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What can be a little more difficult is knowing where is the best place to buy great spices full of flavor. Many spices bought from cheaper companies can include additives-- for example, unless you buy genuine saffron threads (which are the most expensive spice in the world) saffron spice is often mixed with salt, MSG, or other additives. The spices at your local grocery store are both lower quality and more expensive than the spices you can buy elsewhere. By buying quality spices, the flavors are fuller and it takes smaller amounts to get more oomph in your favorite recipes.
Here are our recommendations for where you can buy quality spices, and even support local merchants while you are at it.
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Another great, though non-local, option for quality gourmet spices is Penzeys. Penzeys spices can be ordered through catalogue or online as well as in retail locations in major cities throughout the US. Penzeys started out as a small local mom and pop coffee and spice retailer in Wisconsin in the 1950s and has steadily expanded since the 80s to their national scale gourmet spice company. They offer rare and hard to find spices as well as uncommon varieties of more familiar things like peppercorns. Penzeys also has fantastic house blends such as an Herbs de Provence blend that features basic herbs and lavender to create something similar to Italian seasoning but with a really fresh and unique twist. Their Arizona Dream seasoning is also a really great twist on basic taco and fajita seasonings used in Tex Mex and Southwestern cooking.