Of yummy, yummy spices

I have an addiction. 

I could eat Lebanese food every day for every meal.  I looooove it.  It started back in highschool when I got a job working at The Green Valley Lebanese Restaurant in Toledo, Ohio.  The cooks badgered me every time I ate there because I always just ordered an “american” hamburger.. In my defense, it WAS on the menu..  They finally picked on me, and teased me into trying a Shish Taouk pita sandwich.  I was very nervous because back then I was a very picky eater and not in the least bit adventurous in any way. 

The plate they placed in front of me held a tightly wrapped bundle of Pita, chicken, Lebanese pickled veggies and a very pungent garlic tahini sauce to tie it all together.  The smell of it made my mouth water.  I could feel all the employee’s/owner’s/manager’s eyes on me… THIS was a big deal.  This was Elizabeth (I was not yet the Great Liz back then) taking a dive into the world of ethnic food. 

One bite.  The chewy pita lightly seared melded with the meat and the veggies and the sauce in a flavor explosion that will never be forgotten.  “THIS,” I thought “Is what food is meant to be.”

Flash forward… um… some years… and here i am on the quest to create a Fatooush that will blow my husband’s mind.  A quest to create a hummus and Baba ghannouj to die for.  On this quest I have discovered that there is one spice I absolutely must have to complete my journey.  Powdered Sumac. 

Heaven, in powder form.

Sumac is a spice of a very deep red, almost purplish color.  The flavor is tart and slightly lemony (now my mouth is watering dangnabbit).  It pairs well with almost anything from chicken to lamb to vegetables to hummus and baba ghannouj.

As you may gather, sumac is not a thing that you can get down at your local chain grocery store, and since I live in Bumblecrap, SC, there aren’t many ethnic grocery stores close to where I live.  So I looked online to find a reputable place to get this must have item for my quest. 

*cue the heavenly choir singing*

I found www.thespicehouse.com.  Go there and browse around.  If you like spices, this is the place to be.

The website is nicely designed and I easily found my item and ended up buying a Beef lover’s gift set for me and hubs to try out on our Grilling adventures.  I paid what I thought was a relatively good price for a large jar of Sumac and the gift set on July 26th.  I paid the cheapest shipping not really caring that it might take over a week.  Well folks I got that package TODAY.  THREE days later.  I was suitably impressed.  They must have shipped the order on the very same day that I put it in. I was flabbergasted to see the UPS truck pulling into my driveway (my dogs OF course went bonkers… sigh) and gleefully went to get the package on the back porch.  The package smelled of many, many spices and I grabbed the scissors to open my treasure.  The scent upon opening said treasure was, to say the least, incredible. 

 

Needless to say i am VERY impressed with this company.  In the gift box roaming were Korinjte cassia cinnamon sticks, Turkish bay leaves, and West indies whole nutmegs.  Mouth watering went to level 10… I almost drooled out of the corner of my mouth… I’m not ashamed…  Go to the website to look at what the spices are in the gift set, I cannot wait to get some steak for hubby to grill. 

The sumac and rest of the spices are packaged into simple glass bottles with simple neat labels that describe the flavor of the spice within.  *aside:  I have typed the word SPICE so many times now, I have ended up wanting to watch “Dune” and “Children of Dune”*

I am now ridiculously in love with this company and urge YOU my reader to buy from them at your earliest possible chance.  If you enjoy cooking, grilling, and baking, you will love this company. 

Tomorrow I shall giddily run to the store to pick up the fresh ingredients for my perfect Fatooush.  Pictures and blog post to follow soon I hope!

love as thou wilt dearies!

Liz

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7 Responses to “Of yummy, yummy spices”

  1. Glad you found the spice house, they are a great place.
    Yes, they really are that fast. My orders always arrive that quickly; the one time I had an issue with an order they resolved it instantly, and I had the correct item within two days… during the Christmas shipping season.

    I keep hoping they will put a wish list feature on their website so I don’t forget what I want to place in my next order.

    • Oh a wish list would be so fun! I am a stickler for good customer service, so it’s good to know they handle problems quickly! I just ordered a gift to have sent to someone, and i look forward to hearing good things from THEM as well!

  2. The spice house is a hidden treasure! So happy to see another foodie has discovered its delicious high quality herbs and spices. I must recommend you also try the following now that you are a fan…

    1) Salmon seasoning – a MUST for any fish dish. AMAZING. My favorite – sprinkled on before battering Mahi Mahi for a fried fish sandwich or homemade fish sticks.
    2) Lake Shore Drive seasoning – takes ordinary scrambled eggs or an omelet and turns them gourmet with just a couple shakes!
    3)Herbs De Provence – great on vegetables, but try sprinkling on your pizza sauce when making a homemade pizza.

    We are forever fans of The Spice House! Hope you enjoy!

    • Thanks for the ideas! I have been wanting to make a Po boy sandwich of my very own, so i might have to get the salmon seasoning! I cant wait to keep experimenting!

  3. The only thing better than ordering from The Spice House online is going to their store in Chicago and roaming around… Wonderful!

  4. Norm La Belle Says:

    My wife & I are in the northern suburbs of Chicago; we visit the Evanston shop about every two months and stock up. It is incredible just to walk in, if you have any olfactory sense at all.
    We typically spend far more than we intend, as we find so many treasures.
    I’d recommend you ask them for a catalog of their offerings, as it contains a neatly alphabetized list of all they offer. Run that thru a copier and make your shopping list. The catalog is as informative as the website, and fun to curl up with. Bon appertit!

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