Ahhh, spices. The magic ingredient in most dishes. The right combination of spices is what gives food its unique flavor qualities. Each has a distinct character. And when mixed with things such as salts and sugars, they become known as seasonings
How Spices Became Part of Our Tradition
A spice is a vegetation component such as a seed, root, bark, or fruit with aromatic or pungent qualities. They’re almost as old as human history itself. The ancient Egyptians were using spices to enhance their food as far back as 3500 BC. Spices were valuable trade items and led to the Age of Exploration starting in the early 15th century. Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, and Christopher Columbus all set sail in part to open new routes for the delivery of spices from China and India to Europe and the New World.
Today, most people have a basic spice rack in their kitchen. Black pepper, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon are some of the most common elements.
Spices Are a Key Ingredient at Blue Plate
They play a major role in many of our most popular dishes. Our garlic clouds of heaven is a fluffy garlic sauce found in our Mediterranean chicken skewer. We finish our beef chili with five distinct chiles. We add plenty of coriander and cilantro to the Panang red curry with Scottish salmon and black rice. And Blue Plate co-owner Elli Roustom is quite enthusiastic about her love for the aroma of sautéed cilantro.
Blue Plate is an American restaurant because we offer a diverse menu. According to Elli, since America is a melting pot, that gives us the ability to offer a variety of cuisine styles and flavors. For example, our Mediterranean-styled dishes call on both traditional techniques and the shared knowledge of family.
Chef Adam was born in Damascus, Syria. When he created our fluffy garlic clouds of heaven, he called on aunts and cousins in Syria for tips. They guided him through proven methods to create the right combination of spices.
There are plenty of restaurants in the Vail Valley. But Elli Roustom estimates that none are more stocked with spices than Blue Plate.
There are more than 200 known culinary spices. What are some of Chef Adam and Elli’s favorites?
Piecing it All Together
There’s nothing like sitting down to a great meal lovingly crafted with the right ingredients and spices. When it all comes together, it’s pure magic.
See our menu for a tantalizing array of dishes. You’re sure to find some made with our favorite spices. Try the chicken shawarma with sumac onions, or the buffalo chicken bites with six-chili hot sauce.
Blue Plate’s dining room has reopened and we’ve returned to our regular serving hours. Curbside pickup is also still available.