Orris Root in Cooking
Sort of a propos the review of Iris Ganache... Looking through my Spice and Herb Bible by Ian Hemphill, I stumbled upon an entry on orris root. I had no idea that it had any use in culinary, and yet, according to Hemphill, during the 16th and 17th centuries, it was used in cooking [the author does not specify exactly how it was used]; "however, its popularity as a fragrance appeared to outweigh its culinary applications. (...) In Morocco, orris root powder is still featured as one of the exotic ingredients, along with Spanish fly and hashish, in the fragrant and heady spice blend ras el hanout."
Hemphill sugests using 1/4tsp of orris root with red meats, 1/8tsp with white meats, 1/8tsp with vegetables and 1/8tsp with carbohydrates. In his opinion, the floral and bitter flavor of orris root combines well with allspice, caraway, cardamom, cloves, coriander seed, cumin, dill seed, ginger, fennel seed, paprika, pepper, and turmeric.
The image is from themysticcorner.com, where 1oz of orris root retails for $2.49. Ras el hanout can be found on amazon.com, $6.99 for 3.5oz.