Given that we are all off to a fresh start in ‘24 AND it’s only our second blog post, we thought we’d take a step back and give you a bit more background about O’ts.
We hope by now you realize that our thin and crispy oatmeal cookies are made with only real ingredients: flour, sugar, oatmeal, butter, eggs and the like. As Americans, oatmeal cookies are something we’re all familiar with, but some of those other ingredients we use, where do they come from? We do a lot of research and work in the kitchen to create our unique global profiles and we thought you’d enjoy knowing more about their origins.
Chai Spice - Most of us are familiar by now with the Chai Spice Lattes that can be purchased at our favorite local coffee shop. But did you know that the Indian spice blend that you taste when sipping your warm beverage is actually called masala? Masala basically means “spice blend” in Hindi and chai is actually the word for tea. So if you say masala spice you’re saying “spice spice” and if you say chai tea you’re saying “tea tea!!” Masalas are typically an aromatic mix of different spices that can be popular in a region, village or even a family. The “chaiwalla” - a masala chai street vendor - is a common sight on streets in India as it is a very traditional on-the-go refreshment. Our chai mix contains cloves, star anise, cinnamon and black pepper.
Aleppo Pepper - You would think this pepper comes from Aleppo, Syria. However, and unfortunately, that’s not currently always the case. It’s now mostly purchased from Turkey due to the ongoing war in Syria. What we know as Aleppo Pepper comes from a burgundy chile known as the Halaby pepper. They are semi-dried after ripening, de-seeded, and then coarsely ground. Aleppo pepper is a flavor enhancer and it’s about half as spicy as red chili flakes, measuring at about 10,000 Scoville Heat Units. It’s a slow building heat that you’ll definitely start to notice after you’ve swallowed the last crumb of one of our Spicy Dark Chocolate Aleppo Pepper cookies.
Sicilian Sea Salt - Otherwise known as “white gold,” this salt has been harvested in Sicily, Italy for centuries. It is the unique product of the ocean, the sun and the specific winds that blow through the region. The salt marshes in this area are renowned for their beauty and are home to herons, egrets, pink flamingos and other wetland birds. Salt from these marshes boasts higher levels of potassium and magnesium and has a more intense flavor than other more processed salts. That’s why just a little sprinkle on top of our Sweet n’ Salty cookies give them just the right amount of salty flavor to balance out the sweet.
Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t also provide you with some fun facts about New Year’s Traditions in other parts of the world.
Brazil - At midnight people head to the beach and jump seven waves while making seven wishes. They are paying homage to Yemanja the goddess of water and wear white as they do it to symbolize purity.
India - A sculpture of an old man is made and burned to symbolize putting aside grievances from the previous year and allowing a new year to start.
Haiti - The 1st of January is also Independence day and it’s celebrated by eating a pumpkin soup called Soup Joumou because it was a delicacy that enslaved people were not permitted to eat.
Mexico - Families gather to make tamales - corn husks stuffed with meat cheese and other goodies - which are handed out to friends and family.
Denmark - This one might be our favorite! The Danish throw old plates - the more you collect at your doorstep the better the New Year….
We hope you had some fun plans this New Year as well! Maybe you even still have some broken plates at your front door :)
We are looking forward to continued health and happiness in 2024 and wish the same for all of you.
Yours in Cookies,
Nina & Anna