World Spice Merchant: The best flavors, less salt, no sugar added
It sounds so elegant and intriguing, doesn’t it? All Spices are not created equal. When you go to a fine restaurant, the flavors usually stand out. They are amped up a notch even when a simple meal. There’s a reason. There’s a difference between buying bulk spices at Costco in a large plastic bottle and buying super fresh spices in bulk from a local spice merchant. The Costco cost savings is great, but you lose a lot in flavor.
When you flavor your foods with the freshest herbs and spices, you get the best results. Knowing your flavors, understanding aromas, playing with unique blends — oh yes it makes a difference. And when you use the best spices, you use less sugar and less salt.
My husband and I enjoy cooking. Once upon a time, we learned in our Mom’s kitchens. And out came the bottles of herbs and spices. Some smelled divine. Others had lost their aroma — but if the bottle was in the cupboard, it was used. That meant that a 10-year-old bottle of spice might be used for a soup stock, but the flavor was long diminished if not gone. What happens when the chef finds bold or subtle freshness in a spice? BAM! The foods that come from the kitchen are magnificently amped up and the flavors are spectacular. Friends always comment on all the spices and how uniquely flavorful and good Rick’s grills are. Or ask about the rubs he uses.
We were introduced to the World Spice Merchant near the Pike Place Market in Seattle some 12 years ago. We did a lot of photography at the market, shopped for fresh meat and produce on a weekly basis, and absolutely loved roaming around in the early hours. We shared dinners with good friends, and Larry once raved about this almost hidden gem of a store just below the market.
Rick and I are now frequent customers, buying spices and teas from around the world.
Cooking at home is so important. It’s a family thing. It’s a collaboration that helps a couple connect creatively and then enjoy the results. When a couple cooks together, they share sacred time together. When a family cooks together, the kitchen bond is one that will last a lifetime. When Rick talks of his early cooking days, he fondly remembers his grandmother. When I think back to my early cooking years, I get a warm feeling of being in Mom’s kitchen and making soups, salads, and many fine meals. It’s not even the food I remember. But it is the festivity, or the family bonding.
When you cook, you are creating something wonderful. When you use the best foods, you may as well use the best spices too. And frankly, in many cases, they are less expensive than those mass produced bottles that are stale before they even reach your cupboard.
World Spice Merchant — we love you!