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Sep 18, 2012 09:40 AM

penzeys question

Hello everyone! Im just getting into Penzeys and have went crazy ordering! There are some items that I noticed are almost the same thing like Arizona Dreaming and Southwest or Greek Seasoning and Ruth Ann's! Anyone else know any other spices that fall into the "you probably don't need ______, if you have ______) category. It would come in handy for people like me that don't stay near a Penzeys and has to order."

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  1. Don't know if this will help, but I'd rather the "straight" spices/herbs and make my own blends, to the flavors/strengths that I want. That way I'm not overwhelmed by premixed bottles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: pine time

      I think you have a point there. I've seen a lot of popular spices that seem to have that one ingredient that I am not a fan of. Making my own blends would totally eliminate that problem.

    2. they have good dried chiles both whole and ground
      as well as peppercorns and salt-

      4 Replies
      1. re: jpr54_1

        So disappointed they discontinued the ground Jalapeno powder. The person working at Penzey's that day couldn't tell me why they no longer carry it. I guess I could call corporate, but it's kind of low on my priority list at the moment.

        1. re: justalex

          So disappointed they discontinued the ground Jalapeno powder
          I just got a jar of it from the Spice House.

          1. re: al b. darned

            i think they have dried jalepeno's. I love the aleppo peppers and think the ancho chili powder has such a beautiful color. At some point, I think I would like to check out the cascabel peppers.

            1. re: sundayegirl

              They have dried jalapeno pieces but I too regret the discontinued jalapeno powder

      2. I usually stick with just the regular herbs and spices vs. their blends. Just my personal preference.

        My "always make sure I have on hand" Penzeys items are:

        Turkish oregano
        French thyme
        sweet Hungarian paprika
        Ground ginger
        Ground mustard
        Vietnamese ground cinnamon
        medium-hot chili powder
        whole nutmegs
        ground sumac
        Aleppo pepper

        3 Replies
        1. re: LindaWhit

          I soooo love the aleppo pepper! Its my favorite purchase so far. I have the mexican oregano, maybe I should try the turkish..

          1. re: sundayegirl

            I soooo love the aleppo pepper!
            Wow. I thought it was kind of meh, with little flavor.

            1. re: al b. darned

              Really? I guess everyone has there own preferences. I love the flavor of it on my pizza so much more than red pepper flakes. Sometimes i even put it in rice or veggies.

        2. LOVE the Pasta Sprinkle, Tuscan Sunset and Mural of Flavor. I like the fact that you can just get a little jar to try a spice/blend out, and consider myself very lucky to have a Penzey's store not far from me! They have all of their products in apothocary jars so that you can take the lids off and smell.

          BTW, once you determine what you like, it is more economical to buy it by the bag and the put it into your own jar. My daughter and I split a big bag of Pasta Sprinkle, for instance. I have also purchased little jars, bags of spices, then split them out to make little gift baskets for friends.

          11 Replies
          1. re: PattiCakes

            PattiCakes, I was bummed when they removed the Aleppo pepper from the Tuscan Sunset blend....since it's supposed to be salt-free (the TS), and Aleppo pepper is processed using salt (according to Penzeys), they stopped using it. Luckily I kept an old jar of the TS so I could see the ingredient list in the order listed so I can attempt to make my own TS blend in the future when I run out of the older version with Aleppo.

            1. re: LindaWhit

              what others chiles r processed with salt?

              1. re: jpr54_1

                Don't know. I just remember reading in Penzeys' catalog when they changed the Tuscan Sunset blend that Aleppo pepper was processed/dried with salt, and since they advertised the Tuscan Sunset as being salt-free, they were removing Aleppo as one of the ingredients.

              2. re: LindaWhit

                What are the ingredients? I have the new tuscan sunset blend and aleppo! Would it be the same if I just added aleppo every time I used tuscan sunset?

                1. re: sundayegirl

                  I'm not sure of the ingredients, sundayegirl. I'll have to remember to look at home. I *think* they added something else to the salt-free Tuscan Sunset and it slightly changed the taste (to me).

                  1. re: LindaWhit

                    i did a little research in case anyone else is curious and it seems that the original ingredients were basil, oregano, Aleppo pepper, garlic, thyme, fennel, black pepper, anise. I think they used red bell peppers instead of aleppo in the new mix, but it sounds like most preferred the orginal blend. hmm. this may be my first homemade blend.

                    1. re: sundayegirl

                      There you go. I know I had posted about it here on CH awhile back when the blend changed. The only 2 things I'd need would be fennel (fronds, I suppose?) and anise (not sure how in what form it's used and I'd probably leave it out).

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        haha! I just realized that was you! I will have to try that..without anise. I'm thinking I might try a little pizza seasoning with tuscan sunset and aleppo too! Might give a similar taste

                2. re: LindaWhit

                  ARRRGG! (OK, yesterday was "Talk Like a Pirate Day). That's just not right. I am very low sodium, but taking the Allepo out? Serious overkill.

                  1. re: PattiCakes

                    Well, they market the Tuscan Sunset as "salt free". I suggested that they have two types of Tuscan Sunset blends - one with and one without salt, but they didn't seem to like that idea.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      yeah, that would be a great idea! The only complaint I have so far with penzeys is there fear of salt. I'm not a big salt person, but I think they should have more salt options like smoked salts. It seems a lot of people were fans of the original blend. I think if you change the blend you should change the name, so not to confuse people. Its just like them saying sunny paris is salt free version of fox point, (which its not IMO), but they kept fox point. If that makes sense.

              3. Some of the blends are close but not that close....meaning, you might not have all of them in your cupboard at the same time, but probably you would have one you'd use a lot and I'd have a different one I'd use a lot.

                I wasn't wild about the Greek Seasoning--OK, but not so much that it bumps blend-my-own-- but I do use the Tuscan Sunset, Mural of Flavor, and the Chili 9000 Blend. Yes, I could "blend it up to order" myself and sometimes I do add a little of this or that to a blend, but the prepared blends that I happen to like are awfuly handy.

                IOW, it's up to you. Some people would rather make a Bisquick magic piecrust than buy a boring old commercially-blended garam masala, while others are happy with the convience and reproducibility of a blend made from quality spices, or even prefer a company's blend to their efforts at home.

                If you ever get to a Penzey's though, do it. It is worth the price of admission just to walk around the store and stick your nose into the sample jars!!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Brrrb

                  I've actually been to Penzey's before, but I only had about 10 minutes until closing and it just wasn't enough time. I've ordered quite a bit, but I definitely wish there was a store closer. Some things I love, some things were um..just ok, and some things I thought were kind of similar. I guess that's to be expected from blends though.