A good way to start my blog is to talk about shopping for spices. I just love spices. A friend told me about Penzey spices and I ordered from them via on-line twice. Their spices are fresh and seem to be stronger than the regular supermarkets'. I found out that Penzey opened a store in Torrance about 7 weeks ago. What an opportunity to check it out! Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to smell the spices instead of just looking at them in the catalog or website?
I was able to convince my husband to go with me last Saturday. I promised him good smells and a new vegan culinary experience at the end of this journey, as a reward. The plan was to visit the Penzey Store and then eat dinner at House of Vege (about 8 miles from Penzey). We have never eaten at House of Veg so this is a new culinary experience. My husband is a good navigator while I am good at following his directions (I told him "That's why I brought you with me, honey, cause you can get us there and then home!") We were able to find the store with no problem.
Oh, boy, I feel like a kid in a candy store. But in this case I was a cook in a spice store. Same difference! I just could not decide where to begin. The store was simple, not fancy like William Sonoma, but organized. It is divided into sections like Spice A-Z, Baking, Herbs, Jars, Gift Boxes, etc. We didn't notice the time as we opened one jar to the next and brought it close to our nose. I felt that I needed to slow down right away because smelling a spice to the next so quickly was really confusing my nose.
After spending more than 1 hour, my husband claimed 'My nose is tired, let's go!' I managed to buy Smoked Spanish Paprika, Sate seasonings, Cumin, Star Anise, Medium Hot Chili Powder, Poppy Seeds, Thyme, Pure Wasabi, and Natural Wasabi with Pure Wasabi in it. The most expensive purchase was Pure Wasabi for $12.49 for a .7 oz small jar. I didn't want to buy it but my husband insisted. He said that he had never tasted pure wasabi before. Do you know that when you eat sushi out there or buy wasabi powder in the market, it is not a REAL wasabi? Pure Wasabi, apparently, is really expensive. I am going to make sushi in the next few weeks so I decided that it will be a chance to try out a pure wasabi. We will let you know if it is worth it.