Penzeys

I know that I have mentioned my love of Penzeys' spices here before and I had someone leave a question in a comment about my favorite things from there, so I thought that I would dedicate a post to Penzeys and maybe inspire others to step into a whole new world of cooking.

I was introduced to Penzeys by my friend Laurie. Among other things, we share a love of good food, cooking, and finding really good deals. And I remember the first time that she and her husband came over to our house, Micah and I were singing the praises of French cocoa and vanilla sugar and she was telling us about how she made her own vanilla sugar (which we have since done and it is awesome, let me tell you!) and she uses vanilla beans from her favorite spice store Penzeys. Now to be honest, I was a little unsure that one "needed" to have a special spice store--especially one that you had to order spices from because there isn't an actual store near you. Well, earlier this year, we had been out to dinner together and we stopped by their house afterwards and she showed me her spice drawer and just started opening jars and and saying, 'ooh, you have to smell this...and this...." and let me tell you, after smelling just the cinnamon, my life was changed forever and I was completely won over! I left that night with little baggies of shared spices and for Christmas, she had put together a little grab bag of some of their favorite spices as well as some of their Dutch process cocoa in hopes of seeing how it compared to the aforementioned French cocoa. If any of you have been to my house, you have most likely been introduced to my very own spice drawer and spent some time smelling all of the different delights that come from Penzeys. I am just blown away by the depth of flavors and freshness that their spices and herbs have and I have been pleasantly surprised that although some things may be a bit more expensive, most of their spices are very reasonably priced and in some cases even less expensive than what you find in the grocery store, because let's face it, spices are expensive! Laurie and I have been doing orders together to save on shipping and have even been known to order a 4 oz bag of something to split since a 4 oz bag costs about the same as a 1.5 oz bottle. So, without further ado, let me give you my absolute favorites from Penzeys:
  • Cinnamon--it really doesn't matter if you get the Korintje, Chinese Cassia, or even the new Penzey's Blend--this cinnamon will completely change your life, it is just so 'earthy' and rich and amazing!
  • Bay leaves--it may seem a bit silly, but their bay leaves smell like no bay leaves I have ever smelled and take it from me, order the smallest bag possible, b/c they weigh very little. I have been sharing with everyone, so that mine don't go stale before they are gone. Bay leaves are a great way to add flavor to soups/stews without adding salt and I have started putting them in almost everything.
  • Cumin
  • Shallot Pepper
  • Chipotle Chili Pepper
  • Ginger
  • Aleppo Pepper--Micah literally uses this on so much stuff. It is not as spicy as crushed red pepper and just adds a great little kick
  • Sweet Curry Powder--Micah and I are big curry fans and I have been loving this mix and am looking forward to trying some new ones
  • Tellicherry Peppercorns
  • Northwoods Seasoning--we use this on homemade popcorn all the time
  • Tuscan Sunset Seasoning--we got this as a free sample and it is so good
  • Sandwich Sprinkle--this is good on almost anything as well, the boys even ask for it on their ham and cheese sandwiches
  • Dutch Process Cocoa Powder--so smooth and almost buttery--it really is amazing and definitely competes with the French cocoa
I honestly think I could go on and on, but William just got up and really, I think that I have inundated you with enough information. One more awesome thing...every time you order from them, they include a little sample of a new spice, so you get to try new stuff and normally on their catalog is included a coupon for a free bottle of something. Last time was a free jar of Fresh Ground Pepper, this time it is a free jar of Penzey's cinnamon. And like I always say, you can't beat free stuff! :) If you order some, let me know what you get, it is really fun to exchange Penzeys' stories! Also, since I am apparently in the mood for doing food related posts, I will try to share some of the different things I have "thrown together" using my Penzeys spices. Having really good spices and seasonings has definitely made me more adventuresome in my cooking with some pretty good results, if I do say so myself.

Comments

Laurie said…
I have to say that Becky is right on target regarding the spices. The only reason I discovered Penzeys was because a lady in Birmingham bought her vanilla sugar there and I was intrigued. Since then, (2004) who knows how many spices we have used! In fact, every time my family visits from Mississippi, they call ahead and ask what I need from Penzeys!
debbi said…
Becky,
Thanks so much for this post. I was the one who left the comment asking what you Penzeys spices you use and this is a great help. I appreciate it so much.
Debbi
listgirl said…
Thank you so much for this post! I'm showing Todd right now, LOL.

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