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The Spice of Life

Wintertime is perfect for enjoying the richness and warmth of spiced foods. However, many of us are stuck in our spice "comfort zone" reusing the same flavors over and over. We offer you this opportunity for a worldly, culinary adventure through products, spice blends, and recipes.

We'll begin with some of our favorite Christmas time products, straight off our shelves. These are delicious treats, and make great hostess gifts. Grandpa Lundquist Gl�gg is a classic (non-alcoholic) Scandinavian winter warming drink. We love Bud's Eggnog from Berkeley Farms. And two traditional, European cookies of choice are Hellema Spiced Cookies in their decorative Tin and Bahlsen Pfeffernusse.

It's fun to experiment with flavor when you know you are using an excellent spice blend--there is a comforting "can't go wrong element". Here are some of our staff favorites. We hope you seek out some adventure!

Herbs de Provence Crock by Aux Anysetiers du Roy
Laura Santtini Taste No. 5 Umami Paste
Mustapha's Harissa
Wineforest Foods Juniper Berry Rub & Fennel Pollen Rub
Neera's Vindaloo Paste and Tamarind Paste
Sukhi's Pulao Rice Spice Mix
Sel Magique Spicy Salt Blend


Staff Pick!
By Amanda Bevill,  
Julie Kramis Hearne, and  
Charity Burggraaf  
How to get out of your spice comfort zone and add spice blends from around the world to familiar recipes.

Bring the world's exotic spices to your home kitchen, and breathe new life into favorite, familiar, and traditional dishes with wonderful new flavors. Transform a grilled ribeye steak using an Arabic baharat spice blend, or add excitement to your carrot cake using Kashmiri garam masala.

Learn who to add gratifying dimension to foods with a fresh and surprising collection of recipes.


We are posting a cookie recipe a day-each day leading up to Christmas. Check out our curated list of delicious recipes from some of our favorite blogs. More recipes will be posted as Christmas approaches.

Follow us on Facebook, or Twitter, or both for daily updates and recipes.

There is something about the perfect combination of warm red wine, spices and fruits that totally stimulates the taste buds. Here is a unique Persian version of mulled wine that incorporates a winning combination of flavors.

Goes well with a fruity Shiraz, and it doesn't need to be an expensive bottle.

Vendor of the Month

Morton & Bassett Spices  

A difference that you can see, and smell, and taste.
he spices you choose play a big outcome in everything you prepare, that is why we recommend Morton & Bassett for more dimensional flavor. They provide the best quality, most flavorful spices in the world. In fact, the difference in quality is so pronounced, you can easily see the difference.

And, yes, they are a San Francisco-based company, so you know you are buying local.


We carry the full line at Piedmont Grocery--try a few in your holiday baking!

Read More...  

Try something different fort he holidays--possibly the best 12 year-old you've tasted.

Crisp and fresh-this whisky hails from the Japanese distillery of Hakushu set in a forest of Mt. Kaikomagatake. Its vibrant feel, unique in a single malt, is invigorating to the senses. Lovely thick mouthfeel, and medium finish. Compares excellently with pricier whisky.


The scent alone is worth price of admission!


Read More... 


Anise Cakes  
From Amy and our "What's For Dinner Wednesday" recipe blog 

Spice is Nice

Have you noticed that you use particular spices at certain times of the year? I have. Some spices are a year round thing-cinnamon, cumin, thyme, and of course, salt. (What would we do without salt!) And others only make a short appearance during the holidays, then quietly go back into spice drawer obscurity.


I come from a very Scandinavian family therefore many of the things we enjoy for the holidays have a very Nordic flavor and nothing says I am a Viking more than the flavor of anise. Full disclosure: I am not a fan. It reminds me too much of black licorice, another Scandinavian obsession. Most people in my family agree. (I guess we should turn in our Longenhurden.) My sister though, loves it.


Growing up, we all had our signature Christmas cookies that my grandmother would make specifically for the lover of said cookie. My cookies were the Swedish Rosettes made by dipping irons into a thin batter, and frying the dough in hot oil. A quick dusting of powdered sugar and they were good to go. So good! (I mean, how can you go wrong with fried food?)


My sister's signature cookies are Anise Cakes. They were hers because she loved them, and because no one else would eat them. Her cookies were always the last ones left on the table at Christmas Eve, but it wouldn't have been Christmas without them. And, of course, there were the requisite pronunciation jokes. Were kids after all!


These hard cookies are meant to be dunked into coffee or tea, like biscotti-only a little bit more dense. If you love the flavor of licorice, give these a try with your morning coffee.


Get the recipe for Anise Cakes...


In This Issue
Special Cheeses
Pie Month
Mulled Wine Persian Style
Vendor of the Month
Autumn Salad with Apples, Comté and Hazelnuts
What's For Dinner Wednesday
Quick Links







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