Spice Inflation, From Prices in Khari Baoli to Fiery Heat Made In Calabria

I am used to see gold, copper, rare earth materials and the like mentioned in business news.

The laws of supply and demand are at work in the spice market too.

Anjli Raval visits Khari Baoli market in New Delhi and reports in Spice price rises prove hard to swallow in India (Financial Times, December 31) on spice inflation in 2010 citing 2 most extreme examples, "turmeric whose future price went up 150% between January and November" and "black pepper with 80% rise over same period."

As usually with commodities, debate is raging on whether to blame it on relative prosperity of the expanding middle class in developping countries or 'evil' speculators'?

Spice inflation can also be found in the heat index as shown in Calabrian Bomb Spaghetti Recipe by Nancy Silverton shared by LA Times Magazine (December 2010).

What's the heat source in Nancy's book? To keep things safe this heat bomb is sold as Tutto Calabria Crushed Hot Chili Peppers and sold in a jar ready to give instant spice cred to your creation of the day.

The Calabrian Bomb Recipe comes from A Twist of the Wrist: Quick Flavorful Meals with Ingredients from Jars, Cans, Bags, and Boxes (Knopf, March 2007).

The recipe does not come out cheap because of the original investment of $13 in spice jar and 32 white anchovies. It will definitely not land on the $5 Dinner Mom menu.

Buying a spice alternative in bulk if you can should bring cost down.


The Spice Road led me to A Walk in Khari Baoli Spice Market (Eat and Dust, February 2010) by Pamela Timms. Her photos bring the place to life for us.

(* Photo of Spice Wholesalers at Khari Baoli Market from Eat and Dust piece)

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