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Small Business Saturday Snapshot: Old Town Spice Shop, Your Local Spice Shop

local spice shopAromatic smells and contented smiles have been rolling out of Old Town Spice Shop, your local spice shop, since 2010. In fact, December 3, 2010, is when the shop first opened its doors in its previous location at 220 Linden Street. Since that time, there has been a move to our current location at 130A S. College Ave., right in the heart of Old Town Fort Collins. There has also been no shortage of tasty morsels, savvy spice know-how, and delicious creations as a result of the freshness and quality of the spices, blends, seasonings, and other products available at our shop.

One thing that sets us apart is that we’re an independently owned Fort Collins spice shop. It was opened by the Godbey Family because of their love for the community, for Colorado, and for fresh and tasty spices. And now with Small Business Saturday Fort Collins just around the corner on Saturday, November 24, we’d like to take a moment and sit down with owner and manager Sean Godbey to chat about all things Old Town Spice Shop.

Q: Your family moved to Colorado in 1985. Where is your family originally from?

SG: Phoenix, AZ. I moved here when I was 1.

Q: What brought the family out to Colorado?

SG: My parents wanted a good place for us to grow up in a smaller city. CSU was an attraction as well.

Q: How are your spices tailored to the Colorado way of life?

SG: We do our best to tailor what we make to how people cook in Colorado. A lot of people like to cook from the land, so spices that are great with vegetables. Also, spices that help highlight the agricultural background of the area, so making sure we have great rubs for everything you would do with meat. People also like things spicy. So we make sure we can bring the heat when people want it!

Q: Have you always been interested in spices?

SG: I have always loved spices, but when we started this business we had a huge learning curve. I learned a lot about spices in the first year we opened. I still learn new things every day and I love it!

Q: Are you a good cook?

SG: I like to think I am. But like anyone, I have my areas I am most comfortable in. The one area that I need the most help with is baking. Luckily, my wife is a great baker, so I don’t have to be 🙂

Q: What is your favorite thing/dish to cook?

SG: My go-to favorite meal to cook and eat is hot wings. However, I love to cook a new recipe, and then change the recipe the next time I make it to make it better. Even after 15 years of trying to master hot wings, I still change the recipe every once in a while.

Q: What is your favorite spice aroma?

SG: Aroma is a funny thing. It stimulates the brain in a way that it can immediately take you back in time. For me, cardamom is one of my favorites. It reminds me of taking trips to the Middle East, sitting in coffee houses drinking Turkish Coffee. Prior to opening Old Town Spice Shop, I worked for a church here in Fort Collins. I had good friends that lived there, and I would go visit them on mission trips.

Q: Do you have an all-time favorite spice?

SG: No, there are too many fun spices in the world. I have my go-to spices for different things, but really most of the time I like trying new things.

Q: What is your favorite aspect of owning Old Town Spice Shop?

SG: Sharing fun new things. We get to work with customers every day wanting to make their life better through flavor. We get to help them figure out what to use to make that happen.

Q: What is it like being a small business owner in Fort Collins?

SG: Great! The community of small business owners downtown is amazing. Owning and managing a small business can be daunting at times. What is great is that there is always someone else that has gone through something similar who is willing to give you ideas on how to make it better.

Q: Where do you see OTSS in the next five years? Ten years?

SG: Our store isn’t going anywhere. We are lucky enough to have great relationships with numerous businesses throughout our community. I hope that in five to ten years we will be able to grow those relationships to continue to make Fort Collins better.

Q: What are your favorite customer interactions?

SG: When I work the store, I love seeing customers that have come in for years. I also love when new customers come in and are overwhelmed with options or get super excited about all the things they want to cook.

This is just a small snippet into the heart and soul of your local spice shop, Old Town Spice Shop. With the holidays rapidly approaching, now is the most important time of the year to head to Downtown Fort Collins and support local businesses, like us, Old Town Spice Shop. Remember to #ShopSmall this Holiday Season and come say hi! We invite everyone to taste the difference that fresh spices, blends and seasonings, teas, sugars, extracts, and other products can make in your life.

Crock Pot Perfection: Our Recommended Spices for Chili

spices for chiliOh slow cooker, how we love thee…Can we get an “amen”?

You have to admit, there’s nothing better than coming home after a long day to an already-prepared homemade meal that your family can devour right this minute. Not only that, but its heavenly aromas are also currently permeating every crevice of your home with its home-cooked, savory goodness. Nothing quite makes you feel like more of a domestic god or goddess.

And let’s not forget about the crock pot’s currently trending and much more stylish cousin, the instant pot. Done in a flash while retaining all of the juice and flavor of a traditional slow cooker meal. These are hot right now, and for good reason.

When it comes to crock pot and instant pot meals, one of our favorites is chili. Its hearty, warm deliciousness is hard to beat, and it’s also quite simple to prepare. But we’ve got a few tips that will take your chili from standard to superior with the addition of some simple spices for chili.

Urfa Biber

Instead of traditional chili peppers, why not try something a little more spicy and non-traditional? We suggest using Urfa Biber chili flakes. The curing process of this Turkish chili leaves a high moisture content and encourages complex smoky flavors of rich chocolate, roasted coffee, and tangy raisins. Not only is Urfa Biber recommended for taking your crockpot chili to a whole new level, it’s also tasty raw, sprinkled over pungent cheeses or cooked into sauces for braised meats. These chilies even taste good on ice cream!

Cumin

There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: cumin is a must when it comes to delicious chili creation. The aromatic seeds of a plant in the parsley family, cumin is typical in many spice blends and is a staple spice in many cuisines, especially Mexican, Indian, African, and Asian. It has a very distinctive flavor with an earthy, nutty, spicy taste that has bitter undertones and a warm aroma, and it’s utterly delectable when added to chili. Luckily, we carry both ground cumin and whole seed cumin.

Chocolate or Cinnamon

Another way to give your chili a flavor boost is by adding chocolate or cinnamon. You heard us right: chocolate or cinnamon. Try picking one of these to add with your traditional spices into your next batch of chili: 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 1 whole cinnamon stick, or 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Or try adding a few squares of good-quality dark chocolate along with the tomatoes and let them melt slowly into the chili.

Harissa or Berbere

To bring a more exotic flair to the table, try harissa or berbere. Described as “Tunisia’s main condiment,” harissa is commonly used in Northern Africa to flavor stews, soups, and couscous. Most standard harissas include a blend of hot chile peppers, garlic, olive oil, cumin, coriander, caraway, and mint. Berbere is an Ethiopian spice mixture that is the flavor foundation of Ethiopian cuisine, a basic ingredient in Dabo Kolo, Doro Wat, and many other dishes. It’s a spice mixture whose constituent elements usually include chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima, rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek.

So the next time your crock pot or instant pot chili night rolls around, go with a less traditional spin by utilizing some of our recommended spices for chili. Or swing on by the Old Town Spice Shop, a local independent Fort Collins Spice Shop, located at 130A S. College Ave. in Old Town Fort Collins. We could chat about spices all day. Let us know what spice questions you have. We’re always happy to help!

Our Top 5 Favorite Fall Baking Spices

As soon as the air gets crisp and the leaves start crunching underfoot, we’re not sure about you, but everyone here at Old Town Spice Shop can’t help but get a little bit giddy over fall baking spices. Fall is one of our favorite seasons when it comes to cooking and baking. The cooler temperature lends itself to savory slow-cooker meals and mouth-watering baked goodies.

Therefore, in the spirit of fun fall baking, we’ve decided to fill you in on our top five favorite fall baking spices. This way you’ll be stocked up on everything you need for some epic fall baking and equally as epic fall eating. I mean, you’ve got to stay warm this winter somehow, right?  Here goes….

Cinnamon

Mmmmmm…. no other flavor quite denotes the fall season like cinnamon. Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum. It’s used mainly as an aromatic condiment and a flavoring additive in a wide array of cuisines. The aroma and flavor of cinnamon are derived from its essential oil and principal component, cinnamaldehyde. There are a number of species of cinnamon including Cassia, Chinese, Saigon, and Ceylon—true cinnamon. From cinnamon-spiced apples to apple cobbler to snickerdoodles, there are a number of tasty fall treats that will make you fall in love with cinnamon all over again.

Luckily, we’ve got all of the fresh cinnamon you could want here at your Fort Collins herbs and spices store. Check out our impressive lineup of cinnamons here.

Nutmeg

Grab your cable-knit sweater and infinity scarves because nutmeg is the next fall baking spice on our list. Did you know that nutmeg is the seed or ground spice of several species of the genus Myristica fragrans? It’s a dark-leaved evergreen tree cultivated for two spices derived from its fruit: nutmeg, from its seed, and mace, from the seed covering. It has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm, slightly sweet taste. Its flavor can be found in many types of baked goods, confections, sauces, vegetables, and even eggnog. Some of our favorite nutmeg-inspired recipes include spice cake, french toast, candied pecans, and apple pie.

We appreciate anything nutmeg-derived, which is why we carry ground nutmeg, whole nutmeg and other spices in the nutmeg family. Check them out here.

Allspice

According to theepicentre.com, allspice takes its name from its aroma, which smells like a combination of spices, including cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg. Allspice is the only spice that is grown exclusively in the Western Hemisphere. The evergreen tree that produces the allspice berries is indigenous to the rainforests of South and Central America, where it grows wild. Dried allspice berries resemble large brown peppercorns. Its flavor is pungent and aromatic, with peppery overtones. What are some of our favorite allspice-flavored fall treats? Let’s start with mulled cider, spice cake, or a number of tasty holiday cocktails. Now that’s what we’re talking about.

Try our Mexican Ground Allspice or Mexican Whole Allspice.

Ginger

Want some zing in your fall baking? Then, we suggest ginger. Ginger is a flowering plant whose stem, ginger root—or simply ginger—is used a spice. Ginger is in the family Zingiberaceae, in which also belong turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. Ginger produces a hot, fragrant flavor and is used quite often in Indian and Caribbean cuisine. When it comes to fall baking spices, ginger is one of our favorite. Want to know why? Because of gingerbread of course! There’s also ginger cake, ginger cobbler, ginger spiced molasses cookies, ginger snaps, ginger cheesecake….we could go on.

You want ginger? We’ve got it here at Old Town Spice Shop.

Cloves

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceae, which are native to Indonesia. The clove tree is an evergreen that grows up to 25 to 40 feet tall, with large leaves and crimson flowers. The most noticeable component of the clove taste is imparted by the chemical eugenol, and the flavor pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, red wine, basil, onion, citrus, star anise, and peppercorns. There are a number of tasty autumn-inspired beverages that are clove-heavy, including a number of hot toddies, mulled ciders, and chai drinks. Cloves are also quite prevalent in a number of fall baking classics already mentioned, such as gingerbread and pumpkin pie.  

And last but not least, did you know (said in your best Captain Planet voice) that when these five items are combined, they magically become Pumpkin Pie Spice, another one of our favorite fall baking spices!

There you have it, a delicious rundown of our favorite fall baking spices and dishes. Now, if you don’t mind, we have a gingerbread hankering that we need to alleviate. In the meantime, come on into Old Town Spice Shop, a local independent Fort Collins Spice Shop at 130A S. College in Old Town Fort Collins, to check out our selection of spices, blends and seasonings, salts, sugars, and so much more!

 

Hopped Up Coffee: A Craft Coffee for Beer Lovers

As you probably already know, we love a steaming hot cup of coffee here at Old Town Spice Shop. And we also like nothing better than a tasty local brew, so we decided to combine the two into our very own line of specialty coffees called Hopped Up Coffee. Hopped Up Coffee is a single-origin coffee, with blended Cascade hops, and various malted barley to add the texture and sweetness of various beer styles.

We’re proud to collaborate with Jackie’s Java, Northern Colorado’s coffee roaster, to ensure that the coffee we use is fairly purchased from the farmer, single-origin, and roasted to our specifications. We also gather inspiration from a number of awesome local breweries, including New Belgium, Odell, Horse & Dragon, Purpose Brewing, DC Oakes, Intersect, Maxline, Zwei and others, for mouthwatering flavor ideas.

While we may be pioneering the realm of beer-infused coffee, craft coffee has been gaining popularity for years. According to MarketWatch, similar to craft beers, “Craft coffee refers to the pursuit of making a cup of high-quality coffee, while also engaging consumers in the story of the coffee…by experimenting with bringing out different flavor nodes to make a cup of black coffee taste more nuanced.”

While we enjoy the much-needed and proverbial kick in the pants that coffee provides, coffee is no longer solely consumed just for the jolt of energy. Consumers are seeing it as an overall experience to be enjoyed. From the grinding of the beans to the aroma, to the roasting and brewing philosophy, people are learning about what’s in their cup and are enjoying this new-found relationship with their morning cup o’ joe.

We get it. As your trusted local spice shop, we understand that eating, drinking, and creating culinary creations are adventures to be experienced and enjoyed, and this applies to coffee as well. This is precisely why we’ve decided to merge two of our favorite flavors—coffee and beer—in a revolutionary new way.

And now that fall is officially here, we’d also like to unveil our new seasonal Hopped Up Coffee, our Pumpkin Ale Coffee! Bringing the delicious flavor of fall to your morning, our Pumpkin Ale Coffee is a tasty combination of freshly roasted coffee, malted barley, hops, and a hint of pumpkin spice. This seasonal selection is only available throughout the month of October. It’s autumn in a cup, and you’re going to love it.

While craft coffee and craft beer might be buzzwords (buzz…get it?), the idea behind the craft revolution is something that this local spice shop can completely get behind. Striving to understand the story behind our morning or afternoon cup of coffee and turning it into an overall experience—now that sounds like a brew-tiful sentiment!

Come on into the Old Town Spice Shop, a local independent Fort Collins Spice Shop at 130A S. College in Old Town Fort Collins, to check out our selection of Hopped Up Coffees and perhaps take a whiff of their mouthwatering aromas. Or order online here.

Hidden Treasures: The Best Spices That You’re Not Using

herbs and spices storeThe road to creating a culinary masterpiece is often riddled with unexpected bumps and ruts. Lots of things can impede your progress, from unexpected recipe failures, to adjusting cooking times and temps, to ingredient malfunctions. This is often why we stay in a rut that feels the most comfortable to us, a.k.a. chicken breast and spaghetti on the regular. However, take it from us, your friendly local herbs and spices store: going off course and trying something new is the best way to get out of a rut. Why not make something unique and tasty for dinner tonight?

Another suggestion while traveling the road to delicious horizons? Make sure to keep your eyes peeled for hidden treasures along the way. The hidden treasures that we’re referring to include under-utilized ingredients. You know, those ingredients that you’ve never used because you’re just not sure how it will come out? Or perhaps they just seem a little complex and intimidating. Well, this is where we come in.

Being in the spice business, as your herbs and spices store of choice, we see an array of tasty ingredients that we know will add pizzazz to your next meal go mostly unnoticed. So we’ve decided to give these under-the-radar spices the recognition they deserve, as the best spices you’re not using.

Saigon Cinnamon

Used primarily for its aromatic bark, Saigon cinnamon is a form of cassia, but with a more pronounced and complex aroma, Saigon cinnamon is also called Vietnamese cinnamon. It comes from an evergreen tree indigenous in Southeast Asia and consists of 1-5% essential oils, which is the highest percentage of all cinnamon species. It is sweeter and stronger than cassia. For these reasons, Saigon cinnamon is often considered the best cinnamon. The Saigon cinnamon that we sell at Old Town Spice Shop is 5% essential oil.

Urfa Biber Chile Flakes

The curing process of this Turkish chile, cultivated in the Urfa region of Turkey, leaves a high moisture content and encourages complex smoky flavors of rich chocolate, roasted coffee, and tangy raisins. Excellent raw, sprinkled over pungent cheeses, or cooked into sauces for braised meats, these chiles even taste good on ice cream. Urfa biber is less spicy than many other chile peppers, but provides a more lasting build of heat. According to Food and Wine Magazine, it is quickly becoming a go-to ingredient for chefs across the country.

Dulse

Dulse is harvested in the cool water along the Atlantic coast of Canada and also along the shores of Ireland and Norway. This sea vegetable is full of potassium, iodine, Vitamin B, fiber, and protein. Dulse can be eaten raw, roasted, fried, dried, or as a thickening agent for soups. There are a number of alternate names for dulse seaweed, including sea parsley, dilsk, creathnach, and sol. It has a hint of salty marine flavor and can be used as a substitute for salt.

kaffir lime leavesKaffir Lime Leaves

The kaffir lime leaf is essential when cooking Thai curries and soups; however, an array of dishes can benefit from the flavor. One of the most aromatic of all herbs, ground kaffir lime leaves are an easy way to add a floral citrus flavor to soups, curries, and homemade curry pasta. And according to thespruceeats.com, if a recipe calls for kaffir lime leaves and you don’t have them, do not substitute with another ingredient, as there is no replacement for the unique flavor the kaffir lime leaf imparts to a dish.

These are just a few of the hidden ingredient treasures that you will definitely want to try in your next culinary creation. If you would like to learn about other tasty spices that you’re likely not using but should be, swing on by our herbs and spices store located in Fort Collins, CO, or check out our online spice store for more delicious suggestions. Cooking is an adventure, so take an opportunity to smell, taste, ask questions, and go on this adventure with us. You’ll be glad you did!

Spice Ideas for Summer Garden Veggies

Take one look around town and you’ll likely see a backyard, community garden, or farmers market bursting forth with tasty-looking fruits and veggies peeking out from behind massive leafy growth. Ahhhh…it’s garden season. One of the freshest and most delicious times of the year. And whether you choose to grill, saute, mince, or gobble them straight off the stem, garden veggies are one of our favorite foods to spice.

Here are some of the most common veggies that are or will soon be ready to harvest with some spice suggestions from your friendly, local herbs and spices store, Old Town Spice Shop:

Cucumbers and Tomatoes: These are two of our favorite summer veggies! How can you go wrong with cucumbers and tomatoes? Especially when you mix them together for one fresh and tasty treat! Here’s one of our favorite ways to prepare these two summer garden standards. Dice cucumbers, tomatoes, and green onions, and mix together on a serving platter. Add feta cheese and olive oil (may we suggest our very own Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil?). Then generously apply Greek Seasoning. This is a fantastic dip or great on a salad.

Corn: Whether it’s as high as an elephant’s eye or just about mouth-high as we munch sweet kernels right off the cob, corn is delectably in season right now and we couldn’t be more ready. We enjoy corn on the grill, simply roasted with butter and sprinkled with Chili Lime Seasoning.

Peppers: Whatever type of peppers you’re growing are the type of peppers that make for a fantastic, fresh, and delicious summertime snack. Try your prized peppers roasted with Roasted Vegetable Seasoning, Fajita Seasoning, or Sweet Onion Sugar. Mmmmmm….our mouths are watering just thinking about it.

However you choose to prepare them, there’s nothing like having fresh garden veggies in the summer. Sprinkle any of these delicious additions from Old Town Spice Shop, your favorite local spice shop, onto your favorite veggies and add a fantastic burst of flavor to your fresh green goodies. Visit our online spice store or come on down to the shop to discover even more seasonally inspired spices, blends, sauces, and so much more. Your palate will thank you!

Spice Price Comparison: How Old Town Spice Shop Stacks Up

Whether you’re an expert chef or just learning the basics, we all know that a dish is only as good as the quality of the ingredients in it. The spices used to flavor your dishes are an integral part of the process, and therefore, a core lineup of fresh, quality spices is essential to creating tasty meals that your family will be begging you to serve time and time again.

We also know that you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg for something that you can just as easily pick up on your next trip to the grocery store or online spice store. So where do you get the best of the best spice-wise while also being kind to your pocketbook? We’re glad you asked.

It’s a common misconception that we are generally more expensive than spices you can buy elsewhere. Prices at our herbs and spices store are actually quite competitive compared to grocery store spices and spices that you can purchase online. One thing is for sure: we are higher quality and while we can’t compare to dollar dust spices, we generally are competitive with any name-brand product at the grocery store. Don’t believe us? Well, we decided to do a little price comparison between our spices and common store-bought spices to see who comes out on top price-wise when it comes to four of the most common spices you will inevitably use in your next recipe: chili powder, black pepper, cinnamon, and Italian seasoning. We also compared two of the most common brands (McCormick and Spice Islands) amongst three common spice retailers (Amazon, Walmart, and King Soopers). Amazon pricing is subject to fees and restrictions, including but not limited to Amazon Prime and Amazon Pantry memberships.

Here’s what we discovered:

Chili Powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCormick Chili Powder

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $2.29 ($0.92/oz)

Walmart – 2.5 oz jar for $2.44 ($.98/oz)

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $6.43 ($2.57/oz)

OTSS:

New Mexico chili powder – 2.5 oz jar for $4.50 ($1.80/oz)

Spice Islands Chili Powder

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $14.56 ($5.83/oz)

Walmart – 2.5 oz jar for $5.53 ($2.21/oz)

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $6.25 ($2.50/oz)

OTSS:

New Mexico chili powder – 2.5 oz jar for $4.50 ($1.80/oz) $1.80/oz

When it comes to chili powder, Old Town Spice Shop’s New Mexico Chili Powder is more cost-effective than Spice Islands’ prices and lands right about in the middle compared to McCormick’s at most retailers. In addition, Old Town Spice Shop carries a variety of chili powders with more than 20 different chillies.

In the spice world, McCormick is usually one of the most price-conscious options and is sold in plastic containers, while Spice Islands is usually a bit higher quality and comes in a glass jar, which helps hold in freshness.

Black Pepper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCormick Black Pepper

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $2.08 ($0.83/oz)

Walmart – 2.5 oz jar for  $2.50 ($1.00/oz)

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $5.00 ($2.00/oz)

OTSS:

Black ground peppercorn – 2.5 oz jar for $6.00 ($2.40/oz)

Spice Islands Black Pepper

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $13.10 ($5.24/oz)

Walmart – N/A

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $7.13 ($2.85/oz)

OTSS:

Black ground peppercorn – 2.5 oz jar for $6.00 ($2.40/oz)

Black pepper seems to range anywhere from $0.83/oz to $5.24/oz, depending on brand and retailer. Our Old Town Spice Shop black ground peppercorn is most closely priced to Spice Islands and even comes in a bit cheaper generally. In addition to its price, our black ground peppercorn is fresh ground in our local warehouse before its packaged. We don’t buy any pre-ground peppercorns. Quality and freshness is key when it comes to choosing pepper for your homemade dishes and that’s what Old Town Spice Shop delivers.

Cinnamon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCormick Cinnamon

Amazon –  2.3 oz jar for $1.29 ($0.54/oz)

Walmart – 2.3 oz jar for $2.98 ($1.30/oz)

King Soopers – 2.3 oz jar for $3.99 ($1.73/oz)

OTSS:

Cassia Cinnamon, Korintje, Ground – 2.3 oz jar for $3.45 ($1.50/oz)

Spice Islands Cinnamon

Amazon – 2.3 oz jar for $18.14 ($7.89/oz)

Walmart – .3 oz jar for $5.42 ($2.36/oz)

King Soopers – 2.3 oz jar for $5.99 ($2.60/oz)

OTSS:

Cassia Cinnamon, Korintje, Ground – 2.3 oz jar for $3.45 ($1.50/oz)

Cinnamon is a staple spice for many households. Luckily, you can get our fresh ground cinnamon for a better price than Spice Islands’ cinnamon at all of our comparable retailers. The price of our cinnamon is also similar to what you might pay for McCormick cinnamon, our just happens to be fresher, tastier, and local.

Italian Seasoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCormick Italian Seasoning

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $2.00 ($0.80/oz)

Walmart – 2.5 oz jar for $9.55 ($3.82/oz)

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $19.30 ($7.72/oz)

OTSS:

Italian seasoning – 2.5 oz jar for $12.50 ($5.00/oz)

Spice Islands Italian Seasoning

Amazon – 2.5 oz jar for $21.00 ($8.40/oz)

Walmart – 2.5 oz jar for $17.20 ($6.88/oz)

King Soopers – 2.5 oz jar for $23.05 ($9.22/oz)

OTSS:

Italian seasoning – 2.5 oz jar for $12.50 ($5.00/oz)

When it comes to Italian seasoning, the prices really run the gamut, running anywhere from Amazon’s McCormick offering at $0.80/oz to King Soopers’ Spice Islands offering at $9.22 oz. Old Town Spice Shop comes in right in the middle at $5/oz.

At Old Town Spice Shop, your local spice shop, not only are we price conscious, but spices truly are our life. Because this is our business, we can ensure the highest quality spices, blends, salts, sugars, extracts, peppers, and teas. We buy in bulk and fresh grind, blend, and package everything in-house, making them fresher than you can get even at many other spice shops. Taste the difference that fresh spices, blends, seasonings, teas, and other products can make in your life…while still paying a reasonable price. Sounds like a win-win to us!

Our Favorite Flavors of Spring

Spring is a veritable burst of fresh colors, textures, and flavors. One of our favorite things to do, as your preferred local spice shop, during the onset of a new season is indulge our senses and our recipes in seasonal spices. This helps not only in casting away the staleness of the past season but also in creating new and fresh flavors.

Here are a few of our favorite spring-inspired spices that are guaranteed to put a spring in your step and add pizzazz to your dinner plate during this lovely season.

Lavender: Beautiful, flavorful, and an actual flower, nothing says spring like putting actual flowers in your food. Cultivated mainly in France and England, lavender has a sweet, floral aroma and strong flavor, so just a little dab will do. Lavender has become a popular ingredient for cooking both sweet and savory dishes. Desserts such as creme brulee, ice cream, and cupcakes can be scented with lavender, and main courses like lamb can be enhanced with the flower. It is also an essential ingredient in Herbs de Provence and blends well with citrus, mint, rosemary, sage, berries, fruit, meats, and drinks. Click here to peruse our selection of lavender from spices to sugars to teas in our online spice store.

Mint: One of the freshest and most flavorful herbs you can cook with, mint offers a crisp taste and aromatic nature that screams spring, and we must heed the call. There are two main types of mint that we use to cook: peppermint and spearmint. Peppermint is a bit sharper and spearmint more delicate and sweet. Peppermint also contains menthol, which gives our mouths that cool and refreshing sensation, making it the perfect addition to a light refreshing spring-inspired beverage. Click here for our wide array of mint-inspired flavors.

Dill: If you’ve ever grown your own dill, you know just how aromatic, fresh and spring-inspired this herb really is. Dill weed consists of the green leaf of the dill plant, while dill seed is the fruit of the plant, but both offer a bright and tasty flavor. Dill seed is similar to but stronger than, dill weed. Dill seed is used commonly in Middle Eastern cold dishes like fattosh and in pickles. Dill weed consists of the dried leaves of the dill plant and is used in American dishes such as pickles, meats, breads, fish and shellfish, cottage and cream cheese, and with tomato juice beverages. Check out a variety of dill products here or come to Old Town Spice shop to check out our variety of dill and talk to one of our spice specialists to discover more ways to use this versatile and tasty herb. We also sell a variety of tasty dill pickles made by Fort Collins Pickle Company. Available in-store only.

Cilantro: Whether you love it or you hate it, cilantro is one of the most frequently used herbs in the world and is known for its bright, clean, and tangy flavor. It easily and robustly adds a kick to your most common spring cookout dishes like guacamole and salsa. Cilantro is the usual name for the leaf of the plant that is otherwise identified as coriander, and from which coriander seed is obtained. Cilantro is quite versatile and commonly found in Asian, Mexican, Indian, Tex-Mex, Caribbean, and North American cuisines. If you want to add a fresh punch of spring-inspired flavor, just add cilantro. Check out our selection of cilantro-inspired items here and try them in your next favorite dish.

Try any of these herbs for a springy burst of flavor at your next meal, or come to Old Town Spice Shop to discover even more seasonally-inspired spices and blends. Your palate will thank you.

Springtime Grilling Sidekicks: Rubs and Mustards

It’s officially springtime and you know what that means, right? It’s grilling season! We know that there will likely be a few more snowflakes yet to make an appearance before we can really sink our teeth into grilling season, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take advantage of the warm days while they’re here, right?

At Old Town Spice Shop, your favorite local spice shop, we have a mouthwatering selection of grilling rubs that will take your BBQ to the next level. A spice rub is any mixture of ground spices made for the purpose of being rubbed on raw food before cooking or grilling. The rub forms a coat on the food and once grilled, becomes a tangy and crispy crust. We’re salivating just thinking about. Here’s our savory line of rubs from our herbs and spices store:

Ancho Honey Rub: Warm chili flavor balanced with the sweetness of honey, this blend is great on pork or chicken. Rub on your protein and let it sit overnight for full flavor or just sprinkle some on before you cook it.

Chimichurri Rub: An Argentinean spice, great on any meat; just add two parts olive oil, one part vinegar, one part water, and spices to make a Chimichurri sauce.

Horseradish Steak Rub: This complete dry rub will give any steak that horseradish bite you love. Simply rub on any meat, grill, and enjoy.

Korean Dry Rub: Gochujang powder captures the heat and spice of traditional Korean gochujang paste in a convenient, shelf-stable dry powder. Rub on pork, beef, or chicken for a truly one-of-a-kind grilling experience.

Mango Chipotle Rub: Bringing together the two wonderful flavors of mango and chipotle into one tasty rub, this can be added to fish, pork, chicken, or steak to make it sing with a medley of flavors.

Rib Rub: This tangy blend is a BBQ master’s best friend. Ideal for juicy pork chops, sizzling steak, fresh fish fillets and of course, ribs.

Santa Maria Rub: This style of rub originated in California and is perfect for a tri-tip or any cut of steak. It has a fantastic garlic finish, a pop of pepper, and is completely delicious.

In addition to our rubs, Old Town Spice Shop is happy to spice up another springtime tasteful tradition: picnics. Who doesn’t love a heavenly picnic spread? Especially when your spread includes one of our homemade mustards. Our selection of mustards from our line of Brewhouse Sauces goes great on top of any sandwich, hot dog, or bratwurst.

Auntie Stone’s Mustard: Crafted using Guinness Extra Stout, spread this tasty mustard on a bratwurst, add to deviled eggs or enjoy on a sandwich. By the way, did you know that Elizabeth “Auntie” Stone (1801-1895) is considered the founding mother of Fort Collins? Which is why we named this trailblazing mustard after Auntie Stone herself.

Redstone Creek Harissa Mustard: Crafted using Zwei Brewing Rauch Export Lager, you can spread this mustard on a brat, sandwich or anything else that could use a little tasty zing.

Sleeping Giant Spicy Mustard: This recipe is crafted using Grimm Brothers Brewhouse Dunkel Lager, Fearless Youth. If you like spicy and you like mustard, then you’re definitely going to love our Sleeping Giant Spicy Mustard. Layer it over your next hot dog and prepare to be impressed.

These are just a few ideas for tastefully spicing up your springtime grilling with the help of your favorite local and online spice store, Old Town Spice Shop. We’re here to make sure that you’re getting all the flavor that you can whether you’re grilling, frying, sauteing or cooking. We love it all. Come in and chat with our grilling experts to learn more about spicing up your grilling!   

 

Darjeeling Tea Health Benefits

Do you fancy a cup of tea? Yeah, us too. We go through tea phases, you know, deciding which are our favorites, but lately our go-to has been our delicious Darjeeling tea. Also known as the “champagne of teas” in honor of its exquisite flavor, Darjeeling tea is a black tea grown at the foot of the Himalayas, in the Darjeeling region of northern India.

This black tea yields a light cup, with a pleasing apricot color. Smooth with a slight floral note, Darjeeling teas are usually described as having a musky spiciness with a cool finish. However, aside from its nectarous color, taste, and finish, did you know that Darjeeling tea health benefits are off the charts as well?

Now you do. Let us further explain.

When it comes to high blood pressure, diabetes, and weight loss, Darjeeling tea is a natural remedy. It contains abundant antioxidants that combat free radicals and eliminate toxins which are quite helpful when it comes to each of these maladies.

Darjeeling Tea and High Blood Pressure

Consuming black tea such as Darjeeling may have benefits to cardiovascular health. In an October 2003 issue of “Journal of Nutrition”, they cited that drinking five servings of black tea daily lowered blood cholesterol significantly in subjects consuming a moderately low-fat diet, compared to non-tea drinkers on the same diet. It’s also been known to widen arteries potentially increasing blood flow to organs which can also lower the risk of cardiovascular disease over time.

Darjeeling Tea and Diabetes

According to researchers from the Tianjin Key Laboratory in China, the polysaccharides found in Darjeeling tea had the most glucose-inhibiting properties. Polysaccharides are a type of carbohydrate that includes starch and cellulose, which benefit people with diabetes because they help to retard absorption of glucose. The black tea polysaccharides also displayed the highest amount of scavenging of free radicals, which are present in the onset of other diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.  

Does Darjeeling Tea Help With Weight Loss?

While still being delicious, Darjeeling tea contains very few calories so it is a low-calorie and healthy alternative to other types of sugary beverages. In addition, this specific type of black tea contains enough caffeine to provide extra energy, naturally, while also decreasing fat absorption and boosting metabolism.

These are just a few of the health benefits of Darjeeling tea. The leaves of this tea are rich in many different bioactive compounds that have significant health benefits. The best part of all is that your favorite local spice shop, Old Town Spice Shop has tasty and fresh Darjeeling tea that you can pick up locally or online in our online spice store. Or if you’re interested in other black tea based loose leaf teas, you can also check out our selection of Oolong Tea, China Black Tea, or Apricot Tea. And as an aside, we do not advise making any health decisions based on the information presented and always suggest that you seek the advice of medical professionals on any medical matters.