Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spices of Singapore 15.7.2011

Singapore loves its curries, and for that matter, so do I. And while the Indian ethnic group makes up of about nine percent of Singapore -- a considerably small percentage -- the rich mélange of spices, ingredients and textures has long permeated the island, the country’s multicultural society and rightfully so.
Singapore post issued a set of stamps featuring spices viz Tamarind, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Coriander and star Anise on 15th July 2011. Spices were considered as valuable as gold in the 19th century.
Tamarind comes from the elongated velvety pod of the tamarind tree. The pod contains shiny black seeds enclosed in a sticky pulp. The sweet and sour juice extracted from the pulp is widely used to prepare local delights. The aromatic Cinnamon is obtained from the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree, a small evergreen tree that can grow to about 1om tall. After the bark is harvested, it must be processed immediately while it is still wet. Turmeric is derived from the rhizome of the Turmeric plant. The rhizome is harvested and ground to fine deep orange-yellow power, which is a key ingredient in curries. Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. Coriander is native to southern Europe and North Africa to southwestern Asia. It is a soft, hairless plant growing to 50 centimetres (20 in) tall. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. Illicium verum, commonly called Star anise, star aniseed, or Chinese star anise, is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavour, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening.

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