Saturday, November 6, 2010

Variety, the spice of life

I stopped by Dean's Natural Foods in Westgate Plaza on Central. They have a very nice bulk spice counter. I picked up crashed red pepper, black peppercorns, thyme, rubbed sage, allspice, juniper berries, some bay leaves and a few whole pieces of nutmeg. All for the low price of about $6. They have little bags to fill with a sticker on it. I write on the name of the spice and the date. (Friendly piece of advice: It is easier to write on the bag before you fill it. Ask me how I know.) There are a few other stores locally that have similar bulk spice setups. Honest Weight has a pretty large one - very nice salt selection there. I didn't need any during this trip, but the chili powder and granulated garlic sold here are excellent. Perfect in rubs. That garlic is strong though, go easy on it at first.

My favorite part of this kind of system is that you can try something very cheaply. Got a recipe calling for a teaspoon of turmeric and don't want to buy a whole bottle of dead spice that has been on a market shelf for 7 years? You can buy a teaspoon of turmeric and be on your way.


  1. Juniper berries? Are you going to make gin? :D
    Is it wrong that I buy my spices @ The $ Store?

  2. I have probably had many meals cooked with $Store spices. For some spices, I don't really see a problem with it - garlic salt, garlic powder, paprika if it is being used for color, onion powder...that kind of stuff. For herbs like basil or oregano, one of these bulk spice stands will elevate your cooking and do it cheaply.

    My bathtub isn't clean enough to make gin. The juniper berries are for some pancetta I will be curing in the near future. Ten pounds of pork belly should be heading my way this week. Five for bacon, five for pancetta.