What are the best Penzeys Spices

Continuing the discussion from Aleppo Pepper:
Happening across a Penzeys Spices retail store was a highlight of a jaunt with friends this past weekend. What a convenient excuse to (re)stock up. Their Aleppo pepper is one of my all-time faves. Does anyone else have special favorites from Penzeys?

Other items in my haul included Indonesian cinnamon, ground chipotle pepper, Spanish rosemary, and dill. (TJ’s used to carry similar dried dill that I haven’t been able to find for a few years.)

I decided to try their Hot Chocolate Mix for the first time and the Bavarian seasoning blend was a free gift extra, so I can’t yet speak to either of those items.

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Aleppo is one of my favorites. Their French thyme and Turkish oregano are both very good. For their blends, I love the Tsardust Memories - very good on pork chops. Tuscan Sunset is good, but it’s not their original - they used to have Aleppo pepper in it, but because Tuscan Sunset is touted as salt-free (and Aleppo pepper is somehow dried using salt, or something like that?) it no longer does. So I just add some myself…not a lot, but to give it the same flavor as the older version.

Their vanilla is very good - but because of the problems with recent years’ harvests, very expensive (that’s true no matter what Madagascar vanilla you buy).

I usually buy pink, white and green peppercorns and mix with their Tellicherry peppercorns for my own 4-peppercorn blend.

Medium-hot Chili Powder, Herbes de Provence, Lamb seasoning, minced Lemon and Orange peel, ground ginger, whole nutmeg, and Indonesian Korintje cinnamon are all favorites.

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Thanks for all the pointers, @LindaWhit. I did pick up a jar of that cinnamon because the aroma is so appealing. You’ve given me more possibilities to explore!

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I bought their Krakow Nights blend a few months ago and am using it on almost everything savory.

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I like their air dried shallots to boost flavors in sauces, gravies, stews, braises; and their granulated air dried shallots which you can sprinkle on cooked food.

I like a lot of their items: granulated garlic, all their types of cassia & cinnamon, all their peppercorns especially the extra bold, their Cajun seasoning and bold taco seasoning, the almond, lemon, and orange extracts, celery seed, cumin seed, Italian herb mix, both brown and yellow mustard seeds, both Mexican and Turkish oregano, both regular and smoked paprika, poultry seasoning, szechuan peppercorns, and basically all their plain spices and herbs.

I don’t like all their spice mixes, that’s a personal preference.

I really dislike their soup bases.

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I was curious about their soup bases - is there something specific you don’t like about them (vs another soup base you do like)?

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I love their vanilla, and Bavarian seasoning and Tuscan Sunset are favorites as well. I like Northwoods Seasoning and Northwoods Fire Seasoning. Another one I like esp. this time of year is Bicentennial Rub which is not just delicious but reminds us that spices some now think of as trendy or exotic (like turmeric and coriander) were in common use in Colonial America.

I used to buy more from them when they had an actual store in Grand Central Station. I don’t like doing mail order in general unless I have to and I only do mail order from them because I like to support them. But I’d buy more if they had a brick and mortar store nearby. The closest stores are Albany and Hartford CT.

I do like that you can buy the very small amounts of spices (the 2 oz size they often give as gifts) which allows you to experiment. One gift jar that was surprisingly good was Bangkok Blend which I was dubious about but turned out to be pretty good, spicy with some nice heat.

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I tried the Penzeys soup bases around ten years ago, and then a two months ago. I find they are extremely salty, and don’t taste like what they should (chicken, beef, ham, etc.) and have a metallic and bitter taste.

I tend to use Better than Bouillon, which is pretty good. There are some commercial/restaurant/food service ones available that are very good, but you need to buy huge containers from restaurant distributors. Can’t recall names of the brands. Haven’t worked in a restaurant in many years.

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I usually use BTB, but I do like the Pork Soup Base, and don’t find it salty at all. Granted, I’m mixing it in with other things that might dissipate the salt, but even so, have found it very good.

We really like the Balti seasoning and the granulated garlic. Both Ozark and Northwoods are good, too.

Placing an order today is on my list and noticed an email this morning with a deal on sage.

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And free shipping up through 11/14/18 with all orders $25 or more. Lots of deals - posting here for others if they want it:

So tomorrow [Wednesday, 11/14/18] ends $15 off the minimum spending for free shipping, flat-out free $3.95 Bavarian Seasoning, regularly $39.95 Love 9 Jar Gift Box for just $29.95, and the regularly $59.95 Love 15 Jar Gift Box for just $44.95. Today is also a good day to get our regularly $19.95 friendly little Kind Heart Gift boxes for just $12.50, and our very best blend for turkey, the regularly $4.29 Bicentennial Rub for only $1, plus now regularly $2.95 Rubbed Sage, a must for stuffing, just $1, too.

No coupons or codes needed for the Love Boxes, Bicentennial Rub, Rubbed Sage, or regular shipping with just $25 in minimum spending instead of the usual $40.

To get your free $3.95 Bavarian Seasoning in one of our stores bring in this email or the coupon below. Online at penzeys.com simply enter 10432C in the apply code box at checkout. No need to add the Bavarian to your cart the code does that for you and for free. It’s easy. Shipping costs still apply, but with free shipping dropped from $40 to $25 tonight, two regularly $19.95 Kind Heart Boxes at just $12.50 have free shipping covered.

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Ozark! I forgot! That’s another great one - apparently a kinda-sorta copycat of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.

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Their English Prime Rib rub is nice too!

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I get a much cheaper version at World Market!

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[Oh man, I wonder if you were at my neighborhood Penzeys?! So close, and yet so far…]

My lazy susan is full of single spices from Penzeys. One staple in our house is the Szechuan roasted pepper/salt blend. We use it for everything.

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I wish! Actually I was in West Hartford, Connecticut for a get together. It was a delightful surprise to run across a Penzey’s retail location there.

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That reminds me, the Sichuan peppercorn is excellent and very pungent.

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I’m a huge fan of Penzeys - their prices are very reasonable and I usually purchase enough to get free shipping :+1:t3:. I use a few of their blends for my weekday cooking; the ones I reach for most are Bavarian Seasoning, Sunny Spain, Tuscan Sunset, Mural of Flavor, and Bangkok Blend. I also love using Sunny Paris in my scrambled eggs. As for spices, I love their Aleppo pepper, cumin, Vietnamese cinnamon, French thyme, coriander, cardamom, and ginger. And the double-strength vanilla extract is amazing (but the price has been steadily rising :disappointed_relieved:). They’ve got a customer for life over here!

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Yes, and it’s not just fresher but often actually cheaper than the Szechuan peppercorns in Chinatown.

I like the ground Chipotle and the air dried shallots especially. I used to get everything there, but have switched to Whole Spice in Napa since they are local. I get a lot of stuff at World Market (especially my beloved Pickapeppa sauce!) and next time I’ll look for dried shallots.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

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