The All About Food Telelink group was treated to something special recently, when Ian “Herbie” Hemphill joined volunteer facilitator Tony Broun and his group of food lovers for a chat about all things herbs and spices.
Ian, who is a chef and also runs his own herb and spice business, spoke to the group about his experiences in the food world, and also took questions from the group of food lovers about how they can get the best out of herbs and spices in their kitchen.
Popular topics during the hour-long discussion included the difference between a herb and a spice and how cooks should best store their herbs and spices at home.
“The herb is the leafy part of the plant, but a spice can come from any other part of the plant, for instance buds, cloves, bark, berries or roots. Spices can also come from herb plants,” Ian said.
“In airtight packaging is the best way to store spices. It’s important to squeeze as much air out of the pouch before you zip it shut, then you protect it from extremes of heat and humidity,” he said.
Ian also spoke about how blends of herbs and spices, like the ones made by Herbie’s Spices, can make cooking more accessible for people who are blind or have low vision by eliminating the need to identify individual ingredients.
“We grind a number of the spices we have, and make over 100 spice blends. Rather than having to blend a dozen spices together we make a blend for every occasion ready to go,” Ian said.
Vision Australia’s Telelink groups are an important social and support outlet for people who are blind or have low vision. Groups cater for a vast range of interests and age groups, with each group facilitated by a trained volunteer.