Penzey's Spices

Spice truly is the variety of life . .and at Penzey’s Spices, there is a lot to choose from. Specializing in gourmet spices and seasonings, if you are looking for something particular, they are sure to have it; from Adobo Seasoning (a traditional salt free Mexican spice mix) to Zahtar (a popular Middle-Eastern seasoning blend of sumac, thyme sesame and salt), with everything in between. Penzey’s also carries a variety of natural liquid flavourings such as single and double strength Pure Vanilla extracts.

Penzey’s prides itself in a variety of house blended spice mixes, such as their BBQ 3000. This blend works as a spice rub for meat for grilling and is a blend of (ready?) . . . .salt, paprika, black pepper, nutmeg, powdered mustard, allspice, powdered lemon peel, garlic powder, ginger, sage, thyme, white pepper, cinnamon and natural smoke flavour. . . .whew! That’s a whole bunch of flavour!

Being big salad eaters, we purchased the Buttermilk Ranch mix, which when added to sour cream and buttermilk was much lower in fat than any of thee popular store bought brands and we could make as little or as much as we wanted so that it was always fresh at each meal.

We also picked up a gift set for some friends. The gift set, called the Salad Lover’s Gift Box, contained one 70gr or 2.5oz jar each of Buttermilk Ranch, Creamy Peppercorn, Green Goddess and Italian. Again, our friends were able to make as little or as much as they needed, ensuring the dressing was fresh.

A great wedding gift idea is Penzey’s Gift Crates. These are deluxe gift sets that include an overall selection of spices and seasonings, perfect for setting up a new home together. For the couple just starting out together in the kitchen the original The Wedding Gift Crate is ideal; with one jar each of Chicago Steak Seasoning, Chili Powder, Basil, Rosemary, Garlic Salt, Pizza Seasoning, Oregano, Jerk Chicken and Fish rub, Parsley, Cocoa, Taco Seasoning, Italian Herb Mix, Cinnamon, Country French Vinaigrette Mix, Dill Weed, French Thyme and Pure Vanilla Extract. The crate also includes a beautiful wooden salt and pepper shaker set as well as whole nutmegs, cinnamon sticks and star anise pods. Definitely not a boring wedding gift the bride would want to return.

The staff were very knowledgeable, providing tips on how to use their products, the shelf life of the spices (did you know most spices should be used within two years?) and whether or not we could bring them across the border into Canada from the United States. We also discovered that Kosher salt has a sodium level of less than half of that of regular table or sea salt. For someone with a family member on a sodium-reduced diet, this was a great bit of information, and we have since switched to Kosher salt.

Penzey’s Spices are located in Wauwatosa, WI, but we visited their store at Pike Place Market in Seattle, WA. There are Penzey’s store locations in 27 states (check their website for store locations).They are also available to order online and ship throughout the United States including Hawaii and Alaska. Sadly, they do not ship to Canada.

Penzey’s: Love to cook – Cook to Love

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