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Old 11-13-2004, 12:11 PM   #1
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Any Penzeys "must haves?"

I need a few things from Penzeys. I'm going to order the hot chocolate I forgot on the last order, plus a few other things I'm running short on. Anything particularly good/exotic that I should add to the order?

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Old 11-13-2004, 12:28 PM   #2
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Thanks for offering! Order a big bottle of their double-strength vanilla extract and send it to me, so I can get refunded on the bottle I just got!

Just kidding! You couldn't pry it out of my fingers if you tried! And with the price of vanilla these days, I'll keep it in a vault anyway!

Penzeys is the best thing to happen to my kitchen in quite a while. I'd recommend that you try out their Sicillian Salad Seasoning -- that's some really good stuff!
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Old 11-14-2004, 05:15 AM   #3
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Otter, as I said before, I religiously buy all my spices from Penzey's but haven't been all that impressed by their blends. They're spice merchants (really good ones), not chefs. If you want the best spice blends possible, get the ratios from the people that really know food - the people here. Then buy the individual spices from Penzeys and mix your own.

As far as individual spices, which ones should you buy? It depends on what kinds of dishes you like to make. I could tell you how much I love their cumin, but if you don't cook with cumin much it will sit on the shelf and be worthless in a year or two.

Their paprika is spectacular as well.
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Old 11-14-2004, 06:14 AM   #4
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Scott, I have to disagree about the 'blends'; some of them are fantastic!

I particularly love the Fox Point, especially for fish, and Barbeque of the Americas is just an awesome blend!

If you haven't tried the powdered bay leaf, do give it a try - it's great to use when you want some of that bay flovor, but don't want a whole leaf in the recipe - I use it in rubs, for example.

And even tho their vanilla prices are high, they're still better than places like Bakers Catalog and Williams Sonoma!
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Old 11-14-2004, 06:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmalady
And even tho their vanilla prices are high, they're still better than places like Bakers Catalog and Williams Sonoma!
Absolutely true, marmalady! I find Penzeys extremely competitive across the board in their pricing and, in many cases, much lower than even locally obtained items. This bottle of double-strength is worth every penny I paid, and more. And 16 ounces is going to last me quite some time!

Thank you for clarifying what could have been confusion from my post and silliness!
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Old 11-14-2004, 11:31 AM   #6
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otter, you opened a can of worms here!
When you gave me their web address, I sent for a catalog.
Now you can't pry it out of my hands! I haven't placed the order
yet, as I keep seeing more that I "need"....

For those of you "in the know", what else would you
recommend for this "first-timer"?

(Barb - is the Fox Point good on other meats? It sounded so good
when I was reading it's description)
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Old 11-14-2004, 01:26 PM   #7
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I've been hearing about Penzeys for awhile now, and I figured they were just a lot of high priced spices, so I didn't pay much attention. I finally gave in though and sent for a catalog. I got my first catalog yesterday, and I can't wait to place my first order! Not only do the spices and prices look great, but the catalog itself is fantastic! Lots of recipes and tips. Thanks everyone for convincing me to finally give in!

:) Barbara
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Old 11-14-2004, 03:05 PM   #8
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While I'm generally pleased with Penzey's and order from them regularly, I have been disappointed with some of their herbs. Specifically, packages of rosemary and spearmint both had so much in the way of twigs and other non-herb stuff that it was a major pain in the butt to get to just the leaves.

Any one else run into this problem?
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Old 11-14-2004, 07:32 PM   #9
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No, and I've ordered from them for years - I'd give them a call and see what they have to say, Andy.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:21 PM   #10
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I think Trader Joes has a better price on vanilla extract. It's pretty weak, but at 1/3 the price of Penzey's it's still a better deal.
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