Burlap & Barrel Grains of Paradise $12.95

Co-founders Ethan Frisch and Ori Zohar began Burlap & Barrel—one of the U.S.‘s pioneering single-origin spice companies—in 2017 after coming across wild cumin in the remote mountains of Afghanistan.

Now the company partners with small farmers from Turkey to Tanzania to source ingredients that range from mint grown on the Euphrates River to cinnamon from Zanzibar. These smallholder farmers cultivate their crops using traditional techniques, often ones passed down from the generations before them.

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At its simplest, it’s a wonderful way to enhance your typical black pepper: Toss a few grains into your grinder and enjoy a much more layered way to season. Add whole or ground to stews and sauces. A pinch will bring out the sweetness and add a complex kick to baked goods—especially in banana bread or ones with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also grind it and blend with chili, turmeric, cumin and paprika for a homemade Ethiopian berbere spice blend.

Kitchen Notes

We especially love it in this Butterscotch Pudding recipe: In a large saucepan over medium-high, combine 6 tablespoons salted butter (cut into 6 pieces) and 1¼ cups packed light brown sugar. Cook, stirring, until vigorously bubbling, then cook for another 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add ½ cup water and stir until the sugar dissolves. In a large bowl, whisk 4 large egg yolks, ⅓ cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon Burlap & Barrel Grains of Paradise (finely ground), ½ teaspoon ground ginger and ½ teaspoon kosher salt until well combined, then whisk in 3 cups whole milk. Whisk this mixture into the butter-sugar mixture in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium, whisking constantly, and cook until fully thickened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pudding to a medium bowl, press kitchen parchment directly against the surface and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days. Serve topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with additional Burlap & Barrel Grains of Paradise (finely ground).

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