Friday, 6 February 2015

Make Pancake Day Speculaas Day, from now on!

Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day as it is also known should, in my opinion, now be known as Speculaas Day, in honour of the spices produced by the Speculaas Spice Company, launched several years ago in London by Dutch-born Steven Dotsch.

The speculaas spice mix really boosts pancakes to an entirely new level.

Holland has had a long and interesting association with the spice trade dating back at least to the 15th century and, in all likelihood, well before that.

This fine tradition of excellent spices is carried on by the Speculaas Spice Company who still produce their family's traditional and highly secret speculaas spice mix.

Even as late as the 1970s most bakers in Holland had their own special family speculaas spice recipe. Sadly most of these died out with the advent of mass-production.

But Steven Dotsch wanted to revive the tradition. Fortunately he had his grandmother's own recipe and used that as the basis for his business, the Speculaas Spice Company.

This morning we made some pancakes with this special spice mix and the evocative flavours of another age flooded our senses with memories of trips to Holland back in the 1970s and the sites and sounds of Holland.

The spice mix is Vandotsch Speculaas and it is a careful and special blend of Sri Lankan cinnamon, cloves, ginger and six other (secret!) spices that provides a little bit of a lift and a kick to the tastebuds!

You can learn more about these most excellent spice mixes by visiting www.speculaasspice.co.uk which contains the detailed story of why Steven started his company, some delicious recipes and how to buy the spices!

I would like to thank my wife Anni for her help in preparing the batter mix and in photographing the pancakes before they completely disappeared!

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