Alamelu Vairavan, a Whitefish Bay resident, is an author and culinary instructor. Alamelu has a passion for educating the public about the use of spices and legumes in preparing healthy and tasty foods. She is also interested in educating the public about the growing research that points to the enormous health benefits of spices in preventing many diseases. Her mission is to enrich people's culinary experience and to inspire them to discover that cooking and sharing healthful foods can be an especially joyful experience.
Visit Alamelu's web site, CurryOnWheels.com.
You have patiently waited several weeks to determine what the queen of spice is! Well, here is the answer: Cardamom! This spice, also referred to as the “Grains of Paradise”, is known to man since ancient times. In India some people even carry tiny silver boxes of cardamom seeds as a mouth freshener. After dinner cardamom is chewed to clean the palate. Cardamom adds an appealing flavor to foods and aids in digestion.
Guess what spice is considered the king of all spices? It is "Black Pepper". According to the history of spices, black pepper was a highly valued spice in Europe, and in 1498 Vasco da Gama, a Portuguese explorer, went on a long sea-voyage to India primarily in search of pepper! Until he discovered a sea route to India, the spice was brought to Europe by land through Arab traders who kept the land route a secret. In the 15th century, the West valued pepper as much as gold. Demand was huge and the supply was short. Today pepper is freely available around the world and is almost used in every cuisine. It is rightly known as the "king of spices".
“Squeezing every penny for love”, was the heading of an article that appeared in The New York Times on Feb. 14, 2009. It began as follows:
The Whitefish Bay library means a lot to me and my family. When my children were growing up in Whitefish Bay, we used the library often. When the library was remodeled and opened a few years ago, my cookbook co-author Dr. Patricia Marquardt and I were invited to be featured authors during the opening ceremony. We felt honored and we met many residents from the community. We cooked a variety of foods prepared from our cook book for tasting. It was a memorable afternoon.