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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Local Partner Spotlight | Deepa Patke from Aromatic Spice Blends

Since opening in 2012, Bazaar Spices has partnered with Deepa Patke of Aromatic Spice Blends to create some of the wonderful and worldly spice blends that we feature at our shop, from the warming Garam Masala to the piquant Ancho Guajillo Mole.

Bazaar Spices has been able to provide an opportunity for Deepa to not only retail her products, but share her knowledge of spices and their many beneficial effects on the body. Deepa has hosted many classes for us from her very popular Indian Cooking classes to her talks on Spices and Health: A life long waltz. An Immunologist by training, her knowledge in the area of spices and its effects on the body is impressive.

While taking a break from her career to be a stay-at-home mom, she started offering up her spice blends that are crafted using the best freshly ground organic spices. Everything at Aromatic Spice Blends from the seasonings to the label art on their spice packets is done by hand. During the month of July stop by and pick up a few blends and support another local DC maker!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Top Five Summer Pickling Tips from Oh! Pickles

We recently caught up with Arondo Holmes of Oh! Pickles, one of DC's finest pickling companies, and we had a chance to pick his brain for his top pickling tips and tricks to help us make the most of our summer garden bounties. 

Arondo Holmes of Oh! Pickles Top Pickling Tips

TIP #1: 
If you are pickling cucumbers, make sure that the cucumbers are thoroughly chilled first. If you're using brine, it is best to use a brine that is not too hot. Bring the brine mix to a boil then let cool slightly. Hot, but not boiling is key when you pour it on the cucumbers. The cold of the cucumbers will neutralize the temperature of the brine yielding a crunchier cucumber. 

TIP #2: 
Some really great spices to use in pickling are the Four Peppercorn blends. The pink, green, and black peppercorns help bring out a rich flavor. For a sour pickle, add a bit of dill. For pickled beets, add some sugar. For okra, add some garlic. The higher the quality the spice, the less you have to use and the deeper the flavor. 

TIP #3: 
If you're a novice just beginning your pickling journey, start with a New York Deli Half Sour. It takes a day and a half to make. Then, move on to the Full Sour Deli Pickle

TIP #4
Towards the end of summer, some of the best things to pickle are hot peppers, okra, beets, and cucumbers. As fall approaches, a really unique vegetable to pickle is Eggplant

TIP #5
There are many who want to can pickles. However, heat destroys the texture of the pickle when you can it, especially for whole sour pickles. My recommendation is to approach pickling via a water-batch method, not the pressure cooker method. Instead of canning pickles, opt for refrigerator-style or fermenting, allowing the pickles to get more sour over time.

Make sure you're not getting cucumbers coated with wax at traditional grocery stores. Buy local  from a farmer, grow your own, or verify that the pickles haven't been coated with wax. Wax is sprayed on cucumbers to give the cucumber a cleaner color, but wax is a barrier to the pickling process. 

Thanks to Arondo of Oh! Pickles for these stellar end of summer pickling tips! 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Celebrate Independence Day by Supporting A Small Business

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to support a small business. What do we mean by this? We mean that entrepreneurs that start a small business venture outside of the box to become independent leaders of their lives, taking risks to be creative and fulfill their purpose or dream.

Much like the founders of this country, small business owners take a chance and invest a great deal to transition an idea to an actual product or service. Along the way, never knowing what the future holds, on a journey that would be unnerving to many.

It is said that for every dollar that is spent at a small business 68 cents returns to the community and for a national chain only 43 cents is returned! We are grateful to be part of the The Made in DC Program that supports + promotes the city's designers, producers, manufacturers and makers.
At Bazaar Spices we do our best to not only be active members of the local community, but also support a number of local makers from Aromatic Spice Blends, Swapples'Chups, OdeSkiz Fernando, Jonathan Bardzik, Jenny Holm, and Dahlia Nutrition & Wellness by retailing or demonstrating their products at our shops, but also supporting many other professionals such as SKC Marketing, Grassfed Media, Capital Construction Group and many others.

Each week this month, we will be highlighting how our small business provides opportunities for so many other local businesses, artisans and makers. Follow us on our journey!