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Spices: not everybody likes them hot, and that’s OK

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Flavourable impressions: Rinelle White, of Umami Bermuda, says her spices are not about burning your mouth (Photograph supplied)

This month, Rinelle White, of Umami Bermuda, has handed out more than 250 free samples of her spice blends, and plans to offer more in the coming weeks.

Her goal is to make converts of the “spice averse”.

During her five years in business, she has learnt that not everyone has good associations with the word “spice”. She thinks of flavour when she hears the word, but others think “heat“.

“They think about that one time they ate something and their mouth was on fire, and their nose was running and their eyes were watering,” she said.

And while she does sell “warmer” blends such as Umami Jerk and The Hot Mexican, most of her offerings will not leave you gasping for water.

“Our challenge now is ensuring our community understands that spices are more about flavour than heat,” Ms White said.

It is hard for her to tell how much the mistaken association with heat is deterring customers.

“It is not like people come to me and say I was going to try them but I hear ‘fiery’,” she said. “But that association might mean people take longer to get comfortable enough to try them.”

Range of taste: Umami Bermuda spices (File photograph)

With the holiday season under way, she is specifically giving away single servings of The Herbed Turkey blend, a mixture of rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic and onion.

She said The Herbed Turkey is a versatile blend, and is not only good for a turkey, but is also tasty on vegetables, meat, beans and rice.

“It is good for the holiday season,” she said. “I love it on green beans.”

She said: “People think of buying advertisements or spending money when they think of marketing costs, but this is a better marketing cost because it is food and people are curious about what things taste like before they buy something.”

It is too soon to tell if the move is resulting in actual sales.

The idea for the giveaway came out of her participation in Ignite’s latest entrepreneurial incubator cohort.

She joined Ignite to hone her business skills.

“I come from a financial background,” she said. “There are a lot of aspects of entrepreneurship that I don’t know. I had heard good things about Ignite, so I said I would give it a go.”

At Ignite, Ms White is enjoying working with other emerging business owners. She said building a business can be lonely, and it is nice to bounce ideas off other people.

“Ignite is a good place for ideas and assistance when you have questions,” she said. “The other day I was saying something about business cards and someone asked if I had a QR code on my business card. I do not, but I will add one when I get them reprinted. Everyone there has something to offer. Being in that environment is inspiring.”

Lately, she has had several requests for salt-free options, so she is working on creating two blends to meet the demand.

“One will be more of an herb-based salt-free blend and the other will be a spice,” she said.

Her blends are for sale at Miles Market, Wadson’s Farm, Long Story Short, ER Fisheries and at LF Wade International Airport, besides her website, umamibermuda.com.

Her free samples will be available at the Huckleberry Market, at the Rosedon Hotel on Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke, on Tuesdays from 5pm until 9pm until Christmas. They will also be available at Island Pantry on Serpentine Road, Pembroke, this Saturday from 12pm to 3pm, and at Chatmore’s Christmas Market, at Chatmore British International School, 9 St Mark’s Road, Smith’s on Saturday from 10am to 3pm.

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Published November 24, 2022 at 7:43 am (Updated November 24, 2022 at 7:43 am)

Spices: not everybody likes them hot, and that’s OK

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