Monday, August 24, 2009

Herbs and Spices 101

Someone told me years ago that the best place to get herbs and spices was through a catalog called Penzeys Spices. Well, I took her advice and have never looked back! This is it as far as I am concerned. The best part is that there are so many options on every single item. For instance, I am a big fan of cinnamon. I actually put it in my coffee every morning. My choice is the Chinese Cassia Cinnamon for it's extra sweet and spicy flavor. This is the best for making cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over your pancakes, waffles or toast (or if you're me, over your coffee!). There's also Korintje Cinnamon which is a mellower and smoother cinnamon. In England and Mexico, they prefer the Ceylon Cinnamon for it's complexity and citrusy overtone.

My three favorite go to herbs are thyme, rosemary and oregano, but if you are not fortunate enough to grow these very fragrant and versatile herbs in your garden or on a windowsill, they offer enough choices to make up for that! My favorite thyme to get from Penzeys is the French Thyme. The Turkish Oregano is perfect in any type of Mediterranean dish and especially in tomato sauce. The Spanish Rosemary Leaves are perfect paired with roasted chicken and roasted vegetables.
They have just about every herb and spice you will ever need! But do remember that herbs and spices do have a shelf life so it is best to replace them every 6-12 months for optimal flavor.

Oregano, rosemary and thyme from my container garden

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