Five Spice Throughout History

August 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Food

This article was written by Phin Upham

Five spice is a combination of five Asian ingredients typically used in the kitchens of Middle Eastern and Asian cooks. Five spice is best when it is used with fatty meats, like pork or goose. It’s also a good rub for chicken, and can be added to fried foods for a bit of extra flavor in the dish. It’s most popular in the restaurant setting, but does find a place in gourmet cooking at home. Many families make their own variations on five spice, typically producing something akin to seasoned salt.

Five spice is mixed according to its tradition, or background.

Chinese Tradition

Chinese five spice is a golden powder that is fragrant. It has star anise, fennel, cloves, cassia, and Sichuan pepper in it. The diner should notice the flavor of star anise the most, but five spice is used sparingly in Chinese cuisine. In traditional Chinese cooking, herbs do not stand out from one another. They blend together to form a unique taste. Five spice, therefore, compliments many dishes well.

Indian Tradition

Indian five spice is used commonly by their chefs, and has a more pronounced hotness and flavor to it than the Chinese variety. In Indian cuisine, savory is the name of the game. Indian five spice tends to have cumin, balck mustard, fennel, fenugreek and nigella all in equal proportions. The spice is also used whole, and typically not ground into a powder before serving.

About the Author: Phin Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.


Comments are closed.