Savory Spice

Garam masala to cinnamon: Where to get the best spices in Santa Rosa

Good cooks will tell you to replace your spices about once a year. Great cooks, every six months. The reasoning: After sitting around for a while, they lose so much of their essential essence that you may as well season with sawdust.
Case in point: The row of bottles in my spice rack dating back to, uh, the 1980’s. I’ve made a lot of cream sauce a la sawdust, it seems.  Someone needs a trip to Savory Spice Shop.
The idea: Rows and rows of freshly ground spices — from true cinnamon (that stuff on your shelf is a sad imitator) to exotic curry blends, whole vanilla beans and hundreds of sweet, savory, spicy ingredients from around the world. Organized by affinity, baking spices gather on one wall, Asian on another, Mexican and Latin spices, etc. So, if you’re looking for, say Garam Masala, you’ll know just where to find it.
The fun is in sampling. Each has a tester bottle, so you can sniff and taste your way around the store. Dumping any leftovers on the floor is encouraged, lending to the inviting scents that are ground into the very floorboards.
Can’t miss additions to your kitchen:
True Ceylon Cinnamon: Sweet and pungent, this is is the essence of cinnamon. You’ll never use the other stuff again. You may also find yourself rubbing it behind your ears and on your wrists.
Garam Masala:  A signature Indian mix of coriander, pepper, charnuska, cumin, cardamon, cloves, mace, cinnamon and bay leaves.
Shichimi Togarashi: A spicy Japanese seasoning blended with sesame seeds, orange peel, white poppy, paprika, Chinese chiles, Szechwan peppercorns, ginger and toasted seaweed. Love this on udon noodles, and chicken.
Park Hill Maple and Spice Pepper: Maple sugar, black pepper, coriander, mustard and a ton of other spices make this a sweet and savory mix perfect for rubbing on pork loin. Or just eating out of the jar.
Paris Cheese Sprinkle: Dill, Romano cheese, onion, basil, chives, tarragon, chervil and parsley make this perfect for mixing into dips or sprinkling on popcorn.
Vadouvan: A smokey, oniony curry powder that’s great on chicken or veggies.
A big plus is that many of the flavorful blends don’t include salt, making them a great solution for folks watching sodium intakes. The store also offers “kits” of herbs and spices perfect for wedding, birthdays, or housewarming.
Spice things up.
Savory Spice Shop, 317 D St., Santa Rosa, (707) 284-1310

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9 thoughts on “Savory Spice

  1. I have started shopping for spices everyday, e.g. dried mustard, chili powder, to more exotic, e.g. asafetida, and in each instance I have found the spices very fresh and the owners knowledgeable and helpful. Just walking toward the open screened door is a wonderful experience. What a great store to have here in Santa Rosa.

  2. The spice selection here is amazing. Their chai mix is very good, and the mole mix is fantastic. Finally double thumbs ups on the real cinnamon. The weekend after I bought a bottle I made some banana-cinnamon ice cream, yum!

  3. My daughter and I have been there a few times! WE LOVE LOVE LOVE this place, not only do they have the spices, but they also have the recipes needed, just ask! One of our favorites has been the Vindaloo, with the recipe provided by the Spice Shop. We also have their pumpkin pie spice, this is fabulous, it puts to shame the stuff you get in the store. We have also gotten some of the powdered cheese, the smokey powdered cheese, for popcorn. It also works with mac & cheese, a little sprinkle will liven up the whole dish. The taco seasoning there is also AWESOME! We have bought a couple bottles, yummy! I have some of their Greek seasoning, that works well with tabbouleh… and on chicken. I could just go on and on about our favorites! LOVE this place!

  4. I crazy love this place. My hubby has been there a couple of times to get ingredients for his BBQ rubs, and I picked up some heavenly Italian Black Truffle Salt. It’s amazing on popcorn, just use a bit for a subtle yumminess. And I loved the Vietnamese Sweet Lemon Curry. I used it in turkey patties and it turned out great!

    1. Went in to check on some Indian spices(we’re just starting with that cusine) they had
      everything. Checked out the barbeque rubs, maybe eight or ten. Ended up getting something called Colorado Plateau Citrus Pepper. Used on some chicken breast, excellent with a little kick on the finish. Didn’t even know they had citrus in Colorado.

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