About 15 years ago I was a health food store manager. We used Horizon organic herbs/spices for our supplier/ source. At the time, I purchased for myself a lb of nutmeg. The nutmeg was incredibly complex, it had a rich and sweet component, and was riddled with layers of rich tastes that saturated your tastebuds. The seeds were also a rich tannish brown.
I recently came to my last nut, and thought, well, no big deal, I'll just get some more. HA! My first stop was Fresh market. I bought a bag of nutmeg that had NO flavor at all, with the exception of a very faint aroma of pepper/licorice. In addition, the seeds were dried out and very pale.
So I went back to my original source, Horizon, which is sold at my current local supermarket. To my surprise, another disapointment! Although there was more flavor, it was still somewhat flat, with mostly - again - somewhat licorice and pepper notes. Nuts also somewhat pale.
My questions are:
Do you think I just got lucky with a particular lot, one year? I believe also the nutmeg was Morrocan. But I recently read on the web that even Moroccan nutmeg is originally from Indonesia, so that can't be it.
Or, with all the over-harvesting that's going on today, are all spices just kind of a watered down version of what they used to be?
Anybody got a source they adore for spices, other than Pensey's? My suspicion is that they use the same growers that Horizon uses.
If I could convey to you how complex and rich, you wouldn't believe it. I opened up the empty bottle today to convince myself I was wrong, and the nutmeg I just bought was as good. The moment I opened up the bottle, my nose was assailed with all the odors just described, the sweetness/pepperiness/richness, etc.
I just wish now I hadn't given away so much of it!
Thanks in advance,