Describing the taste of ras el hanout is tricky, because this North African seasoning not only varies from purveyor to purveyor but also relies on synergy to achieve its unique bang for the buck. A blend of many different spices, in varying proportions, ras el hanout should warm the palate, with no single spice, no single flavor note-taking prominence. Instead, each ingredient should enhance the others’ flavors. You’ll find warming, slightly sweet, pungent, floral and aromatic notes.
Ras el hanout’s history dates back to the ancient spice trade. North Africa was a prime crossroads for all sorts of exotic flavorings that would eventually traverse the Mediterranean and enter Europe. North African spice merchants would reserve the best of these exotic exports and blend them into their own house seasonings. “Ras el hanout” is Arabic for “head of the shop,” another way of saying a top-shelf item. Some historians claim the term also refers back to Ethiopia, where “ras” means king. Thus ras el hanout qualifies as a royal spice blend.
Spices, Sea Salt, Turmeric, Dried Chilies