The Spice House

By Amy Sherman

You're already using the best ingredients available, but are you seasoning your dishes with not-so-fresh spices from the supermarket? For your own good, please stop. Just one whiff of freshly ground spices from The Spice House, like Saigon Cassia Cinnamon—bright and pungent but sweet at the same time—will convince you. After 54 years and two generations in business, there’s no messing around here. They carry everything from exotic curries that are blended weekly, hand mixed 1500 times and triple sifted, to new-fangled ingredients for molecular gastronomy like algin, calcium salt and Malto. Not to be missed are the Chicago blends based on local neighborhoods like the best-selling Back of the Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub with a hint of sweet shallots and bell pepper, Greektown “Billygoat” Seasoning, and Chicago Deep Dish Pizza Pizzaz. For the grill master, there’s a set of spices for the barbecue, including a Trinidad version of lemon garlic and Bronzeville Rib Rub. Clean out your spice rack—now!

Spice Tips

Store spices in airtight glass containers

Keep spices in cool, dry, and dark places, like a cabinet or drawer

Whole spices can last several years

Ground spices will lose flavor after 6 months

Substitute 1/3 dry herbs in place of fresh herbs, for most recipes