Products and ingredients: Quatre-épices (four spices)
Quatre-épices (four spices)
Quatre-épices (4 spices) is a mix of: black pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.
Sometimes a fifth spice is added, ginger or chilli.
[Translator's note: this mix is rather hotter and less sweet than British "mixed spice", and in France is often used in savoury dishes. If using British style mixed spice as a substitute in French recipes, you will need to add extra pepper to get the same effect. I use quatre épices in cakes, fruit puddings and mincemeat, and I've got used to it - give it a try, but use with caution at first. The French "mélange sweet" is based on the British mix, but only normally available from professional bakery suppliers.]
If you intend to buy: Quatre-épices can be bought ground in supermarkets or from specialist grocers.