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Spice Mixes/Seasoned Salts - preferences please...

While I use individual seasoning/herbs, et cet, most of the time, for certain things a premade mix is fine. Can I get some good suggestions from you folks as to what you prefer? Examples of things I like would be Cavender's, Johnny's, Everglades Seasoning. And I don't care if it's MSG-free or not. THANKS!

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  1. In a seasoned salt my favorite by far is Herbamare. The dominant flavors are leek and celery, and it's made by an unusual process where herbs and spices are dissolved with sea salt and aged, then dried. Every crystal has the full taste. It's wonderful stuff and I use it almost anywhere I would put plain salt.

    Another good one is Spike. Not as delicate and refined as Herbamare, this is broader and fairly complex, with overtones of curry and citrus. In situations where subtlety is less of a concern, it's an interesting alternative to more typical seasoned salts.

    6 Replies
    1. re: eclecticsynergy

      I am a fan of Herbamare for a seasoning salt too. Perfect for eggs and really shines on more delicate veggies.

      Also, Chefs Shake by The Spice Hunter, is a favorite blend. No salt, just flavor. I learned about this product through Elana's Pantry Recipes. She uses it in several things ( like savory homemade crackers). Wow, is it good. I have not found it in a grocery store, but ordered off of Amazon.


      1. re: eclecticsynergy

        thx, will try Herbamare, never even heard of it

        1. re: MaxCaviar

          You won't be sorry! I agree with sedimental; it's subtle enough not to upstage your veggies, and it's really great on eggs. And popcorn. And in casseroles. And with any sort of starches: pasta, potatoes, breads. Oatmeal. BĂȘchamel sauce. And it's a wonderful companion to unsalted butter.

          Have I mentioned that I love this stuff?

          1. re: eclecticsynergy

            I will 3rd the rec for Herbamare. In that same vein, I also like VegeSal....it's a good all-purpose seasoning that harmonizes well with coarsely ground black pepper.

            I am also a big fan of DennyMike's Chick Magnet seasoning...it's made for chicken as the name suggests, but in my house we enjoy it as a coating for tofu!

            For something with a little more dominant flavor, I like "The Gourmet Collection" Garlic & Herb blend. It's got a bit of salt it in and tastes great on vegetables!

            1. re: pickledtink

              I just picked up Trocomare which was next to the Herbamare and am excited to try it.

          2. I'm unsure if you're asking about spice mixes generally or particular producers as you mention what I assume are producers that you like.

            Assuming the former, then I only use a handful of spice mixes - ras-al-hanout, garam masala, za'atar and Chinese 5 spice. I also usually have herbes de Provence but that's obviously herbs not spices so is probably outside of your interest.

            1. A few years ago, I made up several different seasoning blends to package as holiday gifts. Found a recipe for Emeril's "BAM" and several others online. It works nicely as an all-purpose seasoning on meat/fish & nice addition for seasoning flour or bread crumbs. My brother said it was good for "blackened" fish.

              Though many of the recipes did contain salt, that was not the ingredient... unlike most store brands. I think amounts could almost be arbitrary?? If ya like things HOT, add more cayenne, etc.

              1. I received a pepper blend called Pirate's Bite as a gift and love it! It has some heat but also has a nice depth of flavor. The seller's description describes it as hot but I feel it is moderate. YMMV!


                1. I love Emeril's basic seasoning blend for most uses, especially roasted chicken or home fries.

                  I've noticed that many of the various store brands of spices often have a "soul seasoning" blend, which varies quite dramatically from brand to brand. I like to try a bunch of these out from time to time, and since they are a store brand they are usually dirt cheap.

                  Another one that I found interesting was the Pride Of Szeged brand Chicken Seasoning. It comes in a green tin can. It's rather gritty with big pieces of spices, so I usually give it a whir in my spare coffee grinder to make it more powdery. But what surprised me was how much it tasted like KFC's chicken - it's incredibly close in flavor. The only thing I don't like about it is that it gives the chicken a rather odd dark brown color.

                  1 Reply
                  1. I have no idea if this mix is available outside Indiana, but we love a simple seasoning called Shoup's. http://www.shoupscountry.com/productD...

                    I think it is mostly salt and pepper and garlic, but it seems to enhance everything but chocolate cake.

                    Great on pork, hamburgers, any meat, really, all kinds of veggies, cooked, raw, roasted...

                    My daughter gained a reputation as the good cook of the college apartment crowd, based on a bottle of Shoup's.

                    I also like a bottle of Adobo (not the canned peppers) seasoning (http://www.goya.com/english/product_s...) and Tajin for fruit (also good on chicken) http://www.tajin.com/en-us/products.

                    1. I like a number of the Penzey's mixes, depending on what I am having. Their spicy Season salt is a delight on cantaloupe.

                      I use Lawry's a lot....in almost anything that calls for salt. And I only use regular salt at the table for Corn on the cob

                      Paul Prudhomme's Vegetable Magic also gets a lot of use

                      1. Badia's Complete Seasoning is excellent. Great flavor with less salt than most. Usually in the Latin aisle of the grocery store.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Spice_zing

                          That is my favorite seasoning. It does contain msg but the sodium is really low. And you could season a mud pie and it would be good.

                            1. re: Spice_zing

                              Agree--I love Badia spices. Crazy affordable in my neck of the woods, too, for cinnamon sticks, saffron, thyme, you name it.

                            2. Most often i buy the original jane's crazy salt:

                              I order all my spices from penzey's, the prices are reasonable and the quality far surpasses any i have bought retail- so i need much less of it to flavor a dish. These are all the salt free blends- i love the "sunny spain":

                              And under their salt section is where more spice blends are including salt

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                Also good is Jane's crazy mixed up salt Greek. Really good.
                                And Penzy's Sunny Paris is good if you like shallots and green peppercorns.

                                1. re: suzigirl

                                  I wasn't going to say as much.... But.... I love the penzey's goddess salad dressing blend as a seasoning! Don't think i have ever actually used it to make a salad dressing.... The paris one sounds great- i'll try some soon!

                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    I will have to give the goddess seasoning a try.

                                    1. re: suzigirl

                                      If it's like the Sunny Paris I'm in! I am not sure what to do, I'm addicted to the stuff but it's so darn expensive

                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                        I have found a Penzey's here locally. Don't be jealous. And yes, they are expensive.

                                        1. re: suzigirl

                                          Boooo!!! My closes store is an hour away. I usually/always buy enough for free shipping but that Sunny Paris doesn't last long. The others are OK and nice for variety but that has been the real winner other than the marvelous Aleppo pepper and smoked paprika which are more reasonably priced.

                                          1. re: suzigirl

                                            I most often use that goddess mix on roasted veggies (!) but it has also sneeked into mashed potatoes among other things. I always buy their spices by the bag and use my own container to bring the cost down

                                            1. re: Ttrockwood

                                              You can bring your own container? You have my full attention. Mine doesn't offer bagged herb/spices. I need to ask if i am missing something.

                                2. This is one great all around seasoning, exceptional on just about any potato dish.


                                  1. Smoked Red Pepper Sea Salt from The Spanish Table. I put it in everything, including homemade bread. Outstanding.

                                    1. I don't like seasoned salts or herb mixes. I want to be in full control of the flavor of foods (not a control freak- really). I will make my own but I don't buy them. I do like flavored salts- as an experiment I put some in my smoker and that was really good. I also pack fresh herbs with salt, then cook with herbs and use flavored salt when fresh herb-season is gone.

                                      1. Lawry's seasoned salt - tremendous yay. and obviously old bay. i like the mrs. dash tomato-basil-garlic too.

                                        1. I enjoy many of the Penzey's blends - Sunny Paris, shallot pepper. Others I always have include -
                                          Badia Complete seasoning
                                          Stubb's beef spice rub - great mix of molasss, coffee, and ancho chile

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                            Stubbs is great. Iron Works in TX also makes a nice rub.
                                            Jack miller's for cajun salt.

                                            I like Paul Prudhomme's seafood magic, steak blackening. Actually, all but his BBQ rub ar e really good. The BBQ rub is uniquely awful - it tastes completely chemical.

                                            Penzey's: Northwoods, Bicentennial
                                            I love Tom Douglas' rubs. i used to get them at our local Whole Foods. Haven't seen them in years, though.

                                          2. I recently tried Lawry's lower sodium season salt. It's very good!

                                            1. I really like some of Spice House's blends: sweet curry, ras el hanout, z'atar, garam masala.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: debbiel

                                                Yeah Spice House. I like the Vulcan fire salt. Heat and an interesting mild citrus somethingsomething.

                                                1. re: YvonneChristine

                                                  Adding it to my list for next order. Thanks

                                              2. thanks all of you, i now have a list i'll be ticking off for months

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: MaxCaviar

                                                  One more, Max, for your list.


                                                  This mix, you mix with your favorite ground meat for chorizo. We like it with ground chicken breast when we are trying to be healthy or ground pork at other times. It is terrific.

                                                  1. re: Ottojr

                                                    What an itneresting site! Thanks for the link.

                                                    "I Invented Cooking." No self-esteem issues there....

                                                  2. I really like the seasoned salts for cooking from Woody's Gourmet in California. Most are all made from sea salt and just fresh herbs. There is an amazing selection for cooking nearly any kind of food.


                                                    1. I randomly grabbed a bottle of Bragg's 24 herb seasoning today, and it's delicious! Also salt-free, for those who like lower sodium blends.