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Commercial spice mixes


Dave the Cook
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Whenever we go to the Penzey's store or order from their site, we're gifted with samples, usually of one of their proprietary spice or herb mixtures. To our surprise, some of these have turned out to be pretty good, a couple not-so-good, and at least one that's mystifying. 

 

The good: Chip & Dip—nice for just what its name suggests, seasoning for a salty-snack dip. Lots of ingredients, but no salt.

Pico Fruta—Good on melons and fruit salad. Chilies, sugar, lemon and a couple of other things. .

Sandwich Sprinkle—this is reminiscent of the seasoning you get on a sub sandwich, especially in the Northeast US. It's an easy additive to basic vinaigrettes. Salt, garlic, pepper, oregano, basil, some other stuff, including rosemary, which I can see but can't taste.

Justice—Almost all the alliums (no leeks), dried and ground. We keep finding uses for it. Shallots, garlic, onion, green peppercorns, chives, green onion.

Sunny Spain—We stumbled across this when we were searching for a salt-free version of classic lemon-pepper seasoning. That's pretty much what this is. Pepper, citric acid, lemon peel, garlic, onion.

 

Mixtures we didn't care for: Northwoods—the blurb on the bottle says it's traditional. Maybe it is in Northwoods, Wisconsin (which is where they say it's popular). We thought it was meh. Salt, paprika, pepper, thyme, rosemary, garlic and . . . chipotle?

Ozark—Having lived in Georgia for more than 50 years, I get suspicious when a Northerner claims something is "classically Southern." This is not. It also has too many ingredients to list, which seem to have canceled each other out.

BBQ3000—This actually isn't bad, but it's generic-tasting and not worth spending money on.

 

Anyone else the beneficiary of spice-shop largesse? What did you think?

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Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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I liked Tsar Dust Memories (salt, garlic, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, marjoram) on chicken, per their recommendations. I used Greek Seasoning (salt, oregano, garlic, lemon peel, Telicherry black pepper, marjoram) in a vinaigrette and, I think, with beans. And I used Revolution (flake salt, Telicherry black pepper, cane sugar, turmeric, orange peel, coriander) on something but I can't remember what. I also have, but haven't opened yet, Fajita Seasoning, Quebec Beef Spice, and the aforementioned Sandwich Sprinkle. I also have a regular jar of Justice.

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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I do not use many but I will start with some "old school" ones - Lawry's Seasoning Salt (find it best on beef) and Lemon Pepper - general purpose as well as Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning. Just the little oomph at times needed.

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13-Spice Powder.

Only wimps make do with the 5-spice.

 

三十香.jpg

 

Contents: sand kernels, cloves, angelica, star anise, fennel, chilli pepper, galangal, orange peel, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried ginger, hawthorn, and licorice.

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

13-Spice Powder.

Only wimps make do with the 5-spice.

 

三十香.jpg

 

Contents: sand kernels, cloves, angelica, star anise, fennel, chilli pepper, galangal, orange peel, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried ginger, hawthorn, and licorice.

 

I prefer to have sand between my toes than between my teeth!!!

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7 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

No actual sand involved. See Wurfbainia Villosa here.

I figured... but still thought it was funny!  I never learn - dry humo(u)r doesn't translate well through typing...

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9 hours ago, liuzhou said:

Contents: sand kernels, cloves, angelica, star anise, fennel, chilli pepper, galangal, orange peel, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried ginger, hawthorn, and licorice.

 

Is this like US labels which are listed in order of volume/weight of ingredient?

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@Dave the Cook 

 

I agree w y0u on Penzy's

 

the sandwich sprinkle works very well for

 

making garlic bread.

 

a second favorite is Chicago Steak ( Penzey's version , not from the other stor

 

whose name Ive forgotten , w similar lineage .  that vision of CS is quite different )

 

try just a little CS on salmon , you pan roast , to rare in the middle.

 

just a touch    excellent!

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Just a couple off the cranium:

 

Penzys  :

 

I like their Turkish and Pizza seasoning blends,  and the Northwoods too

 

Others :

 

Braggs 24 spice blends

 

Slap Ya Momma

 

Cajun Creole 

 

Plowboys BBQ Rub--  he is a grand champion BBQ competitor/  they get a superbowl ( Type ) ring if they win, pretty cool

Edited by Paul Bacino (log)

Its good to have Morels

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1 hour ago, Paul Bacino said:

Just a couple off the cranium:

 

Penzys  :

 

I like their Turkish and Pizza seasoning blends,  and the Northwoods too

 

That reminded me: I buy it in a larger bag, not sample size, but I'm a big fan of Penzey's Frozen Pizza Seasoning, although I've used it mainly in soups and with beans, never on a frozen pizza. 

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"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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13 hours ago, liuzhou said:

13-Spice Powder.

Only wimps make do with the 5-spice.

 

三十香.jpg

 

Contents: sand kernels, cloves, angelica, star anise, fennel, chilli pepper, galangal, orange peel, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, dried ginger, hawthorn, and licorice.

 


Damn straight - I pity the fool that is satisfied with 5 spices …

 

FC69B4AE-229E-46D0-AE35-4AB6441784BE.thumb.jpeg.c6d4cba5400b2a364e3ce3b5727b0694.jpeg
 

This always reminds me of this scene …

 

 

“8 spices ? Some must be double …”

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Here are some blends I like to put on meat (mostly) …

 

A well balanced “italian” mix, popular in German households

 

5B725811-12BD-4424-83EE-EDDE807F0F45.thumb.jpeg.aa417bca4e6898491519c4c38bb2abaa.jpeg

 

A spicy and complex Turkish mix,

meant for minced meat, but great on any kind of grilled stuff …

 

C18B99C9-1467-4EF0-A8DE-47A32ACF5274.thumb.jpeg.215c49023f6b394088e2ee3984f239e6.jpeg

 

”Chinese BBQ”

 

CDDF04DB-5EEB-4971-A874-44FD7E7FFE69.thumb.jpeg.e4c1aaf31333ff30a48c95a0bfd4f33d.jpeg

 

Technically “just” Shichimi Togarashi, bit with a strong yuzu-mandarine note. Great on grilled poultry.

 

6277EF86-2D79-49CE-815B-2D66CCBD5B53.thumb.jpeg.2c4e93867512dd1606bcf35746813710.jpeg

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3 hours ago, rotuts said:

Chicago Steak ( Penzey's version , not from the other stor

 

whose name Ive forgotten , w similar lineage .  that vision of CS is quite different )

 

This, plus the fact that Penzey's spice mixtures make many geographic references: streets (Galena, Brady, Mitchell and Muskego); cities (Bangkok, Chicago, Krakow, Fox Point and Paris); states and other areas (California, Chesapeake Bay, Florida, the Rocky Mountains, Quebec) makes me wonder.

 

Some obviously commemorate local places of note (the street names, for example). But who gets to decide what a city tastes like—and why does Penzey's Quebec include coriander, but McCormick's has red pepper? And what's the reasoning behind Florida the spice mix containing (among other things) lemon peel, garlic and onion—even though Florida the state doesn't produce any of these things in appreciable quantities?

 

Of course I jest, but finally, does the combination of Parmesan, bell peppers and shallots really evoke the Rocky Mountains? 

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Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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1 hour ago, Dave the Cook said:

 

 

 

 

This stuff is pretty good. And surprisingly popular in Louisiana.

My wife grew up in a suburb of New Orleans - she said that everyone she knew put Tony Chachere on EVERYTHING! 

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I use a fair bit of both Penzey’s Florida Pepper and Lawry’s Lemon Pepper on fish.    Reminds me of how my grandfather would make fish filets

 

I have an obligatory can of Old Bay that is required of all homes in the DC/Maryland/NOVA area.   I hide on a high shelf so it doesn’t accidentally get added to food

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

The spice mixes from this place are wonderful, and will set one back a fair amount...

 

La Boite NY

 

Intriguing. But I'd rather not drop that kind of cash without (a) recommendation(s). Got any?

 

1 hour ago, Dr. Teeth said:

I use a fair bit of both Penzey’s Florida Pepper and Lawry’s Lemon Pepper on fish.    Reminds me of how my grandfather would make fish filets

 

I have an obligatory can of Old Bay that is required of all homes in the DC/Maryland/NOVA area.   I hide on a high shelf so it doesn’t accidentally get added to food

 

I haven't made up my mind on the Florida pepper. Around here, a little Old Bay finds its way into shrimp salad, but mostly it goes on popcorn. 

 

1 hour ago, KennethT said:

My wife grew up in a suburb of New Orleans - she said that everyone she knew put Tony Chachere on EVERYTHING! 

 

I'm sure the ubiquity of Tony Chachere is what convinced Prudhomme and Lagasse (mistakenly, IMO) that they could successfully market their own upscale blends. 

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Dave Scantland
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dscantland@eGstaff.org
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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

The spice mixes from this place are wonderful, and will set one back a fair amount...

 

La Boite NY

 

2 minutes ago, Dave the Cook said:

Intriguing. But I'd rather not drop that kind of cash without (a) recommendation(s). Got any?

 

Not really. All my evidence is circumstantial; that is, others who use the various blends love them. 

 

I think he was kinda well-respected amongst a lot of chefs for his early adoption of upping  the spice/dried herb game here. And being able to sell/tell more of the story about the stuff.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I love Penzey's blends. Fox Point, Sunny Paris, Garden Salad (I've never used on a salad. I use it on garlic bread.), Mural of Flavor and probably others. Occasionally, Trader Joe's has a blend I really like. A number of years ago they had Flower Pepper--black peppercorns with various flower petals. Like many things I love, it was promptly discontinued. My sister and I moaned about it for years and years. I finally found a recipe online and made my own a couple of years ago. 

 

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Deb

Liberty, MO

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