Tagged With: burr grinder
What do you do when one of Seattle’s premier cheese makers needs a hundred pounds of ground black pepper? Or how about when everybody’s favorite artisan salami shop needs twenty pounds of fennel cracked to just the right size?
Last week I talked about some options for grinding spices at home, but grinding the amount of spice some of our commercial clients use with a small blade grinder or a hand cranked burr grinder would take ages! Down at the World Spice Professional Division we’re just as committed to providing fresh, ground-to-order spices as our counterparts at the World Spice retail store, so we’ve come up with the perfect solution: a re-purposed espresso grinder. By using a high quality, Ditting brand, Swiss, espresso grinder, we have the ability to precisely control the coarseness of our grinds. Using a large mechanical burr grinder like this also allows us to grind large amounts of spice quickly while maintaining a nice even grind.
As you can see in the picture above, just a few months of use begins to wear down the burrs in our machine, requiring near constant resharpening and replacement. By constantly examining the results of grinding a small test run of cumin, we’re able to know just when to ship the burrs back to the factory for professional resharpening to ensure that our clients are getting the highest quality grind around!
How often do we acquire pre-ground black pepper or nearly any other spice for that matter? Never!!
Our store is bustling with spice merchants grinding spices right when folks order them. Why do we keep pure spices and our house-made blends whole until you tell us to grind them? It keeps our spices exceptionally fresh; some especially dedicated spice connoisseurs prefer to grind their spices in their kitchen, right before adding them to their recipe – now that’s fresh! Grinding a spice releases much of it’s great flavor and aroma, but more aroma in the air means less flavor in your food. Grinding spices to order also lets you request a custom grind for certain spices. Need your black pepper extra coarse for a nice steak au poivre? Sure! Need your white pepper really fine so it just disappears into a cream soup? No problem! Want us to crack some fennel for your homemade sausage? You got it!
There are many different ways to grind your spices at home. A mortar and pestle works well for most things if you don’t mind your final product being a little coarse. A special blade grinder works for a finer grind. Some folks even have their coffee grinders pulling double duty. Don’t want your spices to taste like coffee? Easy, simply grind rice or stale bread to clear out the leftover flavors. If, like me, you’ve encountered a couple of groggy mornings making curry coffee you may want to keep a separate grinder for coffee and spices. Our recommendation for a great all purpose grinder is a burr grinder. The burr grinder on the shelves at World Spice Merchants is a great model that’s hand-made right here in the United States. So go ahead and start grinding your own spices at home, there’s a reason those fancy restaurants offer you freshly ground black pepper on your soup or salad – it tastes better freshly ground! If you kitchen is void of a grinder, take advantage of our low purchase minimums and rest assured that all of your spices will be ground to order. Come back for part 2, where I’ll give you a behind the scenes look at how we grind as much as 200 pounds of spice in a day at our professional division.