I’ve written about The Spice House before (you can read the article here, if you’re not familiar with this great place). But now these excellent and enthusiastically uncompromising folks have started posting videos on YouTube. So far, they’ve just got a few, but you can learn more about the spices they offer, how they make their blends, and how to cook with some of the spices they carry. Don’t think Food Network–it’s not that glitzy. Think of it more as a good friend sharing information and giving tips.
The videos are all posted under ChicagoSpiceBoss. I thought the one on Kosher salt was a good introduction to Tom Erd, the Spice Boss, and then there’s one on their Back-of-the-Yards Garlic Pepper Butcher’s Rub, which is one of my favorite things they sell. Nice to have a little more insight into these premier purveyors of outstanding spices and herbs.
There are a couple others now, and there will be more. These always make me want to order more goodies from The Spice House. (Have to try their porcini salt! Plus I’m out of the Back-of-the-Yards rum. Time for a visit.)
(This article appeared in the December 2002 issue of North Shore Magazine. Julia Child, mentioned in the story, was still alive and still ordering from The Spice House. The title I gave the story was “Always in Good Taste,” but it was run with the title “With a Hint of Spice.” For those of you who may not be in the Chicagoland area but who would like to take advantage of the glorious offerings of The Spice House, you can access their catalog at http://www.thespicehouse.com.)
The heady fragrance of black pepper and cinnamon began to tease my senses while I was still a block from the store. As I entered the attractive Evanston shop, a rich, almost intoxicating blend of aromas enveloped me, drawing me into the warm, woody interior, towards the walls and shelves of jars filled with tantalizing delights from the four corners of the earth. Before me was an astonishing array of lovingly prepared, freshly ground herbs and spices—from ajowan seed to za’atar, and everything in between. No wonder Julia Child loves this place.
The Spice House, owned by Tom and Patty Erd, is a second-generation, family-run business that has as its chief goal offering simply the best herbs and spices available. Fortunately, you don’t have to be Julia Child to have access to this level of quality. While numerous top chefs and food experts do shop there, the doors (and web site) of the Spice House are open to all. Continue reading
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