From bone broths to baked goods, chefs universally attest that the transformation from “good” to “unbelievably amazing” in food is often achieved through the strategic addition of spices. Throughout my life, I had exclusively purchased well-known brand spices from grocery stores, begrudgingly paying steep prices for spices that seemed lackluster in freshness and were packaged in inexpensive plastic containers. It left me questioning the true value behind the label.

Fast forward to April 2020, when the world ground to a halt, and the prospect of spending more time than necessary in a grocery store felt overwhelming. The usual leisurely exploration of aisles for ingredients and meal ideas was no more. Shelves were emptied of pasta, soups, and fresh produce, leaving me with the spice section as a last resort. Even there, the offerings were diminished, except for the circular tin jars of specialty spices with minimal product. It was in this context that I stumbled upon The Spice House.

In an attempt to make hummus from a recipe that required tahini and za’atar, I scoured local grocery stores to no avail. Frustrated, I turned to making my own tahini, only to realize that the cost of sesame seeds was exorbitant in the store. This desperate search for affordable sesame seeds led me to discover The Spice House, and my culinary journey took an exciting turn.

Founded in 1957 by Bill Sr. and Ruth Penzey, The Spice House, based in Milwaukee and Chicago, has emerged as a small-batch spice company specializing in a wide range of offerings. From everyday spices to rare varietals, unique seasoning blends, and elusive extracts, The Spice House boasts an impressive selection that captured my culinary curiosity.

What sets The Spice House apart

  1. Diverse Selection: While common grocery store spices are available, it’s the exotic finds like Egyptian basil, hibiscus blossoms, and berbere that truly stand out. The variety is not only extensive but includes region-specific versions of popular blends and spices.
  2. Potency: The intensity of The Spice House’s offerings is remarkable. Upon opening the packaging, one is greeted with a potent aroma that carries through to the taste. This longevity of flavor sets them apart from other market alternatives.
  3. Value for Price: Unlike grocery store spices that might have distant expiration dates, The Spice House offers freshness and quantity that’s worth the cost. The prices are often comparable or even lower than supermarket options, and the generous quantities provide exceptional value.
  4. Quality Packaging: The Spice House’s packaging choices are impeccable. The glass jars with airtight copper lids exude durability and elegance. Each package comes with origin stories and detailed flavor profiles, enriching the overall experience.
  5. Efficient Shipping: Despite starting to purchase during the pandemic, shipping times have been impressive. Orders are processed swiftly, and the inclusion of free shipping for flatpacks is a welcome bonus.

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The Spice House’s consistent addition of new seasonings and blends, along with occasional deals for mailing list subscribers, keeps the excitement alive. While it’s possible that other spice companies offer similar quality, The Spice House’s present excellence in selection, potency, pricing, packaging, and shipping make it a standout choice.

In conclusion, The Spice House has revolutionized my perception of spices. Moving away from generic grocery store options, it has introduced me to a world of flavor, potency, and freshness that enhances my culinary creations. As I deplete my existing spice jars, I eagerly anticipate returning to The Spice House’s online haven, exploring new offerings, and elevating every dish I prepare.