Lior Lev Sercaz joins our editors to talk about where he gets inspiration for his spice blends.
Diana’s favorite spice is Aleppo pepper. It has a mild, fruity heat, whether it’s used during the cooking or sprinkled over a dish at the end. Try using whenever crushed red pepper flakes are called for.
Chris loves to use spices and spice blends usually considered “savory” in his baked treats, for instance, he has incorporated ras el hanout into his much-loved chocolate chip cookies.
Lior Lev Sercarz is the owner of La Boite Biscuits and Spices in NYC, and he supplies spices to some of the most renowned chefs in the United States. He’s the author of The Spice Companion and Mastering Spice (the latter of which Chris reviews in our latest issue.)
Some of his spice blends that we discuss (and taste!) in this episode are
Luberon, a blend of lavender, basil, and fennel, Lior’s take on herbes de Provence.
Ana, named for Boston chef Ana Sortun. A blend of sumac, rose petals, and sesame, we comment that it smells like the inside of Sofra, the bakery-cafe Ana co-owns.
Apollonia, named for Apollonia Poilane, the 3rd generation of the Poilane bakery empire. She is a chocolate aficianao, so Lior’s blend uses cocoa, orange blossom, and pepper. Despite the “sweet” nature of this spice blend, it’s just as good in savory applications.
If you want to learn more about the individual spices that go into Lior’s blends, check out his single spices.