Indian food could rightly be considered the Mack Daddy of the culinary world. Certainly other cuisines rival it, but none surpasses it thanks to the region's bounty of spices. The Indian subcontinent sags with them--turmeric, cardamom, cumin, peppercorn, cinnamon, anise, and ginger, to name just a few. Sure, India also has coconuts and bananas, fresh paneer and yogurt, flatbreads and rotis. But spices are what make this cuisine truly come alive.
Eve M. Tai Cardamom almond cookie
While sophisticated spice blends are evident in many (all?) Indian dishes and teas, they don't seem to fare as well in Indian desserts. The cardamom in gulab jamun or the saffron in kheer, for example, can get lost in gobs of sugar, honey, or condensed milk. Delicious as these treats are, my tooth enamel can get rubbed raw by all that sugar.
Travelers Tea Company (501 E. Pine St.) has forged a new route, combining India's ancient spice traditions with modern America's favorite cookies such as chocolate chip and oatmeal. A subtle but delicious cookie is the cardamom almond, a hearty little treat fashioned from organic flour and laced with freshly ground cardamom, planted with a whole almond on top.
|Eve M. Tai|
|Date and almond cookie.|
The coolest cookie may be the Travelers chocolate-chip cookie, prepared with cashews and a masala spice mix. The spices dress up the dark chocolate bits the way a diamond pendant fires up a little black dress. If you're a true spiceaholic, enjoy this and any other Travelers cookie with their signature spicy chai.