of condiments. If you have one that you think we should carry, please email us. We are looking to find the best condiments from both the states and around the world. Stop back from time to time to see our newer ones!