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The Queen of Spice, an artisanal mixtures of hand-ground spices, was inspired by the international friendships made at Lamia Mrabet’s dinner table. In her native Morocco sharing a meal is about more than the food, it is about creating a bond.
“The whole message behind the business is to create that bond,” said Mrabet. “Breaking bread together is like a promise that you will be faithful to that other person, it’s a sacred bond. If we come to the same table we can be more tolerant of each other. Trying different foods opens your mind to appreciate difference, and that opens up other meaningful discussions.”
As a child growing up in the Moroccan port city of Tangier, Mrabet would wait eagerly for the magazines her father brought home from the international publishing company where he worked. She would turn immediately to the recipe section of each magazine, studying the colored pictures of sweet and savory dishes. “Cooking was always my passion, ever since I was a little girl. I would always go to the cooking section even if it was a language I didn’t understand,” said Mrabet who grew up fluent in Arabic, French and Spanish.
She learned to cook from her grandmother, perfecting the mélange of spices that are the signature of many Moroccan dishes and experimenting with new and complex recipes from other countries. By the time she was a teenager, Mrabet , the oldest of six children, was doing most of the cooking, delighting in mastering complicated dishes that were served usually served on special occasions.
Today Lamia, wife and mother of three, has an international repertoire of dishes. All of her recipes have one thing in common; “Spice is the secret to any amazing meal,” said Mrabet. “For instance you can play with the same vegetable dish and make it completely different each time by simply adding a different spice.”
Moroccan exotic cooking, which always ranks high on the list of the world’s best cuisine, requires complex, aromatic spice blends.
Mrabet often gave pre-mixed spices along with the recipes for her most popular dishes to friends, saving them the cost of the buying many expensive individual jars of spices. Her friends raved about the convenience and freshness of her handcrafted spice mixtures.
“I would do the mixes for you and you wouldn’t end up with 20 jars of different spices for just one recipe. I make pure handcrafted artisanal spice mixes, grinding them myself, with love, in a commercial kitchen as I’ve done for years in my own kitchen.”
We currently offer spice mixes that represent Moroccan, Spanish, French, Egyptian, Persian and Turkish dishes from tagines to paella. There is a mix for pain d’éspices, a sweet French bread and for dukkah, an Egyptian mix for dips that is also used as a seasoning. Freshly ground, the spices will keep their peak flavor for a minimum of one year.