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Jan 06 2008

Cool stuff review: Penzeys spices

Despite the trauma of painting/hanging/resizing/repainting/rehanging/gluing/rehanging the doors this afternoon, I had enough mental energy to go through all my spices. I really had no choice; they’ve been sitting in several boxes on my counter for over a week as we were pantry door-less. And I figured…since I have to go and put them all back on the rack on the back of the door, I might as well refill them and make note of what I need to replenish. Oy. I have quite a few to get.

Good thing I’m in the know. If you’re not familiar with Penzeys Spices, shame on you. If you cook and still get your spices from the supermarket…oh, you poor thing. You don’t know what you’re missing!

I have bought my spices from Penzeys for the last ten years or so. The quality is absolutely top-notch. Spices and herbs and blends that actually taste like spices and herbs and blends. You can get most everything in smaller batches, or in larger bulk sizes. Price-wise…much less than grocery store prices, especially for the quality. The company has been growing quickly, adding stores nationwide. I like this, ’cause now I don’t have to pay for shipping. Then again, this does mean I have to get my poor sorry self over to the only store in the Denver area, but I’d go for the scents alone. Mmmm…

Some highlights:

  • Double-strength vanilla. Oh my. Skip that vanilla flavoring crap at the grocery store, get some of this, and you’ll never be the same. Get this…there’s a vanilla bean in the bottle. As you get down to the very very bottom of the bottle, take that lil’ vanilla bean, slice it open saving the seeds (they’re the best part), and bury all the pieces in a canister of sugar. Voila! Vanilla sugar for coffee, tea, and baking. But the double-strength vanilla is the best vanilla out there.
  • Soup bases. All sorts of flavor here, and no MSG!!! I keep the chicken soup base on hand for recipes when I have no chicken broth on hand; also good for making rice. I use the ham base for making bean soup. I think I’m also going to get the beef base for beef stews and soups. These have lots of flavor and really add to recipes.
  • Indian spices. Ok, complete honesty time, I haven’t actually made any Indian foods with the selection of yummy spices I have, but I will. I like to stick my nose in the jars and take a deeeep breath. Mmmm…
  • Cinnamon. Another one I love to just sniff, but I use this. A lot. I make my own cinnamon sugar, I put cinnamon on applesauce, in oatmeal. Penzeys has several different cinnamons to choose from; I think I usually go for the Korintje Cassia Cinnamon.
  • Cocoa powder. With this bit o’ love, you will never make boxed pudding again. Get the big bag, trust me. Hot cocoa, cookies, cakes, pudding…you name it, this cocoa knocks it outta the park.

I could go on and on about how wonderful everything is there. We’ve gotten several of their gift boxes for family and friends. The salt-free gift box is especially loved, since those on salt-free diets get really sick of Mrs. Dash after awhile.

Go browse the website, request a catalog, or stop by a store. I have enjoyed everything I’ve gotten there, and most of all, I’ve used them. Have fun with it!

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  1. Sarah

    You should get paid by them. I moved in June and have been slowly building up my spice collection. I have four. I used to have a HUGE set but let my ex-husband keep them all in a moment of stupidity. Now I shall re-stock!

  2. karen (Pediascribe)

    Ok, there is this spice store by the cross stitch store I go to and I always laugh. I can’t believe a SPICE STORE can stay in business! How many ppl shop at a spice store???
    Well, I checked your Penzeys site and sure enough, that’s the one that’s right there! Guess I’ll be checking it out! I have some spices that are….uh…15 years old! (obviously, I don’t use those spices much!)

  3. tendrils

    I just got a bunch of these spices for CHristmas!!!!! I LOVE THEM!!!!!!

  4. Heather

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll have to check them out. Many of my spices are very old and have lost all flavor – they are just taking up space on my counter and in my cabinets.

  5. wordhawk

    Hey Jen,
    I’ve got some good, fast, easy Indian recipes for you…just drop me a line!
    Kat

  1. PediaScribe » TACKLE IT TUESDAY–SPICE CUPBOARD

    […] time I tackled my spice cabinet. After reading a post about Penzey’s Spices over at Never a Dull Moment, and realizing there is a Penzey’s Spice store right next to the […]

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