Ingredient Driven

Am I the only one that looks through spice racks or produce stands and finds that really odd ingredient, herb or spice and then searches out a way to use it?  It is almost like a sport to me!  I have created some really wonderful, surprising meals or desserts, but then again, I have created some creations that should have just stayed on the shelf.   Needless to say my pantry ends up being the morgue for those once-used items too.

Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese Seven Spice) hmm, I had heard of Chinese Five Spice, so I thought I would try this!  Wow, what a kick.  I had never before had spicy Japanese.  I used it in a Seafood Stew.

Different salts are fun too.  Of course the over used truffle salt, on popcorn is great, but there are so many that completely change the boring old popcorn, to a wow late TV snack!

Do you have a favorite, non run of the mill spice or ingredient idea to pass on?  I am always open to suggestions.

Better now too, I have discovered the high end grocery stores carry many unique spices in bulk, so now I can buy just a TBSP full, instead of the whole bottle!  The ideas are endless!