The African Blue basil is an accidental hybrid of East African basil and a garden variety called dark opal. African Blue basil leaves are purple and as they mature, they fade to a dark green with purple flecks.
The African Blue basil has a clove-like taste and smell, and has a stronger flavour than regular basil. This distinct flavour makes it an excellent addition to salads, soups or cocktails where it lends a depth of flavour.
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Alligator pepper, also known as Grains of Paradise is a West African spice that is characterised by its hot, pungent and spicy flavour.which is reminiscent of a fruity cardamon pod. Alligator pepper is part of the ginger family, and is also known as grains of paradise, hepper pepper or mbongo spice.
Alligator pepper also has its' uses culturally across Africa - The Yorubas of Nigeria routinely use alligator pepper during baby naming ceremonies and other traditional festivities.
If there is one thing that's special about the alligator pepper, it has to be its' flavour! Alligator pepper has a flavour that's hot, pungent and spicy, reminiscent of a fruity cardamom. Alligator pepper is commonly used in West Africa to flavour soups, vegetables and stews, but it is versatile enough to be used to flavour lamb, chicken and beef dishes. Grilled steaks with a hint of alligator pepper are a match made in heaven. But don't just take my word for it - grab a jar of this little known spice!
Harissa Paste is a Tunisian flavouring made with chillies, blended in oil with garlic, and other spices such as cumin and caraway.
Harissa is red, fiery hot and boldly aromatic. This Tunisian hot chile sauce can be used to liven up dishes as you would any other hot sauce, it can also be used as a dip or a marinade. It brings a great depth of flavour to fish, meat, roasted vegetables, egg dishes, and soups.
The Jamaican Nutmeg is one of the most prolific spices used across the West African Coast. Known also as African Nutmeg, African Orchid Nutmeg, and Calabash Nutmeg, the Jamaican Nutmeg has a nutmeg-like flavour, albeit, slightly spicier in taste.
In Nigeria the shelled seed of the fruit, known as 'Ehuru' is sold as a spice, this is more pungent than the whole fruit and tends to be used more with meat dishes though it can also be grated and substituted for nutmeg in sweet dishes.
Traditionally, Jamaican Nutmeg is ground and used as a seasoning, but it can also be grated, and makes a great addition to soups, stews, puddings and sweet dishes.