Upgrade your baked goods!
“Sugar & Spice and all things nice” goes the famous nursery rhyme,
which comes to mind when it is baking season. Nothing like a fresh
pie or cobbler coming out of the oven to wake up the taste buds!
Apple Spice is akin to our Pumpkin Spice as they share many of
the same ingredients, but the emphasis leans very differently for
each blend. This blend features more Ceylon Cinnamon and brings
in Cardamom and Mace, which are our favorite spices to pair with
all things apple. Not only for sweets, but this blend also makes a great glaze
that pairs well with pork chops and a classic baked ham!
Spice Quality Matters!
As with all of the ingredients we utilize in our products,
the spices we source for Apple Spice are no exception!
Many herbs, seeds, and peppers can be grown in a variety of climates
and there are many options in the market to source those ingredients.
Most spices, however, have very specific climates that they are
indigenous to with many having a clear region that produces the
highest quality product.
We at Rae&Ryan’s spare no expense to source the highest quality
version of each spice from the region most renown for producing it.
What is Apple Spice?
Cinnamon is the bark of the Cinnamomum Verum or Cinnamomum Cassia trees.
These two main classes of Cinnamon are strikingly different when tried side by side.
Ceylon has a mild and delicate flavor that is much sweeter in application without
any bitter notes. Cassia has a much higher oil content and can be quite pungent
which helps it really cut through in a recipe, but poor quality Cassia can
be overpowering and bitter.
We have expertly blended both Ceylon and Cassia in this spice blend to bring you
a full spectrum flavor that has the sweet and subtle notes of Ceylon as well as
the higher octane boldness of Cassia!
Cinnamon trees require 3-5 years from planting before they can have their bark harvested,
which can be done twice a year during the rainy season, but are not considered mature
until 15 years old. Much like the coffee and chocolate industries, many spices like, Cinnamon,
are a commodity that are harvested by hand and considered a skilled labor.
Incorrectly harvesting the bark can kill the tree and ruin future crops.
In addition, the highest quality Cinnamon is harvested from the
trunk of the tree, with a lesser quality coming from the branches.
Ceylon Cinnamon(Cinnamomum Verum)
is what is considered “True Cinnamon”, but is often not the cinnamon
that most Americans are familiar with. Ceylon Cinnamon is a thin and
brittle bark that when rolled into sticks looks like many fine layers
of parchment paper. Ceylon Cinnamon sticks have 0.5% to 2% essential
oils made up of mostly cinnamic aldehyde.
The varying amounts of oil depends on where the cinnamon sticks
were grown which is why we source our Ceylon Cinnamon from
its true source, Ceylon! The Island of Ceylon is now known as
Sri Lanki and is the undisputed king of Cinnamon producers!
Cassia Cinnamon(Cinnamomum Cassia)
is not “fake” cinnamon as opposed to the “true cinnamon” of Ceylon,
but it is a cousin of the original Ceylon Cinnamon.
Both trees are in the Laurel Family and share many of the same
genetics and flavor compounds.
Cassia is a much thicker bark that rolls up into a single dense layer
rather than many thin parchment pieces. Ceylon cinnamon is easy to
crumble, but Cassia requires a lot of force to snap in half.
The main whole cinnamon stick sold in American grocery stores is
Cassia. There are many cheap and poorly produced varieties of
Cassia in the market, but there are also some excellent types
of Cassia that are outstanding, if you know where to look!
Cassia Cinnamon has an essential oil content of 0.9% to 7%
which is why we source our Cassia from Vietnam which is renowned
for an exceptional Cassia quality. The grade of Cassia we purchase
is guaranteed to have a minimum of 5% volatile oil content!
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
We source an organic and non-irradiated ginger which we peel,
slice, and dry in-house for the most potent product possible.
Slicing and drying both ginger and garlic is truly a tedious
labor of love!
Allspice (Pimenta dioica)
We source our Allspice exclusively from Jamaica!
There is no other source on the planet more esteemed
for the quality of Allspice berries that are
produced than in Jamaica. Many other companies
will shortcut their recipes with Mexican Allspice
to save money, but that is an inferior product.
Mexico imports many great foods, especially peppers,
but Allspice is not one of them.
Jamaican Allspice is cultivated and farmed on the island
with much care being given to the crop and its production.
The berries are hand-picked, tend to be more uniform in size
then wild berries, and have a higher concentration of volatile
oils which is between 4 and 5 percent.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Cardamom is an herbaceous, perennial plant in the ginger family,
that is native to southern India. Cardamom plays a wonderful
role in many Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisines.
One of the most exotic and expensive spices, cardamom sells
for about $30 per pound. Cardamom ranks third in most expensive
spices with Saffron and Vanilla holding the first two spots.
The highest grade of Cardamom pods are green and these pods
contain small black seeds that are the flavor of legends.
The whole pods work well in mulling spices and teas, but for
cooking purposes, we only use the seeds.
A little before World War 1 a German coffee planter by the
name of Oscar Majus Klöffer brought Cardamom to Guatemala
and by the year 2000 Guatemala had become the world’s
foremost producer with India in a close second. We source
our Cardamom from Guatemala where the fertile tropical soils
produce a fresh and potent spice pod.
Nutmeg & Mace (Myristica fragrans)
|Nutmeg seeds with mace removed||Nutmeg and Mace blades||Mace blades|
Nutmeg is the seed of a fruiting tree named Myristica fragrans.
The seeds are dried slowly and best used by grinding the seed fresh per
application. Like many spices, nutmeg will start to lose potency after
being ground. Nutmeg is a staple spice in many baked goods and confections,
but is also seen in savory foods. Italian pasta sauces, sausage, and curry
dishes all use nutmeg as well. Nutmeg is made up of 6.5% to 16% essential
oil, made up of mysristica, which is a pale yellow color. When pressed,
whole nutmegs make nutmeg butter, or oil of mace, that is made up of 24%
to 30% essential oil. We source our Nutmeg from both India and Indonesia
depending on the rainfall for the year and which region was able to
produce a better crop.
Mace is the red strings that grow around the Nutmeg seed and it is very
rare for one plant to produce two spices or culinary products. Another
example is the plant cilantro which produces a fresh herb, but the seed
of that plant is the spice coriander. Both have completely different
flavor profiles, but come from the same plant. Likewise, Nutmeg and Mace
are intertwined, quite literally, but they do have a similar flavor.
Mace is sweeter and more delicate where nutmeg is more pungent and biting.
I see these flavors as two sides of a coin, they compliment each other
very nicely. Our Pumpkin spice uses Nutmeg, but not mace because the
heavy-hitting cinnamon drowns it out. In our Apple Spice however, the
cinnamon is much more gentle and leaves room for Mace to shine. Mace
and Cardamom together are one of my favorite flavor combos!
We source both our Mace and Nutmeg from either India or Indonesia
depending on the rainfall and who was able to produce a better crop
from year to year.
All of our products come vacuum sealed in a non-reactive and food-safe Mylar bag with a tamper-evident and heat-sealed tear-away strip. The Mylar bag features a reusable zipper closure for ease of use and storage which eliminates needing to transfer the product to another container. These bags are light, oxygen, and odor-blocking for maximum protection from environmental factors that cause oxidation and rapid aging of volatile oils and flavor compounds. All of our products are sealed in these Mylar bags the day they are batched to ensure the best preservation of freshness and quality possible. Each product will also contain a 3-gram silica gel Tyvek desiccant packet to help absorb any moisture and oxygen in the bag over the course of its use. The desiccant packets are FDA approved as pharmaceutical/food grade and 100% non-toxic. We strongly encourage you to press all air out of the bag after each use before zipping close and to store bags in a cool place away from direct sunlight or any heat sources, such as an oven or microwave.
-This is what we believe in, it’s why we are here-
In this industry, all the big players in the market have to produce at such large volumes in order to be able to anticipate the demand of the market that product is often stockpiled and sitting around waiting for distribution. “It’ll always be available and it’s always on the shelf” is something you can count on. The downside is that when you go shopping and buy a jar of seasoning from any major brand in a grocery store the odds are very high that the product you picked up was produced a long, long time ago in a factory far away.
I think we can all relate to what an old can of coffee grounds or a week old bottle of wine tastes like after it has been sitting around too long. It may have been good, even great, once… but time ages everyone and everything, sometimes for better, but usually for worse.
Quality and Freshness are the primary goals that we at Rae&Ryan’s Gourmet Foods are looking to excel at, well besides creating new and unique flavors that will knock your socks off! We do not subscribe to the concept of compromising quality for the gains of quantity. We are not trying to make the fastest buck possible and get out before it all falls apart. We are working every day to create a brand you can trust and rely on to be the best and never compromise.
That sounds good and well, but what does that actually mean you say? Well that means that we are as close to the source of the ingredients as possible so we know how old they are. A select few ingredients we grow ourselves here at the homestead and it doesn’t get fresher than that. The rest we source fresh/raw and organic as much as possible which gets processed and dried on-site. The ingredients we can’t grow or source fresh we source already dried from only the highest of high-quality suppliers who also believe in our philosophy of quality over quantity.
What this means for you as the consumer is that you are guaranteed to receive product that was produced within the last month or less, often less. Some of our less common products or large volume orders are made to order and shipped within three days. When you open a vacuum-sealed pouch of seasoning from Rae&Ryan’s your nose will know that what you hold in your hand has not been sitting in a hot factory, a flatbed truck or some lonely shelf for months or years. Your taste buds will confirm that what you have is the freshest and most potent seasoning available, short of going to your Grandma’s house.
Stale and bland food doesn’t make any more sense than carrying a dull pocket knife or walking around with your shoe laces untied. I think we can all agree that:
Life’s too Short for Flavorless Food!
Using our Apple Spice in your favorite recipes is easy, simply add up the total volume of individual spices called for in a recipe and use that much Apple spice!
Check out our recipes!
|Apple Crisp||Apple Popovers|
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