Jennifer Revello's spices are so hot (how hot are they???), you might want to slap on some SPF 40.
By Linda Bladholm
Jennifer Revello sells her spices each Sunday morning beneath a white tent across from the Lincoln Theater in Miami Beach. Heaped into gleaming metal bowls, they're sold loose, scooped into small plastic bags, just as in spice bazaars in India, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East. When the wind blows, ground coriander, cumin and ginger scatter across the table.
Revello, a New Jersey transplant, is the girlfriend of spice merchant Michael Athea, who oversees World Flavors Spices & Teas with his younger brother, Francois. The Paris-based company is run as a sort of floating weekend market here in South Florida. Francois peddles spices on weekends at the Las Olas Farmers Market and Upper East Side Green Market.
The Italian and French-Algerian brothers are the third generation of their family in the spice trade. Their maternal grandfather, Mario Forte, founded the company in the small town of Sorente on the Gulf of Naples 60 years ago, eventually moving the operation to Paris, where their father took it over. The brothers import whole and ground spices and teas from their father.
One of their most popular blends, for seafood, combines turmeric, pink pepper, star anise, dried parsley and fennel seeds -- perfect for making a fish, shrimp or crab curry with coconut milk. Curry powders include Madras (mild) and Bombay (hot). There's also ras-el-hanout, a blend of myriad spices for seasoning tagines (stews) or couscous; rouille, a mix of paprika and ground chiles, for mixing with mayonnaise and garlic; and a blend of dried tarragon, coriander and onion for omelets.
Other finds include Cajun spice mix for seasoning catfish or chicken and herbs de Provence, perfect for grilled meats or seafood. The flavors of the world are all here under one "roof" each weekend.Places and times:
Lincoln Road Farmers Market, Lincoln Road near Drexel Avenue, Miami Beach, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sundays. Upper East Side Green Market, Legion Park, Biscayne Boulevard at 66th Street, Miami, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Las Olas Farmers Market, adjacent to the Las Olas Chemist, 1201 E. Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays; or products can be mail-ordered (786-278-0723, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Spice girl, Jennifer Revello packs a customers spice mixture on the Sunday Lincoln Road market. Photo: Linda Bladholm.