IngredientsOkay, maybe we can't claim world peace, but we are able to bring together over 30 countries to contribute to the ingredients of our spiced tomato juice without the use of preservatives. Twenty-one of the world's finest herbs and spices blend together to offer the best Bloody Mary mix ever... every time!
Tomato Juice — Portugal
French botanist Tournefort provided the Latin botanical name, Lycopersicon Esculentum, to the tomato. It translates to "wolfpeach" — peach because it was round and luscious and wolf because it was erroneously considered poisonous. The botanist mistakenly took the tomato for the wolfpeach referred to by Galen in his third century writings, that is, poison in a palatable package which was used to destroy wolves. The English word tomato comes from the Spanish tomatl, first appearing in print in 1595.
Onions — Spain
Related to the lily, this underground bulb is prized around the world for the magic it makes in a multitude of dishes with its pungent flavour and odour.
Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce — UK
Worcestershire sauce itself is of cross-cultural origins. In 1835, Lord Marcus Sandys, a former governor of Bengal, approached chemists John Lea and William Perrins, whose prospering business in Broad Street, Worcester, handled pharmaceuticals and toiletries as well as groceries. He asked them to make up a sauce from a recipe which he brought back from India. While his lordship was apparently satisfied with the results, Messrs Lea and Perrins considered it to be an "unpalatable, red-hot fire-water" and consigned the quantity they had made for themselves to the cellars. During the stocktake-cum-spring clean the following year, they came across the barrel and decided to taste it before discarding it. To their amazement, the mixture had mellowed into an aromatic, piquant and appetising liquid!
During the first year we produced Big Tom, we employed a vegetarian to promote it and give customer tastings. She was surprised (as were we) to discover that there was anchovy in Worcestershire sauce, and she asked if we could find an alternative ingredient. So we tried out a vegetarian anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce — and it tasted so good we started using it straight away and have done so ever since.
Tamarind — India
Tamarind is the seed pods from the tamarind tree. It is widely used to provide a sweet and tart flavour to food and drink. Grown primarily in India, Tamarind is the brown, tart flesh from the pods of a tree in the pea and bean family. The flesh surrounds the brown shiny seeds within the sausage-shaped pod. Pods are harvested at different stages of maturity according to their intended use. Tamarind is a key ingredient of Worcestershire Sauce.
Marjoram — United States & France
Marjoram is the grey-green leaf of Majorana Hortensis, a low growing member of the mint family. It is often mistaken for oregano, although they are not the same plant. Marjoram is indigenous to the Mediterranean area and was known to the Greeks and Romans, who looked on it as a symbol of happiness. It was said that if marjoram grew on the grave of a dead person, he would enjoy eternal bliss.
Garlic — California
Garlic is the dried root of Allium Sativum, a member of the lily family. Garlic grows in a bulb that consists of a number of cloves. Each clove is protected by a layer of skin, but all are held together in one larger unit by additional layers of skin. Garlic is native to central Asia, but its use spread across the world more than 5000 years ago, before recorded history. It was worshipped by the Egyptians and fed to workers building the Gread Pyramid at Giza, about 2600 BC, and Greek athletes ate it to build their strength. Garlic came to the Western Hemisphere with some of the first European explorers, and its use spread rapidly. In the United States it was first cultivated in New Orleans by French settlers. Missionaries then took it to California, where it is grown today.
Coriander — Morocco, Romania & Russia
Coriander is the seed of Coriandrum Sativum, a plant in the parsley family. The seed is globular and almost round, brown to yellow red, and 1/5 inch in diameter with alternating straight and wavy ridges. Coriander is probably one of the first spices used by mankind, having been known as early as 5000 BC; Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 BC also spoke of it. In the Old Testament "manna" is described as "white like Coriander Seed." (Exodus 16:31) The Romans spread it throughout Europe and it was one of the first spices to arrive in America.
Cumin — Iran & India
Cumin is the pale green seed of Cuminum Cyminum, a small herb in the parsley family. The seed is uniformly elliptical and deeply furrowed. Cumin is native to the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt, but it is currently grown in many places, as it is rather easy to grow and adapts well to many climates. Cumin is one of the ancient spices, a favourite of the Romans and mentioned in the Old Testament. During medieval times, it was favoured in Europe and Britain, but it seems to have gradually lost favour in those places. The increasing popularity of Mexican influenced foods is boosting the sale of cumin.
Cayenne — Mexico & West Indies
Cayenne pepper is made from the dried pods of pungent chilli peppers. This fiery spice adds flair to dishes from Asia, the Americas, and the Middle East, and cayenne peppers have been grown for thousands of years in the West Indies and Central and South America. Spanish explorers looking for black pepper misnamed them as pepper, and introduced them to the rest of the world. One of Columbus' passengers, de Cuneo, wrote how the Native Americans ate the pepper-like fruit "like we eat apples."
Clove — Madagascar, Brazil, Panang, Ceylon & Zanzibar
Cloves are the rich, brown, dried, unopened flower buds of Syzygium Aromaticum, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. The name comes from the French "clou" meaning nail, and cloves are native to the Molucca Islands, now a part of Indonesia. Cloves have been used for thousands of years, with one of the earliest references to them saying that the Chinese, in order to approach the emperor, had to have a few cloves in their mouths to sweeten the breath. Cloves were once very costly and played an important part in world history. Wars were fought in Europe and with native islanders to secure rights to the profitable clove business, while natives in the Molucca Islands planted a clove tree for each child born, as they believed that the fate of the tree was linked to the fate of that child. In 1816, the Dutch set a fire to destroy clove trees there and raise prices, but the natives revolted in a bloody battle which changed the climate and politics of the area forever.
Fenugreek — China
The brownish-yellow seeds of rhombic shape (about 3 mm). Indians also like the fresh leaves, which are eaten as a very tasty vegetable and prepared like spinach, or dried and used as a flavouring. The leaves of a related plant, which appear in Central European cooking, can be substituted by fenugreek leaves.
Cardamom — India, Guatemala, & Sri Lanka
Cardamom is the ground seed of a tropical fruit in the ginger family known as Elettaria Cardamomum. The seeds are found in oval-shaped fruit pods that are between 1/4- and 1-inch long. As early as the 4th century BC, cardamom was used in India as a medicinal herb, while the Greeks and Romans imported it as a digestive aid. In Sweden it has become a more popular spice than cinnamon.
Paprika — Bolivia, Hungary, Spain, South America & California
Paprika is a spice which comes from a mild red pepper in the family Capsicum Annum. It is a brilliant red powder and often used as a garnish. Paprika, as a member of the capsicum family, is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, although the pepper is grown widely and takes on a slightly different flavour depending on local soil and climatic conditions.
Lemon — Greece
Throughout the eons, lemons have been used for a multitude of non-cooking purposes — as an epilepsy remedy, a toothpaste, an invisible ink and a bleaching agent as well as in witchcraft. This bright yellow citrus fruit is oval in shape, with a pronounced bulge on the blossom end, and with juicy and acidic flesh. The lemon can range in size from that of a large egg to that of a small grapefruit, and some have thin skins while others have very thick rinds, which are used to make candied lemon peel. Few foods add such flavour magic as the simple lemon, which is an excellent source of vitamin C (one provides 40 to 70 per cent of the minimum daily requirement).
Celery — Holland
Celery consists of long, slender green stalks that surround a pale green central heart, all joined at the bulbous base.
Mustard — Belgium & Canada
Mustard seed comes from two large shrubs, Brassica juncea (brown mustard) and Brassica hirta (white mustard), native to Asia. Both plants produce bright yellow flowers that contain small round seeds, though brown mustard is more pungent than white. Mustard was used in ancient Greece and Rome as a medicine and a flavouring, and y 800 AD, the French were using mustard as an enhancement for drab meals and salted meats. It was one of the spices taken on Spanish explorations during the 1400s. Mustard powder was invented by Mrs Clements of Durham, England, who made a fortune selling the dry, pale-yellow mustard flour.
Pimento — Jamaica, Mexico & Honduras
Allspice is the dried, unripe berry of Pimenta Dioica, an evergreen tree in the myrtle family. After drying, the berries are small, dark brown balls just a little larger than peppercorns. Christopher Columbus discovered allspice in the Caribbean. Although he was seeking pepper, he had never actually seen real pepper and he thought Allspice was it. He brought it back to Spain, where it got the name "pimienta," which is Spanish for pepper, and its Anglicized form, pimento, is occasionally used in the spice trade today. Before World War II, allspice was more widely used than it is nowadays, but during the war, many trees producing allspice were cut, and production never fully recovered. Folklore suggests that allspice provides relief for digestive problems.
Black Pepper — India, Indonesia, Malaysia, & Brazil
Pepper is the dried berry of Piper Nigrum, a vine which can grow up to ten feet tall which is indigenous to India and Asia. Pepper is actually berries that are picked about nine months after flowering. Black pepper, the spiciest, is berries that are picked unripe. Since the Roman times, pepper has been the most important spice. The cities of Alexandria, Genoa, and Venice owed their economic success to pepper, and three thousand year old Sanskrit literature mentions the spice, one of the earliest items traded Asia and Europe. In 1101, victorious Genovese soldiers were each given two pounds of Pepper as a gift for their successful Palestinian conquest. In the Middle Ages, Europeans often used pepper to pay rent, dowries, and taxes, and Shakespeare mentions pepper in his plays. The need for pepper inspired Spanish exploration and spice trade in the 15th century.
Sugar — Caribbean & New Guinea
The discovery of sugarcane, from which sugar, as it is known today, is derived, dates back unknown thousands of years. It is thought to have originated in New Guinea, and was spread along routes to Southeast Asia and India. The process known for creating sugar, by pressing out the juice and then boiling it into crystals, was developed in India around 500 BC. Its cultivation was not introduced into Europe until the middle-ages, when it was brought to Spain by Arabs. Columbus then took the plant, dearly held, to the West Indies, where it began to thrive in a most favourable climate.
Salt — USA & Siberia
Today salt is inexpensive and universally available, but this hasn't always been the case. Because of its importance in food preservation and the fact that the human body requires it (for the regulation of fluid balance), salt has been an extremely valuable commodity throughout the ages. It was even once used as a method of exchange — Roman soldiers received a salt allowance as part of their pay. Salt was valued by the ancient Hebrews and Greeks, throughout the Middle Ages and well into the 19th century when it began to become more plentiful and therefore reasonable in price. Salt (sodium chloride) comes either from salt mines or from the sea, with most of today's salt mined from large deposits left by dried salt lakes throughout the world.
Malt Vinegar — UK
Derived from the French vin aigre, or sour wine, vinegar is made by bacterial activity that converts fermented liquids such as wine, beer or cider into a weak solution of acetic acid (the constituent that makes it sour). Vinegar has been used for centuries for everything from beverages (like Shrubs), to an odor-diminisher for strong foods such as cabbage and onions, to a hair rinse and softener. In Britain the favourite is mild malt vinegar, obtained from malted barley.
Energy per 100g (KJ / Kcal): 73/17