After returning from Bavaria, the Mrs. and I were on a quest for a new local market. We are regulars at the local farmers markets but these just don’t compare to the markets we experienced in Munich, Vienna, and Salzburg. There’s just something missing stateside that you can find in a European market. We recently heard of Atherton Mill and Market and wanted to try it out. Unfortunately for us, the market closes at 2:00 on Saturdays and we arrived at 2:15.
Our trip wasn’t for nothing though. Instead, we stumbled on Savory and Spice Shop in the Atherton Mill plaza. This will be my new emporium for all things spice related. First, they offer a variety that far surpasses the Morton and Bassett’s and McCormick’s at your local grocer. I can’t tell you how many recipes I have cooked that called for sweet paprika or smoked paprika. All the damn Harris Teeter carries is paprika. Is it sweet or is it smoked? Who the hell knows! I know the flavor potential of my dishes has been altered. Savory carries six different varieties of paprika. And ancho chile powder? Not even the Mexican Food Lion across the street carries it, and it has an excellent selection of Mexican offerings. Up until I found Savory, I had just used run of the mill chili powder which has a completely different flavor altogether. Ancho chile powder is milder in heat and has more fruitiness to its profile. The dried, ground pepper also produces a nice burgundy color in dishes. During our first trip to Savory, we came home with a variety of paprika and the elusive ground ancho chile powder.
Kind of like Penzeys, you may be thinking. Kind of. You can find the same quality at Savory, but it’s more economical. Take my recent purchases, for example. A 2.5oz bottle of ancho at Penzeys would run me $5.19 but only $4.20 at Savory. Sweet and smoked paprika would cost $5.79 and $5.39 respectively at Penzeys and only $4.88 and $4.38 at Savory. I’d compare prices to Harris Teeter but can’t since they don’t carry the varieties I am looking for. And even if they did, would you really want to buy something that has been sitting on a shelf for who knows how long when you know Savory grounds their spices weekly? Probably not.
But what if you just need the spice for one dish and don’t want to take home the 2.5oz bottle? I know I have a bottle of arrowroot sitting in my spice pantry that I have used once, paid way too much for it, and have stored for five years. Here is where Savory definitely beats the competition. Many products you can buy down to the half or quarter ounce. I have already made my second trip to Savory for a half ounce of jalapeño powder. Savory also carries all the varieties of blends Penzey fans have come to know and love. Trust me, I have a collection of Penzey blends that I heavily rely on. Most were gifted to me, but they are great for quick weeknight meals to spice up a protein and a veggie. When those run out, I know I can just drive up South Blvd for a new variety.
I highly recommend Savory Spice Shop. Not only do they sell spices but they also carry blends, extracts, sauces, gift sets, and spice related kitchen wares. I know I will be become a regular patron and even plan to try one of their cooking classes. Last month they offered a class on making homemade mustards. This month, they are hosting a glass on spiced syrups used for creative cocktails. I know I’ll be attending so that I can amp up my back porch sippin’ this summer.