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Story Posted: 2014-09-09

CanolaInfo’s ‘Spice Route’ Traces History of Global Flavors

Source: CanolaInfo, Category: Media Release

Recipes Made with Canola Oil Inspired by Ancient Trade Passage

CHICAGO – In the majority of the world, spices are now taken for granted. But centuries ago, they were important enough to inspire wars, chase around the globe by ship and trade for the island of Manhattan. CanolaInfo’s latest recipe collection, “Spice Route: A Journey of Global Flavors,” explores the rich history of spices with an array of international dishes tracing the famous trade passage.

“These recipes integrate spices with regional flavors from some of the most important ports of call at the time of the ancient spice trade, including China, India, Persia, Arabia, North Africa and the Mediterranean,” says award-winning chef Raghavan Iyer, who developed the collection. “Spices such as black pepper, cumin and cinnamon are standard ingredients around the world today, but it’s fascinating – and delicious – to see how each cuisine handles them differently.”

Iyer showcases the transformative flavor of whole spices in dishes such as an Indian-style wild halibut rubbed with turmeric and finished with cracked black pepper or a Persian lamb stew scented with cumin and cayenne pepper. Each recipe is prepared with heart-healthy canola oil, which is neutral in flavor and light in texture.  

“Canola oil is ideal for cooking with spices,” Iyer explains. “It allows the aroma of a spice, whether delicate or assertive, to come to the forefront of a dish.”

Along with the recipe collection, visitors to will find a spice glossary and “spicy facts” about the ancient trade passage such as the discovery that nutmeg trees once drove real estate values and selling counterfeit saffron was a capital crime!

Each flavorful recipe is made with canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most plant-based omega-3 fat of all common cooking oils. It is also free of trans fat and, like other vegetable oils, is cholesterol-free. Recipes (and countries) include:

“These dishes are truly a ‘passport’ to flavors around the globe and a wonderful glimpse into the history of spices and cuisines we enjoy today,” Iyer says.

For an interview with Raghavan Iyer or high-resolution recipe photos, e-mail Alison Lara at


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