Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Good things come in small packages

Not too long ago, I received a few spice packets that impressed me with their beautiful design, their ease of use and their price. The spices come in several different configurations.

You know those times when you've found that great recipe in a magazine that you'd love to try but you don't want to buy all the different kinds of spices that are called for in the big jars...the kinds that every supermarket has on their shelves? Maybe you don't even want to take time to choose several different little bags in bulk at your favorite store. I know that I've had that experience many times. I want to do the recipe but don't want to buy bottles and bottles of spices or have little bags littering up my spice shelves until I know if I'll like the recipe.

I don't do it as often these days 'cause at this stage in life, I've pretty much tried all the spices I can get my hands on.

This is where Pinch Plus comes in. Pinch Plus is a company that makes spices done up in either one-tablespoon packages, looking a bit like an individual tea packet, as well as these darn cool little spice "booklets." Each booklet combines three packets of herbs and spices and a few recipes from various culinary traditions.

There are collections like a Pinch of France, a Pinch of India and a Pinch of Thailand. These are great fun and are wonderful for someone as a little gift to get them inspired to try an Indian-style meal, for example 'cause they include recipes, as well.

Just a pinch to try and then, perhaps, go to Penzeys in Maplewood and get an ounce, then go to The Natural Way, Whole Foods or Wild Oats and purchase in bulk...that's a good progression...try it in a tiny, pretty package, buy an ounce then stock up in you learn your own favorites.

After you know which spices you'll actually use you can purchase beautiful bottles of your own choice and keep them filled from the bulk bins. Bulk is good cause you've cut out the packaging. It's not good, however, if you just buy bags full and don't really know what you'll use. Pinch Plus makes that discovery fun.

These herbs and spices are so attractively packaged that they really can even be given as gifts. Where to get them in our fair town? Sorry, can't help you there, haven't seen them. Wish some store would pick them up. They may actually be available but I just haven't actually seen them with my own eyes. However, you can call Carol Pickering at 866 PINCH PLUS or visit their website and I bet they would be most delighted to send them to you.

Let me know if you give them a try. Whether you do or not, however, buy some herbs and spices and do just the briefest amount of reading and start a cooking adventure of your own. Purchase judiciously in very small amounts at first. Then you'll know what you like and what you'll use.

Most of all...have fun and eat healthy.


At 6:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was given the Pinch of India as a stocking stuffer for Christmas. I really liked the taste of the curry blend (the only one I've tried so far), but here are a couple of suggestions you can pass along to the company.

I really would have liked to know what was in the packet. I think the law even dictates that you list your ingredients these days. People with allergies especially need to know that kind of stuff.

I also found it odd that all of the sample recipes asked for even more spices (like cumin) than were already in the packet. I'd suggest either changing the blends to include those spices or choosing sample recipes that need only packets for flavoring.
JimC in Provo, Utah


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