Friday, July 5, 2013

Gewurzhaus, Herb & Spice Merchants

How great is it when you stumble upon a wonderful shop, something that you never expected to find on your travels, despite all the research you did into the 'must-see' and 'must-do's.  I encountered this sense of delight when we, while trying to avoid the rain, walked through The Block Arcade in Melbourne (between Little Collins and Collins Street).  The first thing we saw was the long line of people queuing in front of the Hopetoun Tea Rooms.  I had no idea about this place either but I could see why they had attracted a crowd.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms, The Block Arcade, Melbourne

A gorgeous display of cakes and desserts, all presented with care, I had to see what all the fuss was about.  Instead of lining up for an opportunity to sit inside, I went straight in and ordered a slice of Apple Streudel to take away (possibly the only item in the window which didn't contain cream, so Brendan could enjoy it too with his casein allergy).  And while we were patiently waiting for this to be prepared, we looked around.  Directly opposite, something even better:

Gewurzhaus, Herb & Spice Merchants, The Block Arcade, Melbourne

Gewurzhaus, Herb & Spice Merchants.  Fill-yourself bins of pre-mixed herb and spice blends, featuring native Australian flavours, and salts from around the world.  The smell of the shop was amazing.

As in any great shop, I slowed right down and spent a long or longer moment surveying everything.  Either reading the list of ingredients or opening the lids of the herb and spice-blend bins and wafting the aromas towards me so I could purposefully inhale the complexities of the in-house-made blends.  It makes me hungry just recalling it! I decided I had to take something away with me.

I chose:
- Australian Bush Herbs (ingredients: Australian coriander, pumpkin, lemon myrtle, bush tomato, sea salt, onion, native thyme, aniseed myrtle, chives, chilli, garlic)
- Roasted Vegetable Salt (ingredients: Flake salt, rock salt, coriander, garlic, onion, caraway, oregano, pepper, thyme, ginger, lemon myrtle, marjoram, mustard seed, nutmeg, paprika, parsley, rosemary) &
- Salish Alder Smoked Sea Salt which has a wonderful intoxicating aroma from being slow-smoked over Red Alderwood.  The description tells me it is "especially great on salmon", and I have no doubt.

My selection of Gewurzhaus offerings

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