Variety’s the Very Spice of Life

Trader Joe's Spices

Having a variety of spices available at home has been an enormous help when experimenting with new foods, ethnic traditions and unfamiliar recipes.While I still purchase the typical grocery store finds, the most impressive spices have been from one of two places:  Penzey’s and Trader Joe’s.

While writing last week’s Friday’ Five about Trader Joe’s staples, I realized that their entire spice and herb selection has become a staple in my kitchen.

And, really, all of these are fantastic.

A few that are worth highlighting:

The 21 Seasoning Salute is a fantastic no-salt-added, universal flavor addition.  Similar to Mrs. Dash . . . but better!

The Pumpkin Pie Spice is only sold during this time of year, so I stock up.  Besides the usual uses in baked goods, I sometimes add it to my morning bowl of oatbran and smoothies.  And compared to the same size container at my local grocery store, this one is a steal.

The South African Smoke Seasoning Blend is a newer addition to my pantry.  The container is a grinder!  It grinds the pepper, salt and other spices as you twist the top.  I’m a big fan of the smokiness it adds to mexican dishes, soups and my creamy salad dressing.

Overall, I’ve always been very happy with the quality of their herbs, spices and seasonings.  What are some of your favorites and where do you find them?

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  1. says

    I’m a HUGE fan of Pink Himalayan salt. I like it better than sea salt (probably because it’s pink more than anything else :-) ). I’ve found the best deal on it at Sprouts. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Trader Joes and I’m excited to share that Colorado is getting our first Trader Joe’s soon in Denver sometime in 2013!

  2. says

    I love all the Mrs. Dash blends – most are salt free, which I love. I also am a sucker for Old Bay. I love Penzy’s – the tomato basil, the forward blend, Za-tar, Turkish, Balti, Southwestern BBQ, Italian Sausage….I could go on and on and OH!! They have the best curry powder blends and Indian blends. The Rogan Josh is hands down, best Indian spice blend I’ve ever had.

    • says

      Thanks, Katie! My mom lives near a Penzey’s so I’m going to ask her to grab some of the Rogan Josh. I LOVE good Indian spices. The tomato basil…is that a ground spice? Gah! I can’t wait to try some of these. I’m such a dork! :)

  3. says

    I would say cumin is a major staple for me. I’m weirdly sensitive to capsaicin, but I like have a spicy kick in my foods. Cumin delivers that for me! I don’t have a particular place I stock up though; where ever I am shopping for groceries that day and whatever is cheapest!

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