More than a few months ago I was in Illinois for a house-sitting job and to visit with family and friends. While there for several weeks I had the opportunity to shop and visit some of my favorite stores from when I lived in Illinois. Today I’m here to share them with you, enjoy!
This Friday review I wanted to share one of my newer favorite stores to the tri-city area from whence I grew up, The Spice House located in Geneva, Illinois on the enormously popular third street.
If you’ve been to The Spice House it has a very familiar feel, from the wooden shelves and rustic crates to the tantalizing aroma of spices, more blends than you could ever imagine. It took me a minute to figure out what or where I was reminded of but I finally thought of it. Penzeys Spices!
I quickly learned that owner, Patty Erd, is daughter of Ruth and Bill Penzey Sr. and now everything makes sense. You can read more about them here.
I am seriously impressed with how they’ve turned a newer unit of Shodeen’s into such a cute and rustic looking store. It’s perfection from the red earth-toned flooring to the brick walls and wooden shelving.
Take your time to meander down the aisles reading labels, smelling samples and asking questions. They have something for everyone here including spice kits. There is a salt-free spice kit I’d love to get my hands on.
The staff was great at answering all of my questions. I loved the LSD seasoning but wondered if they had a salt-free version for my Mom and Grandma and they suggested the Sunny Paris Seasoning—great to know.
Za’Atar is a fantastic blend that you’ve probably never had before. It’s a blend of: sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, hyssop, and oregano. I used to get this one meze platter at Habibi in downtown Portland that had little za’atar pizzas. They were dough, olive oil, salt and za’atar spices. It was so good and unlike anything I’ve ever had before.
Are gourmet spices more expensive?
Yes and no. I wanted to mention that if you’re a little skeptical of ‘gourmet’ spices and the price or quality (like I used to be), I want you to think about one thing. The only spices that are cheap at the grocery store are salt and garlic powder. Most seasonings, especially McCormick are $5.99 and higher. The Spice House spices and even Penzeys are $4.99 and higher for twice if not three times the amount of what you’d get in one tiny jar of McCormicks. Just some food for thought.
Granted there are a few other places that are pretty affordable: Target, Nuts.com, and Trader Joe’s. I bought bulk curry last year from Nuts.com and absolutely love it but I’m still cranking through that pound. Yes, a pound of curry seasoning. 🙂 We’ve also bought from Trader Joe’s and Target (Market Pantry) but we aren’t near either of those anymore. Target has a pretty good selection and Trader Joe’s has unbeatable prices at $1.99/jar but they don’t have a wide variety.
Have you stopped by The Spice House? You should, the smells are intoxicating and will get your stomach growling even if you’ve recently eaten.
What are some of your favorite spices? Have you ever made your own blends? With our fresh lavender plant out front I’ve wanted to immerse myself in the world of baking and cooking with lavender. I make my own taco seasoning whenever I need it and it has way less salt than packets from the store.
xo and don’t forget to enter to win this necklace pendant (click the link and scroll all the way to the bottom).