Tuesday, March 24, 2009

hot and spicy

Hey. Do ya love Penzey's spices as much as I do? I bet some of you are nodding. I've never been lucky enough to go to one of the shops in person, but once I made an online purchase I was hooked. These days I'm totally into the cinnamon, ooh and the chile powder. The catalog that I receive in the mail is very descriptive and often includes recipes with which to use the spices. Or I suppose to lure you into buying them... Here's a link to one that I made last weekend for the kids: puffed apple pancakes.

On a similar note, if you want to support a similar and LOCAL merchant, check out this small shop in Kerrytown, called The Spice Merchant. Although the variety is not quite as great as Penzey's online, it is wonderful to walk into a local shop selling an interesting collection of fresh spices. Last year when I was working through the Fork in the Road cookbook by Eric Villegas, one recipe called for tomato powder. The closest thing I could find was a smoked tomato blend at The Spice Merchant. It was also great on top of grilled cedar planked salmon.

Whether you're an Ann Arborite looking for somewhere local or reading from far away, there are definitely better spice options than the small selection at your big box grocery. And believe it or not, they do make a difference.


Maggie said...

My aunt has gotten me spices from Penzey's for a couple Christmases and I love them. Their ground ginger is the best I've ever had, it's amazingly fragrant! I also really like their Parisian herb mix on steamed vegetables and in egg dishes.

Growing up in Detroit I remember fondly going to Eastern Market at the crack of dawn and the powerful smells of Rafal Spice Co. Eastern Market is a long drive for me now but my parents still live in Detroit and get spices there. They sell online as well.

Sara said...

I love penzeys, I'm really excited because they just opened a store near me!

Sam from The Second Lunch said...

Penzeys, oh Penzeys.

I first went to a Penzey's in Minnesota a few years back and fell in love.

Having spent many summers in Istanbul Turkey, with access to the Spice Bazaar, I'm certainly a spoiled girl- try going to a supermarket and spending six dollars on a 2 ounce jar after living near that place.

But Penzey's...Penzey's certainly makes me happy!

doggybloggy said...

I have a penzeys gift certificate for 10 bucks I guess I need to give these guys a try...

Jane said...

About a month ago, my daughter and I were in A2, hitting the farmer's market, Zingerman's, and discovered The Spice Merchant. It's a fantastic place, filled with combinations of spices I never would have tried but that work together really well. It's a good thing my daughter was there to drag me out before I spent too much money!

My favorites are the cranberry maple rub and the Great Lakes blend, so far. And they actually stock vanilla powder, which I couldn't find anywhere else.

Great place, fun to shop there!

Sharon said...

Do you realize that there is a Penzey's in Beverly Hills Michigan? Less than an hour from the Ann Arbor area? It is a must go experience.