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Reaching out, touching me, touching you

Updated: Sep 27, 2021


Berbere Spice mix is added today to this Saturday’s market offering.

A layered, little bit hot, little bit sweet, spice mix, popular in north east African cookery, especially Ethiopia, Berber spice mix uses the dried chile and coriander seed harvest from 6th Avenue Shala.

When we say solar dehydrated on our teas and spices, this is what we mean: the northern Chihuahuan Desert sun, and relatively low humidity, are harnessed, in ancient, traditional ways to preserve the seasonal bounty.

For the Berber Spice mix, some of the spices are dry roasted, perfuming the hacienda beautifully with aromas which linger for days.

Dried chiles and roasted spices are then ground and mixed with sweet paprika before being bottled.

The recipe, and recommended reading:

They had me at “grandmothers” and “African countries that touch the Indian Ocean”, but this beautiful book earns it’s place on my bookshelf for rich content. It combines storytelling, entering local homes (the best part of travel in my opinion), authentic home cooking recipes and exquisite photography. What’s not to love?

If I can’t travel, because of the pandemic and the bah humbug virus nailing my feet to the ground, at least I can bring tastes and smells, of places where I long to be, into the hacienda, and into the marketplace of this little trailer park town in the northern Chihuahuan desert. For that I need to brush up on my own storytelling so I can deflect the “Never heard of this” “What is it for” responses.


And there I was thinking the leopard labels would do it all for me. Silly me.

One day I will walk feet in the Indian Ocean again. Until then: Berbere Spice.


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