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Blooming — the heating of spices in fat — draws out and extends the spice flavor to spread throughout a dish. Blooming is most often done at the start of the cooking process (a key difference from Tempering) because, once infused in oil, the spice flavors more easily permeate a dish as it cooks.

To bloom spices in fat, first consider which fat you’ll use: coconut oil, ghee,olive oil, peanut oil, butter, lard, or a neutral oil like refined vegetable oil will all showcase the flavor and aroma of the spices a little differently. Is the flavor of the fat itself essential to the cuisine or dish that you’re cooking? Should it complement specific spices or other ingredients? Add a generous amount of the fat to a skillet or saucepan, then add the spices. Over very low heat and stirring occasionally, cook until the fat is fragrant and the spices have softened and turned slightly darker in color. Then add other ingredients or put the flavored fat aside to use later in your cooking process.



In a deep pan over very low heat, bloom about1⁄2 teaspoon smoked pimentón paprika in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil has turned red, add spinach and salt and saute until the spinach is just cooked.


Gently heat olive oil in a deep pan with wild mountain cumin, smoked pimentón paprika, and silk chili until fragrant. Add a chopped onion, minced garlic, and a can of crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, then crack a few eggs into the sauce. Cover and simmer until the eggs are set. Garnish with fresh herbs and eat with crusty bread.

Why it works: Bloomed spices create a robust base for tomato sauce dishes like shakshuka or ratatouille that support other intensely flavorful ingredients.


how do we compare? Supermarket Icon Supermarket Fair Trade Icon Fair Trade
Heirloom Spices Yes No No
Fair Prices for Farmers Yes No Depends on global commodity price
Time in Storage None. We import spices at harvest Up to 10 years At least 1 year
Flavor Profile Intense & fresh Stale & bland Inconsistent
Knows Farmers Names Yes No Unlikely
Customer Service Fast responses from real people! No There might be a 1-800 number?