wow, awesome thread.
we just buy generic bulk spices from the indian grocery or bulk bin shop but will enjoy reading spice reviews!! : )
I find it funny that 'BBG 3000' is 'the future of barbeque'
but 'Chilli 3000' is 'the now chilli'
so there are tons of spices listed here that aren't in the store, and tons in the store that aren't listed here...so it's weird.
but here are a few I feel strongly about that are listed :)
Cilantro - I really like the dried version of cilantro because fresh is just too strong for me....this gives you the feeling of cilantro without all the ickiness. (erin)
Northwoods Fire Seasoning - this is Andy's favorite spice, perhaps because his family is from the northwoods....it's spicy and woody, nice on grilled veggies.
Oregano Mexican - my favorite oregano....I often use it in non-mexican dishes...it just has a different flavor that I like.
Medium Hot Chili Powder - out of all of the chili powders I've tried from Penzey's, this is my favorite....not too hot for Andy, not too bland like the 3000 one.
Sweet Curry Powder - my favorite curry that Penzey's offers!
This is my go-to seasoning for roasted potatoes/oven fries, and it's also great for the bulk uncheese mix (I add a bit of extra salt, since it doesn't seem quite salty enough).
for those of you that have purchased the jars for your bulk spices, is size G about the same size as the "simply organic" standard spice jars? It is so hard to guess. I dumped out a jar of "simply organic" spice blend into a 1 cup measure and it seems about right but I just feel I need to double check before ordering. Having all my jars match would make me happy. : )
I don't have any Penzeys spices, but I just wanted to add that ajwain (carom) seeds are very similar to thyme, but much stronger. They are overpowering when consumed raw and can be overpowering if you add too much. Treat them like cloves, cardamom, nutmeg, and other pungent spices. They taste great in samosa dough, and added to mildly spiced vegetable side dishes (carrots, potatoes & peas is a favorite of mine)
Thanks for making this, AC! You're seriously the best. I am obsessed with Penzeys, so here we go... I am going to break mine out into a couple posts so nothing gets cut off!
Allspice Honduran - Good. I really only use allspice when baking spice or pumpkin breads, but this allspice is as good as any. (JessaCita)
Almond Extract - I loooove almond extract. Unlike vanilla extract, I can't really taste any difference between different almond extracts... But I typically buy almond extract from Penzeys or Simply Organic and I like them both. :) (JessaCita)
Apple Pie Spice - Good, but I don't typically buy it. I prefer to mix my own individual spices like cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, etc. when baking. (JessaCita)
Arrowroot Starch - I love arrowroot (I usually use it instead of cornstarch), but don't buy it from Penzeys. Theirs is waaaaay more expensive than what you can get in a larger quantity at the grocery store, either a bag from Bob's Red Mill or in the bulk section. (JessaCita)
Baking Spice - Ditto what I said about the Apple Pie Spice. This is a nice blend, but I really prefer mixing my own spices. I have had a small jar of this for ages, and every time I use that, it seems to need more "oomph," so I usually add extra cinnamon. I think there might be a little too much anise for my tastes, too. (JessaCita)
Basil - I don't care for dried basil. I don't think it tastes anything like fresh basil, so I haven't bought this more than once! (JessaCita)
Bay Leaves - Typical bay leaves. I think they are comparatively priced to what you can get anywhere else. (JessaCita)
Bell Peppers freeze-dried mixed - I never would have bought these on my own, but my mom gave me a jar so I've been using them. They're a nice addition to chili, tacos, and sloppy joes! (JessaCita)
Bold Taco Seasoning (I didn't see this one listed, but I have it, so I wanted to review it!) - NOT VEGAN! I received this for free with a coupon & didn't bother to read the ingredients (lesson learned), and had been using it for awhile when I noticed that it contains milk lactose. :( It was good, but obviously I don't use it anymore. (JessaCita)
Caraway Seed - Really delicious! I adore caraway & these are really flavorful. (JessaCita)
Ceylon "True" Cinnamon - I think this is a little too mild on its own (I LOVE cinnamon & always use a lot of it), so I like to combine it with the Vietnamese Cinnamon, since that one is stronger. I know it might sound nuts to some people that there are different kinds of cinnamon & that they taste different from one another - but they really do! I am now a cinnamon snob thanks to Penzeys. :) (JessaCita)
China Tung Hing Cinnamon - A good, all-purpose cinnamon. Like the Ceylon Cinnamon, I like to combine this Tung Hing with the Vietnamese Cinnamon for different layers of cinnamon flavor. (JessaCita)
Cinnamon Sugar - Delicious, but I don't buy it. I mean, it's cinnamon + sugar, so it's cheaper to make your own. Plus, I like using organic sugar. (JessaCita)
Cloves - Yum! Very flavorful & fresh-tasting. (JessaCita)
Crystallized Ginger - Good, but VERY expensive! I now buy my crystallized ginger from the bulk spice section at my co-op. My co-op's is organic yet much less expensive than Penzeys. (JessaCita)
European Style Peppercorns - Great! What else can you say about pepper, really? :) (JessaCita)
Garlic - Good! Definitely more potent/flavorful than the cheaper garlic powder found at most grocery stores. (JessaCita)
Ground White Pepper - I actually hate white pepper, so I'm not the best judge of this. I don't know what it is, but white pepper just smells bad to me & tastes foul. I have been afraid to experiment with it because the few times I've used it, it made the dish inedible to me! Am I weird? I doubt it's just the Penzeys white pepper, but I have never tried another brand. (JessaCita)
Herbes de Provence - Delicious! I love using this in vegetable stews. The combination of all the spices with the lavender is really lovely. (JessaCita)
Hint of Mint Hot Chocolate Mix - Awesome!! I love mixing this with almond milk & topping with Dandies marshmallows. And you gotta love a milk-free hot cocoa mix! (JessaCita)
Hot Chocolate Mix - My boyfriend prefers this one because he doesn't like mint + chocolate (I know, WTF?). It's good, but I personally like the mint one much more. (JessaCita)
Italian Herb Mix - Good, standard Italian seasoning. (JessaCita)
Juniper Berries - Great! I have only ever used these to make corned "beef" seitan, but they were delicious.
Lemon Grass - I have a really hard time chopping fresh lemon grass, so I usually use this when fresh is called for in a recipe. It's pretty mild & tastes somewhat different from the fresh, but it gets the job done. I like having it on hand. (JessaCita)
Lemon Peel - I LOVE having this in my spice rack for when I don't have any citrus but want to add a bit of zest to a dish. It has a great, fresh flavor. (JessaCita)
Medium Hot Chili Powder - My favorite chili powder! Bold, perfectly spicy (but not TOO hot), and delicious. (JessaCita)
And just a note: If you sign up for Penzeys quarterly (or monthly?) catalog, they'll mail you a coupon for a free spice pretty often. It's a great way to try new things!
Mulling Spices - Makes great mulled cider and mulled wine! (JessaCita)
Northwoods Seasoning - I really like putting this in stews and on roasted veggies in the cooler Fall & Winter months. It has a nice earthy, smoky flavor. (JessaCita)
Nutmeg - Good stuff. Definitely more potent than the supermarket brands. (JessaCita)
Onion Powder - Classic onion powder. Nothing of note to report, but it's good. (JessaCita)
Lemon Extract - I love this stuff! I always add a bit to sweet recipes (like muffins, cake, scones, etc.) that call for lemon zest. It adds a little extra lemon flavor that is delicious. (JessaCita)
Orange Extract - Yum! I add this to citrus recipes for an extra punch of orange flavor. (JessaCita)
Orange Peel - Like the lemon peel, this is great to have on hand for when I don't have fresh citrus for zesting. It has a really nice, sweet flavor. (JessaCita)
Pasta Sprinkle - I don't think this tastes any different from Italian seasoning, but I like Italian seasoning, so I like this. :) Like the name says, it's great on pasta. (JessaCita)
Poppy Seed Holland Blue - I might be crazy, but I really do think that these have more flavor than most poppy seeds. They are sweet & nutty, and I love them in muffins & coffee cake. (JessaCita)
Powdered China #1 Ginger - Very good & very strong! Wonderfully spicy & sweet. (JessaCita)
Rosemary - Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs. I can't really taste a difference in the Penzeys rosemary from any other dried rosemary, but it's good. (JessaCita)
Saffron - I actually have never liked saffron in any recipes... I think it tastes like dirt! Again I ask: Am I crazy?! What is it supposed to taste like that makes people go so gaga for it? (JessaCita)
Salt French Grey - Awesome! Very pretty & flavorful. I love sprinkling a little over roasted veggies (especially roasted rosemary potatoes!) as a finishing touch. (JessaCita)
Salt Kosher style flake - Classic Kosher salt. Good stuff. (JessaCita)
Sandwich Sprinkle (aka Crouton Seasoning) - THE BEST SPICE BLEND!!! It is so great on smoked Tofurky sandwiches, and it is the PERFECT crouton spice blend. Cube stale bread, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with Sandwich Sprinkle. Bake until golden brown, and you will have the most perfect croutons in the entire world. I have several friends who think I am a crouton genius, when really all I do is use Sandwich Sprinkle + a shake of Italian seasoning + a little extra black pepper. Amazing! (JessaCita)
Sesame Seed Black - Pretty & tasty! I love sprinkling this over Asian-marinated tofu, and over stirfries. (JessaCita)
Shallots - I have a jar of this & rarely use it. I guess I prefer fresh onions or shallots, but I think these would be good in a French onion dip made with Tofutti sour cream. (JessaCita)
Single Strength Vanilla Extract - Delicious! Very good quality vanilla. (JessaCita)
Spanish Paprika - The best smoked paprika! Fantastic flavor. Even the smell makes me swoon. (JessaCita)
Sweet Curry Powder - The best curry powder! The perfect balance of sweet & spicy. Gorgeous color, too. (JessaCita)
Turmeric - I can't really taste the difference between this turmeric & the one that I buy from the bulk area of my co-op, but it's good. (JessaCita)
Vanilla Beans Madagascar - Great! I love fresh vanilla beans, but don't buy them often because they're so expensive. (JessaCita)
Vanilla Sugar - Delicious! I prefer to make my own vanilla sugar because (again), I like to use less processed, organic sugar & it's cheaper to make my own - but this Penzeys vanilla sugar is the first I ever tried. It's very good. The smell is amazing, too. (JessaCita)
Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon - My favorite cinnamon, and my definite preference! I am forever spoiled with excellent cinnamon thanks to this. It is sweet, spicy, and very strong. The back of the jar says to use less of this cinnamon than a recipe calls for due to its strength, but I always use the full amount & it's just amazing. All other cinnamons pale in comparison. :) (JessaCita)
Whew! That's all for now. :D
Good to know! :)
I'm kinda glad to hear that you don't like white pepper, either. It seems to be called for in lots of "fancy" recipes (same with saffron), so I was thinking my taste buds just weren't elegant or classy enough. ;)
I live in Canada, but the one time I went to Penzey's I stocked up! LOVED it!
Fresh spices are definitely where its at for great tasting dishes. :)
Basil -California Sweet
Nicely flavoured, sweet
I think these have great flavour! Not too expensive, either.
Excellent. Very flavourful.
Double Strength Vanilla
Nicely flavoured and you use half as much
This is the whole nutmeg, right? Really flavourful. Will never use ground nutmeg again.
This is my go-to oregano
This is a nicely flavoured sweet paprika, with a bit of heat.
I had a little sampler of this and liked it, but now have converted to Vietnamese cinnamon. Can't turn back.
Powdered China #1 Ginger
Lovely creamy taste.
Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cinnamon
LOVE it! It is so flavourful. I think it was America's Test Kitchens preferred cinnamon, too.
Other spices that I've bought but not on the list:
Allspice - whole
Cinnamon China Cassia
I like this one with its "bite"
Cocoa Natural High Fat
Nicely flavoured, rich
Vanilla - Mexican (not a bean)
Vanilla with a spicy kick. Like it!
While rummaging in my drawers I noticed I also have Ceylon "True" Cinnamon which I forgot I had... I was smitten with the Vietnamese cinnamon. I should start using this one, too! I also have their double-strength cardamom that I have yet to use.
I also have the Turkish sumac, but not sure what it is supposed to taste like and have yet to really experiment with it. Will update when I know more about it. :)
I haven't tried the one from Penzey's yet, but I adore my Aleppo chili flakes (I picked mine up while I was in Turkey and haven't needed to replenish yet). It is more flavourful than spicy and I throw it into anything... I substitute it for all kinds of sipce since I don't like meals that are super spicy. Aleppo has a nice balance... So if anyone wants to try something new, try Aleppo! :)
No, I think a lot of people don't like it. I kinda remember a discussion somewhere on vw about it. I think sb likes it! I threw out my baggie of it, because it was stinking up everything. Gross.
I do like it, but the trick is to get whole white peppercorns and freshly crack them. I've not had the best luck with ground white pepper, and I've heard other people complaining about an "off" taste. I would attribute that to a slow turnover rate and it sitting on shelves for ever and ever. Because white pepper is DELICIOUS.