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Old 07.06.2010, 16:14
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Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

My sister went to Syria some months ago and brought me two bags of spices. While she was quite sure that the yellow one is curry, she didn't know what the redish one is. I am ready to experiment a little bit, but I would be thankful if someone could tell me which spices I have and maybe give me some tips about how to use them. I don't know if the photo is clear enough, but this is the best photo I could make.

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Old 07.06.2010, 16:20
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Re: Misterious spices

Have you already tried selling it on Langstrasse?
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:21
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Re: Misterious spices

The first one does look like a type of curry. Curry is a generic name used for any mixture of spices - this could be turmeric, though I doubt it is because of the darker color.
The second looks like saffron - but that's a whole lot of saffron. Saffron is very expensive and to be used very sparsely! Just 1-2 flakes per dish! So, in case that IS saffron, it'll last you years.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:21
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Re: Misterious spices

Smelling the two, I sense Turmeric and Saffron.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:21
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Re: Misterious spices

The red one looks like saffron, drop some in some milk, if it turns yellow, that's what it is. The yellow would probably be turmeric, definitely not curry.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:23
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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My sister went to Syria some months ago and brought me two bags of spices. While she was quite sure that the yellow one is curry, she didn't know what the redish one is. I am ready to experiment a little bit, but I would be thankful if someone could tell me which spices I have and maybe give me some tips about how to use them. I don't know if the photo is clear enough, but this is the best photo I could make.
Since you are in Basel, I bravely volunteer to be the first one to taste your dishes!
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:24
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

Can your sister simply taste them? Or is she scared?
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:26
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

Lucky you as I believe that, pound for pound, saffron is as costly as gold! Just doesn't look quite so good on your finger though.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:31
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

زعفران =Saffron
كاري =Curry
is that what is written on them?
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:32
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

It looks quite like Saffron, and it's a huge quantity of it!

I don't think there Saffron cultivations in Syria...

But maybe it's imported, so i bet it costed a lot more than the already high price.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:33
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

The handwriting is poor but (and this is a guess) the arabic seems to say aasfur baladiyye which means wild/country style safflower or safron. The two are not the same of course and the "baladiyye" which means "wild" tells me that it's "bastard saffron" or safflower and not the real deal. Keep in mind that while my Arabic is OK, my spice knowledge is poor
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:33
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

My guess.. Heroin and Marijuana

Do I win an Ipad?

CK

Last edited by CheesyKiwi; 07.06.2010 at 16:37. Reason: Original comment was worse.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:37
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

Why to try....Just throw it - atleast will not cause u any harm.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:43
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

The curry thing might also be plain Kurkuma, which is a main ingredient of the standard yellow curry powder. The arabs often sell that as curry, at least in Israel. The red stuff is sold as Safran, but isn' Safran of course, but some red saw-dust like stuff with hardly any own flavour. If they however sell yellow powder as Safran, then it's usually Kurkuma...
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  #15  
Old 07.06.2010, 16:43
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

Yeah, I think it's wild safflower like this:

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Old 07.06.2010, 16:46
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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The handwriting is poor but (and this is a guess) the arabic seems to say aasfur baladiyye which means wild/country style safflower or safron. The two are not the same of course and the "baladiyye" which means "wild" tells me that it's "bastard saffron" or safflower and not the real deal.
at least they are honest if it indeed states safflower. A friend of mine just came back from Egypt with a huge bag clearly labelled as SAFFRON. Didn't even look anything like it and a quick smell test confirmed that it was turmeric, of course.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:51
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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Can your sister simply taste them? Or is she scared?
My sister lives in Spain and she is not here right now.

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زعفران =Saffron
كاري =Curry
is that what is written on them?
I don't speak arabic, so you should guess what it says on the bags by the photo.

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The red one looks like saffron, drop some in some milk, if it turns yellow, that's what it is. The yellow would probably be turmeric, definitely not curry.
Yes, the milk turns yellow, but I have bought saffron here in Switzerland and it doesn't look the same because it's red. This one I got is a mix of yellow and red. I took another photo where you all can see it better.
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:51
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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كاري =Curry
is that what is written on them?
I would read that as mem-alef-some unknown dot-yud
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:53
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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My sister lives in Spain and she is not here right now.
Ah, I misread . . . so it was a present for you.

So . . . why can't YOU simply try them?
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Old 07.06.2010, 16:53
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Re: Mysterious spices: can anyone identify them?

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at least they are honest if it indeed states safflower. A friend of mine just came back from Egypt with a huge bag clearly labelled as SAFFRON. Didn't even look anything like it and a quick smell test confirmed that it was turmeric, of course.
Yeah Egypt hehe. To give the theiving bastards the benefit of the doubt, the arabic for Turmeric/Kurkuma is 'aqda safra, so it's not a huge leap to just writing safron. But no, they were probably just out to scam a tourist.
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