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Old 05-31-2007, 11:15 AM   #21
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Once you learn the basics about spices,then their usage will only be limited by your imagination.
For instance I almost always put cinnamon in my spaghetti sauce,along with the "usual suspects"(basil,garlic,oregano etc.)It just seems to add that "something extra".
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:33 AM   #22
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Aaack!! I have to laugh Skyy38, because cinnamon in pasta sauce is one thing that I absolutely HATE!! Lol!!!

While I have seen it in a number of recipes, I've never been able to warm up to it. And in fact, back in NY one of my favorite restaurants started adding it to nearly all their tomato-based pasta sauces (including what they used on their pizza), & it turned me off going there for good.

In fact, one reason why I've never really warmed up to many African/Morrocan/Middle East recipes is because of the sheer number of what I consider "baking spices" (cinnamon, cloves, etc,) in entree-type dishes. I've never been a big fan of sweets, & except for fruit in certain poultry dishes, much prefer spicy/savory dishes.

But again - food is a very personal thing, which it should be. To each his own.
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Old 05-31-2007, 11:51 PM   #23
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to all the people that mentioned penzeys, here's a huge "thank you!!"

their newest store is in rockville, md, all of 5 minutes from my work building. drive past it every day on the way home. today, i figured since traffic was crappy anyway, it was time to stop.

WOW.

everything top quality, very fresh, but all kinds of reasonable on the prices (which was nuts considering i'd expected to pay "boutique store" prices for everything in there). everything has jars to sample, so herb/spice novices & junkies alike can sniff-test all the goodies before they buy. the selection is prodigious...beyond the basics, everything from thai & eastern blends to the file powder (sassafras) mentioned on a gumbo thread. i got the most amazing nutmeg, and i'll have to let you know how my experiments with freeze-dried shallots work out.
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Old 06-01-2007, 12:19 AM   #24
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Jealous, jealous, jealous, fireweaver. Your report almost makes me want to be living in the Silver Spring/Rockville area again. Guess I'll have to settle for catalogue or Internet ordering. Glad you have first-hand ability to shop with them. I'll bet they're somewhere on the Rockville Pike strip.
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