One of my favorite vendors at Campbell Farmer’s Market is SpiceHound. This company sells the usual suspects in the world of spices as well as some interesting salts and blends. I really enjoy their selection and purity, and recently found out they are a Whole30 approved company since they don’t use any sugar or added preservatives. Win-win! The spices I’ve bought and enjoyed from SpiceHound so far are below, described and review for your pleasure.
A suggestion from Nom Nom Paleo on a breakfast recipe piqued my interest in Aleppo Pepper. I like just about anything spicy, but I love peppers that have that lovely citrus tone. I bought a container from the vendor at the farmer’s market and I am not disappointed in the least. This Aleppo starred in my Mexican Slow-Cooker Soup, and can be used to top eggs (per the original suggestion), meat, veggies, and in any other food where you want a tangy hint of heat.
I’m not going to lie, if I had my way, I would truffle everything: mayo, cream, salt, oil. But I was a little iffy about spending $25 on a container of sea salt half the size of my iPhone, even if it was Black Truffle Sea Salt. Suffice it to say that I should not have been worried. I use this salt primarily on steaks and pork chops that I throw on my cast iron grill pan and the hint of darkness and richness the salt imparts is wonderful. The salt is also good on veggies and squash “pasta”, and adds a mysterious note to homemade mayo.
This blend was a no-brainer impulse buy one Sunday when I was feeling fancy. The herbs are fresh, the proportions are really lovely (I especially like the profusion of lavender), and the diffusion of the tastes when they are cooked slowly with meat and vegetables is even and light. I’ve used this blend primarily as a replacement rub on my roasted chicken when I’m feeling a little lazy but it also works well on baked veggies.
I originally bought this to try a recipe for Chinese Chicken Salad and it was a winner, although I don’t get enough opportunities to spread its joy around my kitchen. I suppose I’ll just have to make it a personal challenge to use more anise in my cooking and post any quirky concoctions I come up with!
I use far more nutmeg than the average kitchenista because it is a perfect substitute for cinnamon, and I happen to be allergic. Most of the time, I am disappointed by the flat, almost dirt-like taste of store-bought nutmeg. But of course the taste of SpiceHound’s blend is rich and layered, a whole different experience for the tastebuds. Most of the time, it gets used in my husband’s butternut squash soup, which is incredibly easy and delicious.
Since I bought this for my darling mother on her last trip to California to visit, I asked her to write her own review:
It “changes” everything! Applewood smoked salt brings depth, dimension, and diversity to your culinary fare; from the most complex Polynesian pork cooked in layers, to everyday scrambled eggs. It tastes like fine cured bacon without the fat and the crunch. If you dare? This “change” is good!
I will update this article whenever I try a new spice, blend, or salt, so check back whenever I make a hyperlink in a new recipe for an ingredient from SpiceHound!