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Spice Quality????

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    Spice Quality????

    Not to beat a spicy dead horse or anything buy I've been thinking....

    Quality effects all thing culinary. I understand this. Does any one have a good understanding of spice quality? Does it matter. Is the 8.00 an ounce onion powder better than the 8.00 a pound stuff. One would assume so. What scale is spice judged on?

    Yes I know I'm rambling a bit. Trying to get this out of my simple brain.

    I do plan on doing some Goggling on this but before I start another research project I thought I would ask.

    Usually in the food world pricey means better quality...But you bring up a good point. Onion powder is made from onions, right? Onions are onions. I'm leaning toward things like cumin and curry possibly being under the pricier= better category, or even chili powder. I've taste tested chili powder and brand name was more potent than store brand, but where does it end? Coincidence? I don't know. America's Test Kitchen has a taste test panel that blindly taste tests all sorts of things from brands of fresh chicken to brands of butter to frozen pizza to ketchup. I should research if they've taste tested spices...although I couldn't ethically reproduce their findings since they're a subscription website...
    Last edited by Huskee; July 29, 2014, 07:11 AM.


      Thats a good tip, I get Cooks Country mag but don't know if that gives me site access... I never checked.


      • Huskee
        Huskee commented
        Editing a comment
        I think their upgraded sub gives you access to all 3 of their sites, but not sure if a mag sub will. I only have the cheaper sub to ATK and that's it. Very valuable site. It's the amazingribs of all non-BBQ cooking. But they even have some great tips on bbq as well. I got my wet brine recipe from them, which WORKS wonders on pork chops and chicken pieces. I dry brine all other meats. ATK is highly regarded by this here Huskee dude.

      • mgaretz
        mgaretz commented
        Editing a comment
        I'd regard them more highly if they didn't keep recycling old recipes with minor variations, each one claiming to be the best. I also don't care much for their attitude about what a recipe "should" taste like, as if there's only one acceptable outcome. Last, being someone who is lactose intolerant, I find that a large percentage of their recipes call for milk and/or cheese, usually unnecessarily. I still buy the annual CI bound volumes, but I gave up a regular magazine and website subscription years ago.

      Totally agree with you Aaron, As much as I don't always like Christopher K. he has put a great print and TV product out there for sure.

      Found a starting point maybe:m Well maybe not... stand by


      EDIT: Well maybe not... stand by ​
      Last edited by Jon Solberg; July 29, 2014, 12:15 PM.


        Why didn't I just start here.... WTH



          To me, fresh is more important than anything else when it comes to flavor. I have tried several varieties of bottled seasons but once I got my little coffee grinder nothing else was close. We have a large ethnic section locally that has lots of stuff in raw form. Cumin, fennel, and rosemary are the standouts to me so far, the difference between fresh and packaged is unmistakable.


            I can totally get my head around that fresh thing John and agree 100%. I'm even considering taking a shot at doing some homemade onion and garlic powder. I'd like to do the same with Paprika but can't seem to find a source for dried chilies and don't think I have 80 days of growing season to make some this year.

            Which kind of leads me to wonder if grinding a dried chili makes it fresher than a powder. I would think so just due to the lack of surface area exposed to the air.

            Any thoughts on that?
            Last edited by Jon Solberg; July 31, 2014, 04:01 AM.


              My approach to spices is this... fresh is best. Grow your own, if you can (& I do). Know how to store your spices (I vac bag them). Spices have a shelf life of about 1 year. I tend to buy smaller containers from the grocery store for spices I use occasionally. I buy in bulk online and then divide up the package into small vac paks and store in a cool place without light. A lot of green herbs can be dehydrated and vac pak'ed. I dehydrate my peppers, sometimes I cut them in half & give them a smoke before dehydrating.


                I like the vacuum seal thing a lot. I'm going to part out the bulk stuff I just got and do that for sure.

                Thank you

                Anybody got a line on some dry paprika pepper. Doc Google ain't helping me to much.
                Last edited by Jon Solberg; August 1, 2014, 04:56 AM.


                • dprice
                  dprice commented
                  Editing a comment
                  My local spice store, www.redstickspice.com, has all kinds of paprika -- sweet, hot, sweet smoked and hot smoked.


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