Thursday, 9 August 2018

Red. Anita's Spicy Column



Singapore’s national day is here, August 9th.  Canada Day was a month ago, July 1st.     

Why am I mentioning these dates and what do these countries have in common?     



Both Singapore and Canada have a Red and white flag. I can think of many other countries that fit this criteria (for example Indonesia, Japan, Austria, Denmark, England, Hong Kong, Monaco, Peru, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, Tunisia…) but I’m only mentioning Singapore and Canada because it tells a story about me.

Making a spice blend is to tell a story. Spices are characters in the story, each with its own unique contribution and addition to the sum of the story. You, as the story-teller, give meaning and significance to each spice blend that you create.     

Today’s story is about the two countries that have influenced me. 10 years of my childhood, I spent in Singapore. I learned to eat laksa, durian, chili crab; and can speak Sing-lish, Mandarin, Hokkien, and some broken Cantonese.  And in the blink of an eye, I’ve been living in Canada for 6 years. I learned to eat poutine, maple-everything, peameal bacon; and (still cannot) speak French. There are much more about these two countries that have shaped me, but I’ll save them for future posts.

These two countries have red (and white) flags, so this spice blend is made to celebrate them. (Almost) Everything RED in my spice collection went into this spice blend. Let’s take a look at the characters in this Red story:

2 teaspoons of Tomato powder  
2 teaspoons of Pink peppercorns  
2 teaspoons of Dulse flakes  
2 teaspoons of Red chili flakes  
2 teaspoons of Spicy Paprika  
2 teaspoons of Smoked Paprika  
2 teaspoons of Korean Red chili pepper  
1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper     

If you want to add something White to the story, I recommend using 2 teaspoons of onion powder. Since most of these spices are already in powder form, you can just mix them together in an air-tight container. Lightly crush the pink peppercorns with the back of a spoon and add to the mix. 

This spice blend has a slight spicy tang and has a pleasant sweet and smoky flavour.



Dulse is a dried seaweed grown on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. I purchased my bottle of dulse from Halifax while I was there for a work conference. It tastes of the sea - salty and is a good addition to spice blends, replacing salt.     

There is a large diaspora of Koreans in Toronto, and we get to enjoy authentic Korean food here, hence the natural addition of Korean red chili peppers in this blend.     

This Red spice is good on roast chicken, pork or fish. Let it colour your upcoming celebration roast!

About Me


Hi Foodies of the Internet! 

Welcome to Anita's Spicy Column, a personal spice diary where I document my experiments with spice blends, share my experiences of cooking and baking with spice, and tell stories of my spicy life! I am a social scientist by profession, and a university lecturer based in Toronto, Canada. 



I have built for myself a grand wall of spice in my living room and it serves as my reservoir of inspiration and escape. I have my work desk just a stone throw away from this wall of spice, a very strategic move by me I must say. 

Every time I look up from my computer to take a breather, I glance over to my spice collection and it somehow relaxes and recharges me. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m crazy about all things spice. Each spice tells a story of its origin, travel and purpose. 

The humble peppercorn that is in every kitchen was first grown off India’s Malabar coast. It was used as a form of currency and was traded for gold. This fascinates me. 

Every new spice that I encounter, I would purchase a small amount to taste and learn.   

Spice is a gift that we’ve been given and I’m more than excited to be able to share this gift with everyone! 

Date: 9 Aug 2018

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I share hoping that everyone will have a good time but your experience may differ from mine. I love to know how you enjoyed yourself or if you didn't.

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