@TheSpiceHouse @SpiceHunter @steamykitchen myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume

December 23, 2011

In the Christmas carol chestnut, “We Three Kings of Orient Are,” there are references to fabled gifts – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – objects which are loaded with symbolism in the Bible and not things I had any passing knowledge of as a child. The lyrics about “myrrh” in particular conjure up some gruesome images for me in the middle of this lovely melody:

Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfume
Breathes of life of gathering gloom
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.

Yay? So … myrrh was an embalming agent, a burial spice, and it translates to “bitter” in Arabic – nice baby gift! I just don’t see it in recipes I use. Is it still used?

Today, we think of this European and western Asian spice as Chervil or French Parsley. According to http://www.recipetips.com, “Myrrh has a sweet and mild anise flavor, which improves the acidic taste of when paired with many different fruits. Myrrh can be used nicely as a substitute for sugar when this herb is used for flavoring sweet dishes.” Because of the delicate flavor, it is advised to add it to a dish just before serving, rather than in a long cooking process.

There are many online resources for learning about and buying spices. Not all of them carry chervil but the journey to find it often proves more interesting than the quest itself.

Jaden Hair of http://steamykitchen.com offers this wisdom: “One who has harmony in seasonings need no recipe.” So to start with good seasonings, spice with the best.

The Spice House



Merchants of the exquisite, hand-selected spices, herbs, and seasonings since 1957.



Bingo! Ask and ye shall find.


Spice Hunter




“We source spices and herbs from the world’s most ideal growing regions to produce high-quality and organic lines of all natural spices, herbs and blends.”


Buy chervil in Fines Herbes Blend (0.3 oz. jar)


Spice Islands




“Although two spices share the same name, they may not taste the same. Some vanilla tastes sweeter. Some cinnamon is hotter. And some dill is just dillier.

At Spice Islands Trading Company, we search the world for the highest-quality, most flavorful herbs and spices, from Madagascar to Saigon to California. It’s been our quest since 1941 so you get the most flavorful ingredients.”

No chervil, but enter the “Taste the World” spice giveaway online/Facebook for a chance to win.





“With more than $3 billion in annual sales, the Company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the entire food industry.”


Zamouri Spices


“Zamouri Spices is your one stop shopping for hard-to-find spices.” Mid-Eastern, Moroccan, Indian/Asian, Turkish

Website offers: video cooking demonstrations, cookware, recipes, teas, bath and beauty (would Jesus use myrrh as skin care?) but no social media links.

Buy .50 oz/half cup jar of chervil for $3.50

Chervil is considered indispensable in French cuisine. It is also used in sauces and soups in Germany and Holland as well. Chervil’s light flavor is prone to breakdown with long stewing or roasting, so either save it till the end or add a little more at the end of cooking to bring it back.”


Atlantic Spice Company


“The highest quality culinary herbs and spices, teas, dehydrated vegetables, nuts, seeds, botanicals, essential oils, spice blends, potpourri ingredients and fragrance oils all at wholesale prices.”

Buy .40 oz of chervil for $2.50, a good amount to refill a spice jar set

“Chervil goes well with saffron, tarragon and parsley. These herbs together are often used for flavoring cream based soups, egg dishes and smoked fish. Chervil is a wonderful addition to vinegar and oil salad dressings.”


Zach’s Spice Company



Spices for the barbeque-er or Cajun/Creole chef in your life. No chervil, y’awl.


History of Spicy food



Happy Holidays!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: