“Inspirations Epicées” (Spicy inspirations) … When spices titillate our taste buds and arouse emotions!
To promote the know-how and quality of the creations of local producers and introduce you to what they do, we are keen to tell you about the artisanal company “Inspirations Epicées”. What’s more we think that their line of work has quite a few similarities with the world of wine! So, let’s take a closer look at these “creators of new flavours”, based in the pretty village of Crestet in Provence, who you will have the opportunity to meet as a local producer participating in the 32ndEdition of the ‘Nuit du Vin’ Wine Evening in Rasteau on 14 August.
Inspiration, creativity and quality.
“Inspirations Epicées was born of 3 passions: the love of travelling, the pleasure of cooking and a passion for medicinal and aromatic plants.”
The profession of creators of flavours does not only require creativity. Curiosity and a ‘taste for the unknown’ are also essential. “We find inspiration in our travels and encounters” explains Morguen Robert, the creator of the concept.
Just like varietals in the world of wine, there are also lots of different types of spices. “Inspirations Epicées” offers a collection of 19 blends of spices and 13 peppers from all over the world.
The two creators attach great importance to the raw materials that they use in their blends and therefore they themselves grow the saffron and 10 varieties of old roses. For the rest, they take great care in their choice of spices from producer countries such as India and Cambodia.
“We want to propose blends that cannot be purchased anywhere else. We select the best spices in the countries in which they are grown and also work directly alongside the producers, such as our suppliers of Cambodian pepper for example.”
Aoc Rasteau: What is it you like so much about spices?
M.R.: The tastes, the flavours, the colours… the way they awaken the senses. They transport us, take us on a journey and each spice makes us experience a different emotion.
Aoc R: Why do you use organic spices?
M.R.: For us it is crucial to choose spices that have not been treated with chemicals. We want to act in favour of Nature and the people who farm and harvest the produce, and all those who eat it.
Ties between spices and grapes.
As producers of spices, Morguen and Charlie have a very well-developed palate… and they like wine too!
Over and above the “terroir” aspect and the link between the different varieties of spices and the different varieties of grapes, the profession of creator of spices has similarities with that of winegrower: passion, know-how, promoting the fruit of the earth, blending, etc.
“Each creation, each blend of spices takes a great deal of work to find the best harmony, the best equilibrium.”
Aoc R: Are tasting spices and wine tasting similar? (i.e. olfactive perception, aromas, etc.)
M.R.: Yes, we think they are similar. When we taste spices we find all sorts of flavours but the most frequent are bitter, sharpness, and acid.
Aoc R: Which spice do you think is most representative of the typicity of Rasteau wines?
M.R.: I would say Kampot red pepper which develops powerful fruity aromas. Its unique taste offers sweet notes of red berries and honey.
Note for consumers… Free yourselves from preconceived ideas!
“A lot of people associate the word ‘spice’ with ‘hot’. Some are afraid of the strength of spices in a dish and think they will find the same quality in the traditional blends that they are used to eating.”
Aoc R: Who eats your spices?
M.R.: People who are interested in really discovering spices and those who already know them but are looking for new blends, new sensations and who recognise the quality of our spices, which they don’t find anywhere else. Delicatessens, restaurant owners, organic shops, etc.
Spices for ‘dummies’ – 5 things you should know as a consumer…
M.R.: “Dare to try and to cook to awaken your palate to the flavours.”
M.R.: “Dosage is very important in order to balance a dish. Each spice or plant will bring its specific medicinal properties.”
M.R.: “Give free rein to your intuitions and your creativity.”
4-Look for freshness and quality
M.R.: “A freshly picked and whole spice without any treatment or radiation and certified organic. For example, we choose to propose whole peppercorns and stone-ground spices on request.”
5-Pay attention to the packaging
Just like the quality of the glass for a bottle of wine and the famous ‘taste of light’ to which it may be exposed, the container that holds the spices also plays an essential role.
M.R.: “The packaging that we have chosen, jars made of thick, high technicity, purple glass, guarantees an exceptional quality of conservation for our spices.”
Thank you Morguen and Charlie to have talked to Cru Rasteau! Make a date for the “Nuit du VIN” on 14 August 2018 – spice tasting and blending is on the agenda… That’s all we will say for the moment!
Route de Sainte Anne
06 33 98 65 74