Spicing up life at Gewürzhaus

Gewürzhaus’s spicy store at QVB

Wintry weather calls for warming fare, from spicy stews to chilli-spiked chocolate. We stopped by Gewürzhaus Spice House’s shopping event in Sydney’s QVB to try some of their latest innovations, including “Apple Cake” and “Chilli Crunch” chocolate bars – a collaboration with bean-to-bar chocolatiers’ Hunted + Gathered. As well as several hundred herbs and spices, Gewürzhaus also sells teas, confectionery, nut butters and has a stylish range of kitchen items and spiceware. (If that’s not a cookware category, it should be!)

Organic and spicy – that makes it a health food, right?

We also caught up with Gewürzhaus’s Lisa Birch for some insider info on the spice trade…

How popular are spices becoming in Australia? Has the pandemic made us more adventurous cooks?

We are noticing a big shift in home cooking in general, kicked off obviously by Master Chef ten years or so ago, but with the rise of video content in the past two to three years, this is giving people more confidence to get in the kitchen and try cooking in new ways. Spices in Australian kitchens for years was extremely limited, but this is really shifting as we become more confident in trying new recipes. The biggest shift we are noticing is the use of seasoning in weeknight and family cooking, and a real demand to make these meals that extra bit special, flavourful and interesting. Australians have long thought of spices as exotic or challenging, and we are really trying to inspire our customers and show them how with a little addition you can really change an entire dish.

Are certain spices more popular in different states?

Favourite blends like Quick Butter Chicken, Everything Bagel and Roast Vegetable Salt are popular nationwide. But interestingly Sydneysiders have really gotten behind some of our local flavours like Native Red Gum Salt and Melbourne Coffee Meat Rub, which is more popular in Sydney than Melbourne!) In contrast, the Adelaide market love the dukkahs! (Smoky Almond Dukkah and Egyptian Dukkah).

What are some of the future spice trends you’re seeing?

We are seeing people push back from spices that are cut with rice flour.  By using pure spice blends you can use far less than you would otherwise. There is also a growing interest in Australian flavours, both locally and from our tourist customers.

A gift to warm maternal hearts this Mother’s Day

Gewürzhaus Spice House, Shop 25 G429 -481 George St, Sydney 2000. Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm, Thurs 9am-9pm, Sun 10am-5pm. (Also other stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide).

About the author

Lisa Creffield is a Sydney-based writer originally from the UK. Years of horrifying English school dinners sparked a desire to find something more delicious. Having also lived for six years in the Middle East, Lisa loves discovering new and exciting places and cuisines, from manti in Kazakhstan to sea urchin in Shanghai.