Lee Swanson, President of Swanson Health Products®
Last year we teamed up with Red Monkey Foods to bring you a line of 100% Organic herbs and spices for culinary use. Response has been so overwhelming that we’re expanding the line with more great options. Now you can find 21 of your most commonly used culinary herbs and spices right here at Swanson, all priced well below your local grocer or health food store. Our newest offerings are right here—
The bay leaf is a product of the laurel tree and is the origin of the modern term: Baccalaureate. Ancient Greeks and Romans would honor their scholars, poets, and warriors with branches from the laurel tree.
The celery plant was grown by the Greeks and Romans for medicinal use. Celery seed has an earthy-fresh aroma and a spicy taste with hints of lemon and parsley.
Chili powder, made from the roasted and/or dried fruit of dozens of species in the Capsicum grouping, is a potent dust that is useful to many world cuisines. The peppers are blended with all natural sea salt, organic cumin, organic oregano, and organic garlic.
Chives have been used in cuisine for a recorded 5,000 years. Marco Polo is reputed to have experienced chives on his travels in China and reported their culinary attributes on his return to the West, where they have been cultivated ever since. Dried chives are green rings with a taste similar to a very mild onion.
Nutmeg is the seed of an evergreen tree native to the Molucca Islands. The tree does not bear fruit until its 7th year, but it will continue to bear fruit until its 90th year.
The onion is a bulb of Allium cepa. Botanists classify it in either the lily or the amaryllis family.
Oregano is the dried leaf of Origanum vulgare L., a perennial herb of the mint family. Before World War II, oregano was almost unknown in the United States.
Capsicum peppers are native to Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and parts of South America. The Spanish discovered the pods in the New World and brought them back to Europe.
In ancient Greece, parsley was used in burial rituals. Fresh parsley is a natural breath freshener.
The Romans, as well as Arab physicians in the 10th century, believed sage had the ability to impact immortality. To the ancients, sage symbolized wisdom, skill, esteem, long life, and increased psychic powers.
Red Monkey is a growing Midwestern company located in Mount Vernon, MO that shares our values of customer commitment, pristine product quality and good health through natural living. Following is a brief interview with Red Monkey’s young founder and president, Jeff Brinkhoff.
Brinkhoff: I have always had a passion for cooking and mixing various spices together for seasonings and rubs. Prior to founding Red Monkey I worked in the pharmaceutical and disease management fields. But I always felt I could make a positive contribution to health in a more natural way. I truly believed there was a forthcoming change in spices that would increase the demand for upscale, high-quality, certified organic herbs and spices; and I was certain that the entire “Organic Movement” was more than just a phase.
Brinkhoff: We do not grow our herbs or spices ourselves; however, we are extremely involved in the selection of certified organic farms that supply our herbs and spices. We work with multiple farms, which ensures that we always have access to the finest and freshest certified organic herbs in the world.
Brinkhoff: At Red Monkey Foods we are focused on and dedicated to our quality-control programs above all else. While all product we source has been tested for related pathogens, we also cross-check through independent testing. In addition, we work with our suppliers all the way back to the farm to ensure all parties involved are abiding by the NOP (National Organic Program) to guarantee that our products are free of chemicals and that all other criteria required by the NOP is met.
Brinkhoff: My personal favorite is cumin, which is central to most curry dishes. I enjoy its flavor and versatility. Cumin can be used with various proteins and is known to draw out the natural sweetness of foods. It’s also very good for you.
Brinkhoff: Sure! I absolutely love this recipe for red snapper. While not as rich in omega-3s as salmon, snapper is still a good source and a healthy, mildly-flavored fish. The spices really snap it up.