Need some spice in your life? Cayenne pepper will kick it up a notch! Also known as the Guinea spice, bird spice, aleva or simply as red pepper, it is originally from Cayenne in French Guiana, an overseas region of France located on the northern coast of South America. Cayenne pepper is now largely grown in India, East Africa, Mexico, the United States of America and other subtropical regions. Cayenne varies in appearance from red to yellow and its hotness rating in Scoville Heat Units (SHU)is normally between 30,000 to 50,000 on a scale from zero to 16-million. You think you can handle it? Well, just know that Tabasco sauce, Cumari pepper and Aji pepper are in the same category of heat. READ MORE
Cumin (also spelled cummin) is a member of the parsley family and is cultivated in extremely hot summer temperatures. It is the dried seed harvested from the herb cuminum. Native to Iran and the Mediterranean region, the yellow-brown spice’s history goes back to ancient times, even being found in the tombs of the Egyptian pharaohs . Cumin is also mentioned in the Bible twice (Isaiah 28:27 and Matthew 23:23). Ground cumin has a slightly oily texture and when it is fresh the spice is more pungent than its seed form; however, the seeds are able to retain its pungency for a longer time. Use with care because the spice is so strong that it can blot the taste of other spices used in whatever you are cooking.