To my knowledge, traditionally these exotic spices were used in Asian and probably to some extent in the Middle Eastern kitchen. Gradually they have gained popularity in the Western kitchen as well, finding their ways into sauces, pasta flavors, salad sauces, vegetable dishes and deserts.
Latest we had the opportunity to taste them in parfaits (semi frozen Ice cream). We chose one each with Saffron and Ginger flavor. The Saffron Parfait was served with Passion fruit sauce.
This one was the Ginger Parfait, with a very subtle flavour of Ginger in it.
The Saffron Parfait had a pinch more flavour and tasted good. In fact, between the two of us, we shared the passion fruit sauce to give the Ginger Parfait a little bit of a taste.
Verdict: Both parfaits were refreshing and interesting. We conveyed a message to the cook, that esp. the Ginger one, could have a pinch more. However cares needs to be taken, not to over do it. Ginger is spicy and Saffron get add a bitter taste, if more than required is added. Thus: go slow!
Have you tried deserts with exotic or unusual spices? Which ones? Did you like it?
Have you been inspired by deserts or spices of cultures, where you have travelled?