Swan and Defence line
The Swan and Defence line represents a portfolio of spices reminiscent of a time when explorers and adventurers sailed the seas in search of the Spice Islands. The Portuguese, Dutch and British searched for and then feverishly fought over the Spice Islands, their product and location. Swan and Defence are the names of the two vessels that Nathaniel Courthope led to the East Indies, where he disrupted the Dutch monopoly over spices by landing on the island of Run and creating an alliance with the native people. At the time Run was the only source of Nutmeg and Mace in the world.
The Swan and Defence line is available to restaurants, bars and hotels and includes:
Nutmeg in the shell, Whole Blade Mace, Alba Cinnamon, Whole Cloves, White and Black Peppercorns, Allspice and Cardamom.
This is the second time that New York's top restaurants and bars had access to these spices. The first time was in 1667 when the British traded Run to the Dutch for New Amsterdam and changed the name to New York.
Nutmeg & Mace are from an evergreen tree scientifically known as Myristica Fragrans. Nutmeg is not a nut, but the kernel of an apricot-like fruit. Mace is an arillus, a thin leathery tissue between the stone and the pulp. The Mace is bright red when harvested, but after drying changes to amber. Both spices are strongly aromatic, resinous and warm in taste. Mace has a finer aroma than nutmeg, but the difference is slight.First planted in 1843 while under British control, Nutmeg has become such a large part of the economy and culture that it is represented in the colors of the country’s flag. Nutmeg has flourished because of the rich volcanic soil on the island. Our Nutmeg is of the highest quality and has fantastic characteristics because it is fresh and offered in the shell or in the shell with the Mace attached (availibility based upon the harvest).
Cocoa is the bean found in the pod of the tree known as Theobroma Cacao. Literally translated it means “food of the gods”. There are three varieties of Cocoa – Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario. Believed to be a natural cross from strains of the other two types, Trinitario has a great variety of characteristics and possesses excellent aromatic flavor. This rare and special variety accounts for less than 10% of cocoa beans in the world.
Trinitarios contain extra flavors, embellishing its strong chocolate flavor with notes that can be reminiscent of fruits and flowers, making it preferable for dark chocolate.
Grenadians love their cocoa trees and everyone, from government ministers to fishermen, has a tree that he cares for after work or on the weekends using time-honored techniques.All Grenadians obtain their seedlings from the national nursery in order to ensure that production quality is maintained. Some 6000 small producers are members of the Grenada Cocoa Association and adhere to its standards of quality. Seedlings are planted under the cover of shade trees to create an “Agro Forestation” system of cultivation and to minimize the use of pesticides.
Origin: Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka produces 90% of the world’s cinnamon. The bond between Sri Lanka and cinnamon is so great that the spice’s botanical name Cinnamomum zeylanicum - is derived from the island’s former name, Ceylon.
Alba Cinnamon is the highest grade and is being produced today by people whose ancestors have been involved in cultivating Cinnamon since the year 1500. The know-how of growing and caring for fine cinnamon has since been passed from generation to generation. The Alba Cinnamon is harvested by hand, often in remote locations and each ‘quill’ is hand-rolled five times. The end product is packed in hermetically sealed containers in one facility to maintain quality and consistency.
The light intricate flavor of Ceylon Cinnamon, referred to as ‘True Cinnamon’, is very distinctive. It differs from cassia cinnamons of Vietnam and China because it has a much lower volatile oil content and its flavor has a subtle complexity of citrus interwoven in its scent.
Since one third of the profits are distributed to the laborers who harvest the bark, quality is ensured as a keen eye is surveying the Alba Cinnamon at time of collection.
Your Grandma used fresh ripe peaches in her pies, your father chose prime cuts of meat for family barbecues, and you use the best ingredients in your home that you can find. So it is no coincidence that foodies and world class chefs alike turn to the best available ingredients for their kitchens. For almost a decade I have been using and sourcing fine products while on staff at or consulting for the best restaurants in the U.S. and abroad. Today I continue to source fine products, called Soloway Selections, through my company, Kitchen Options.
Kitchen Options has allowed me to indulge my passion for finding excellent food items not always available in the marketplace. I am bringing the highest quality goods I can find directly to chefs of all levels - from the Michelin rated chef to the at home cook. I deal directly with growers and foreign government agencies to access their finest products. By removing the middlemen, I have essentially eliminated the number of hands that touch the product thus ensuring its integrity.
Products available at:
Wholesale Distribution via Kitchen Options