Patrick “Padma” Stultiens writes:
Hare Krishna Kurma! Padmanabha here. I’m the General Manager at the Govinda Valley Spiritual Retreat Centre in Otford, NSW.
I was wondering what you prefer in a large commercial kitchen: steel containers for spices or is plastic okay? Plastic of course is not so clean but you see what’s in the jar, while steel you can’t see. Of course, labels are possible, but seeing is easier, yes? What’s your opinion, Oh ‘Best of the Vegetarian Cooks’?!
My reply: Labels come off and are prone to deterioration. And besides, everything must be labelled, plastic or metal since, although seeing is believing, anyone can make mistakes and confuse cumin powder for coriander powder for chat masala, or paprika for chili powder, or salt for citric acid. Seen it all … ;(
My favourite is plastic that is unbreakable – not brittle or breakable but the squeezable flexy type. And each container should easily be able to be quickly grasped with one hand.
In the large kitchens at the Melbourne Hare Krishna temple they have giant plastic spice containers which need two hands to lift – impractical.
At the Perth branch they have nice elegant stainless steel containers which are not see-through. BUT…the labels are peeling, or someone has put a different thing inside to what is on the label, and worst of all the lids stick due to dinting and poor design.
In a large commercial kitchen you must be able to identify ingredients instantly when you need them, and they must be in easy reach and grasp. That’s my experience. No time for fiddling around trying to remove lids and identifying contents.
So go for one-hand graspable plastic – no wider than 12cm-15cm-ish in diameter and no taller than 20cm-ish.
Keep ’em filled, label them clearly with printed labels on computer printout label paper that can be replaced, and ‘bob’s your uncle’. Or Balaram is actually, since Krishna is your father….anyway, Happy spicing!
Posted by Kurma on 13/7/07; 10:07:58 AM