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Flavo{u}r 21

Unique and unlikely flavor combinations make for exciting home-cooked creations

by CH Editors in Food + Drink on 06 February 2014

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Taking risks in the kitchen is one of the great joys of cooking at home. Chef, restauranteur, consultant and flavor expert Laura Santtini's unique products have held the attention of our tastebuds for some time—from her vegetarian Umami paste (made in collaboration with Nobu Matsuhisa) to her illuminating dry spice line. London diners might recognize Santinni from the popular Belgravia restaurant of the same name (albeit a different spelling) Santini, where she is poised to take over the Italian eatery after her father's retirement. Growing up around chefs and hearty Italian cooking, it was only natural that Santinni be infatuated with flavors—leading her to push the limits of innovative combinations. When we had the chance to experiment with Santtini's new Flavo{u}r 21 line of spices, we couldn't wait to hit the kitchen. Though all of Santtini's creations explore new combinations of flavors, the standouts are the Seasoner, Abracadabra and Angel Dust—a forthcoming variety not yet available.

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All dry spices, the Seasoner is also known as "Salt of the Earth," but this blend is far from pedestrian. Best used on salads and grilled fish, Seasoner introduces a bright pungency to dishes with a blend of lemon peel, peony and celery seeds. The flavor brings a sort of casual luxury to the palate, calling to mind a summer's evening al fresco meal that transports the senses. Meanwhile the Abracadabra spice blend is best used on steaks, ribs and other grilled meats. Its blend of cumin, paprika and porcini create a base that is at once smoky, spicy and earthy—giving home chefs the ability to create restaurant quality food with ease. Finally, we were pleased to get an early look at Santtini's latest sweet creation, Angel Dust. A mix of cinnamon and raw cacao, the blend adds depth and luxurious range to simple dishes like pancakes and oatmeal. Dried ginger gives the blend a kick and warming quality while a hint of coconut palm sugar makes this a guilt-free indulgence.

Santtini's products are currently available from Selfridges and Dean & Deluca. For more information visit Flavo{u}r 21online.

Photos by Hans Aschim

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