How the 3rd Wave Spice Revolution is Raising the Bar on Spices

To most consumers, spices are synonymous with powdery, flavourless and lacklustre ingredients. Most people do not know what real spices should taste and smell like nor where they come from or who actually makes them. It’s no surprise that spices are some of the most overlooked elements of cooking even though, as many chefs will tell you, spices are central to the world’s most ancient cuisines and key to eating well.


Historically, spices were considered so rare and valuable that they were used as currency and sought after by the Greeks, Romans, Chinese, Arabs, Italians and British explorers who set up far reaching spice trade routes around the world. Spices were in such demand that they even sparked a war between the Portuguese and Dutch in the 17th century.


Fast forward to today, where the food industry has commoditised spices through industrialised mass production and layers of wholesalers and manufacturers in between farmers in developing countries and the end consumer in the West. This opaque supply chain and the clear prioritisation of profits over quality mean that spices are often a shadow of their former selves. Seasoning products are often chemically treated, adulterated and bulked up with cheap fillers, preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, gluten, soy, MSG, peanut shells and anti-caking agents. The uncomfortable truth is that conventional spices cynically sold by conglomerates the world over are practically stale by the time they reach our kitchens and packed with nasties, having lost much of their original flavour and traceability. The fake oregano scandal in Australia a few years ago is a case in point.


Enter Sprinkle, a recently launched, Melbourne-based challenger brand. Sprinkle is an e-commerce startup and independent maker of premium artisan spice blends. Its founders, Israeli - Australian couple, Rachel and Daniel, were inspired by the magic and history of Tel-Aviv’s Levinsky market in Israel, one of the world’s leading spice markets that brings together cuisines and cultures from all around the world. Having grown up in Israel, where cooking with spices is a way of life, Rachel wanted to introduce busy Australian home cooks to the magic of spices and inspire them to eat well and explore diverse flavours in a fun and engaging way.

 

 

In recent years, demand for exotic ingredients (like za’atar, sumac and preserved lemons) has been on the rise thanks to celebrity chefs like Yotam Ottolenghi who have popularised modern Middle Eastern cuisine.

Similar to the “third wave” movement which brought us craft beer, single origin coffee and bean to bar chocolate and became a huge trend globally, Sprinkle’s founders want to raise the bar on spices and empower Australian home cooks to access top quality spices in everyday cooking. They want to bring authentic, unusual spice blends to a wider audience and make them more accessible and mainstream.

“We’re on a mission to revolutionise the Australian spice industry by increasing consumers’ awareness and understanding of spices. We believe that, in the future, spices will return to their former glory as consumers demand more from those who purvey them. Sprinkle is all about big flavours with nothing to hide - all products are pure and natural. We don’t allow any preservatives, anti-caking agents, fillers, MSG, refined sugar, artificial flavours or artificial colours whatsoever. We simply don’t take shortcuts.” said Rachel, Sprinkle’s Co-Founder.


The Australian condiments industry is nowadays dominated by a handful of conglomerates and retailers who are selling mass produced, homogenous, white-labelled, inferior products.

 

woman smelling spices at small batch spice factory

 

Sprinkle philosophy is to take ownership of the entire manufacturing process - they search far and wide to source over 100 hard to find, fresh spices. They use traditional blending techniques and roast, grind and blend their products themselves in small batches, using their own proprietary recipes, in their craft spice factory in Melbourne. They bottle their blends quickly once they are mixed, in quality recyclable glass jars. The products are vacuum sealed and kept in a temperature and humidity controlled environment.

“Sprinkle is a digital-first direct-to-consumer brand. We don’t have an outsourced model, expensive retail shops and unnecessary middlemen and excessive overheads. For us it’s all about establishing a direct relationship with our customers, bringing manufacturing back to Australia, creating jobs in a new digital economy and dispensing with the old retail model to ultimately benefit the consumer.” noted Daniel.

Sprinkle’s globally-inspired product collection draws on unusual spice blends and creative flavour combinations curated over the last ten years by Daniel and Rachel while living and travelling around the world. Their range includes organic single origin spices and spice blends inspired by Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean, North & South American, Australian and Asian influences.

 To read more about our story click here: https://sprinklespices.com.au/pages/our-story.


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Tags: News, Spices