Discoveries at the Jungle: Seasoned Pioneers Seasonings from the UK, JFC Furikake Seasonings from Japan, and Ajishima Rice Seasonings from China

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Welcome to Discoveries at the Jungle, where each month we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting, flavorful, and sometimes bizarre items Jungle Jim’s has to offer. This month, we’re featuring spices from around the world! Some past focuses this year have been coffee, tea, snacks, pasta, candy, cookies, condiments, and so much more! If you missed any of those those posts, or want to revisit them, make sure you go back and give them a read.

Before we start this journey, let’s talk a little about what constitutes a “spice.” Basically a spice is a seed, fruit, root, or other plant substance primarily used for flavoring, coloring, or preserving food. They are not herbs, which are leaves, flowers, or stems from plants used for flavoring or as a garnish. Now you know the difference!

Early on (we’re talking 2000 BC) cinnamon and black pepper were the first spices to be used and traded in South Asia and the Middle East. The Egyptians used it in their mummification process, and in 1000 BC the China, Korea and India regions were using spices and herbs for medicinal purposes. Spices have been around for a very long time, indeed.

As history moved on, spices became a delicacy for royalty and the rich. This is what drove the spice trade to grow to such epic proportions, transforming from land caravans transporting spices over vast distances to ships taking them to different continents. Today India, Bangladesh, and Turkey lead the world in spice production. India alone produces 1.5 million tonnes of spices a year!

At Jungle Jim’s International Market we pride ourselves for being able to bring you products from around the globe, and that certainly is the same for spices. While you can find a selection of spices in our American Grocery section at the front of both stores, we invite you to go on a little adventure in our International Department to discover a world of spices! You can often find better deals, bulk spices, a wider variety, and fresh spices from around the world. Make sure you check out the locations of our featured spices at the bottom of each post so you can use those locations to help you navigate your own discoveries!

Seasoned Pioneers Seasonings – United Kingdom

​Seasoned Pioneers was founded in 1999 in the UK with the goal of helping create seasonings from world cuisines. They specialize in very hard to find spices like Harissa and Kaffir Lime Leaves, but their product lines cross over multiple nationalities and cultures. If you’re looking for some unique spices you don’t need to go any further than here!

Where you can find these: Fairfield: Orange 26 // Eastgate: Yellow 7

​Did you know? Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice, pound for pound, and is grown in Iran, India and Mexico. It is used for its flavour but also the colour it adds to dishes.

JFC Furikake Seasonings – Japan
​Furikake is a dry Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on top of cooked rice, vegetables, and fish. It typically consists of a mixture of dried fish, sesame seeds, chopped seaweed, sugar,  and salt. These seasonings can spice up your rice dish or fish in a traditional Japanese fashion – simple and flavorful.

Where you can find these: Fairfield: Orange 3 // Eastgate: Yellow 2

​Did you know? Peppercorns date back to 4th century BC! For more than 4,000 years, humans have been using peppercorns to spice up their favorite food dishes!

Ajishima Rice Seasonings – China
​Ajishima takes traditional Japanese rice seasonings and puts their own Chinese spin on them. These seasonings go great on sushi, noodles, vegetables, and (of course) rice! 

Where you can find these: Fairfield: Orange 3 // Eastgate: Yellow 4

​Did you know? Chinese Five Spice is a traditional blend, named not after the number of ingredients but after the five flavors (sour, bitter, salty, sweet, pungent).

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