Clumping is normal as we don’t use anti caking agents or salt in our spice blends. If clumping occurs simply break apart with your hands before seasoning.
Try not to pour spices out of the jar over a steaming pot or pan as the steam can get in the jar and cause further clumping.
Grind whole spices just before cooking for maximum flavor.
Ground spices can burn quickly so make sure to use oil to help distribute the heat more evenly when making a rub.
Mombacho Café Nicaraguan Blend
Mombacho Café Nicaraguan Blend
Ancient Halaby Middle Eastern Chile Blend
California Love All Purpose Chile Blend (Pre-Order)
Mama Manje Haitian Blend
Porcini Paradiso Italian Blend (Pre-Order)
Long-tail Sunset Thai Blend
Kissed by Binchotan Japanese Chile Blend
Masa Mole Mexican Blend
Marrakesh Sitar Moroccan Blend
Late Harvest Black Peppercorns
California Coast Sea Salt Flakes
Oasis Coriander Seeds
Pimentón De La Vera – Smoked Spanish Paprika
Maras Chile Flakes
Wild Cured Sumac
Padang Cassia Cinnamon
Senahú Green Cardamom Pods
California Dried Garlic
California Minced Dried Onion
Aegean Fennel Seeds
Oregano Flower Buds
Sun Dried Star Anise
Egyptian Caraway Seeds
In the dense cloud forest that hangs from Nicaragua’s Mombacho Volcano, coffee plants grow wildly, thriving in the cool mist. Back on the ground in the nearby city of Granada, cafes honor the hallowed crop with an impossibly smooth brew. In my memory, the tempting bouquet of coffee roast is entwined with the equally inviting aroma of zesty mojo-marinated pork sizzling on a streetside charcoal grill. Mombacho Café is a flashback in flavor form: A classic Latin American adobo seasoning—garlic, black pepper and oregano—blended with coffee and citrus peels for complexity that’s robust and slightly bitter. In its presence, dishes destined for caramelization—from roasted carrots to pork loin glazed with a reduction of apple cider and honey—are never the same again.
The sunkissed Aleppo pepper—also known was the halaby pepper—comes from my family’s native Syria. You’ll recognize the prized ingredient as the raisiny background of Ancient Halaby, which also combines other classic Middle Eastern spices like crimson-hued sumac, lemony and bright, plus the unmistakable earthiness of smoked paprika for a robust blend. As a 24-hour dry marinade for a roast leg of lamb, Ancient Halaby makes tantalizing shawarma to rival Lebanon’s legendary vertical spits. As a finishing spice for a traditional fattoush salad, it beams brightness and warmth onto the cool toss of crisp cucumbers, mint, scallions and parsley. And as a cocktail rimmer mixed with our crushed pink Peruvian salt sourced from the Andes, it gives a famous Baja-born libation—the margarita—blessings from age-old civilizations.
New Orleans gumbo and New Mexican posole were fixtures on the stove in my childhood home, perfuming the air with earthy cumin, sweet aromatics and freshly blistered chipotle or guajillo. These slow simmers were expressions of my father’s generosity—his ultimate satisfaction came from watching loved ones voraciously consume his creations. Whether my passion for cooking and sharing food comes from nature or nurture I may never know, but one thing’s for sure: These stewy, smoky flavors of the south and southwest—among our family’s favorite travel destinations—are inextricably linked to my West Coast upbringing. From popcorn dust to barbecue marinades to a smashing sofrito, California Love’s flavor notes rumble, but don’t tingle, despite the chiles—use it to add heartiness (and heart) to savory dishes.
Once upon a time in Haiti, on a trip with Every Mother Counts, the non-profit making maternity safe for moms everywhere, I was welcomed into a bustling kitchen of joyful female cooks. Big pots were steaming on small propane burners, fires were crackling under makeshift grills and the air was fragrant with epís—a Caribbean seasoning base akin to South American salsa verde, and mashed with a mortar and pestle just the same. Adding to the aromatic symphony was the te jenjam, or fresh ginger tea with cinnamon and star anise, I was drinking—a warm offering from one of the cooks. Mama Manje is my way of rekindling that fragrant afternoon in Haiti: I’ve combined those warming tea spices with traditional epís ingredients like habanero, onions, thyme and garlic to create a punchy, fresh-ground dry blend that gives jerk chicken a strong kick, crab butter a tropical flair and Chinese Five Spice a run for its money.
According to Italian lore, porcini season is “three weeks after the first rain” or “when the grass is three inches high.” Alas, rare is the sight of fresh porcini in the lush and dewy wild, so I’ve created Porcini Paradiso, which attempts to capture the fleeting fungi season. While the miracle of a fresh porcini mushroom requires nothing more than olive oil, salt and the momentary kiss of a hot pan to coax its subtle notes of earth and forest, Porcini Paradiso forgoes the tender idyll for astonishingly robust flavor: The intense umami of the dried porcini powder from Italy is elevated by a piquant chorus of garlic, rosemary, mustard and Calabrian chile. Dusting it liberally, prime rib and other Sunday roasts have met their match, while sautéed vegetables bask in a rich savoriness didn’t know they were missing.
At nightfall, fisherman of Southern Thailand venture on long-tail boats for their daily catch, navigating the dark sea by constellations. Arriving back to shore, they proudly march their live haul into the cafes, where the customers’ singular selections are prepared by the chef. I savored two remarkable seafood dishes on that trip (spicy coconut curry lobster and fried fish with tamarind dipping sauce), and their indelible flavors inspired Long-Tail Sunset. Mixing this ambrosial blend of harder-to-find ingredients like tamarind, Thai chile and lemongrass with fresh aromatics and our Java turmeric makes quick work of yellow curry paste. A scant palmful added to a beer batter puts a Southeast Asian spin on quintessentially British fish and chips. And as a cocktail rimmer, it lingers lovingly on the lips long after the last drop.
Once in an alleyway izakaya in Tokyo, I took the bite of a lifetime from a beautifully blistered chicken skewer straight off the hibachi grill. While the flavor imparted from the smoldering white oak binchotan charcoal would have been a succulent miracle on its own, sprinkling a pinch—at the chef’s suggestion—of shichimi togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice wallop that garnishes everything from ramen to yakitori, was metamorphic. Kissed by Binchotan originated in that moment, and over time the blend has been fine-tuned to hit all the right notes: Togarashi for heat, a fruity tang from tangerine peel, nutty sesame seeds and the umami of roasted seaweed. Proven to transform any meat or vegetable licked by flames and give a simple bowl of rice flavor dimensions previously unknown, lightly dusting the powder on straight-from-the-skillet fried chicken is the future food obsession you didn’t know you had.
From the long-simmered mole of rare chilies that I voraciously consumed at a hole-in-the-wall Oaxacan joint one morning in Mexico City—it’s still the best breakfast I’ve ever had—to the triumph of subtle complexity that is the 1,000-day mole madre at world-famous Pujol, time seems to be the secret to the sauce, the one true constant of full-flavored food. Masa Mole evokes the careful and heartfelt process of the traditional dish: toasted cinnamon and allspice add fragrance and warmth, and fire-roasted ancho, guajillo and chipotle chilies sneak around the back with a low-and-slow burn, leaving in their wake a thin wisp of smoke. This transportive blend deepens the flavor of classic Mexican dishes like carnitas with abuela levels of authenticity and gives south-of-the-border style to the all-American backyard barbecue.
Once while wandering a medina in Marrakesh with my dad, a friendly stranger beckoned us down long flight of stairs to the bottom of a hammam, where he stoked the fires that heat the community bath. Buried under the ashes was a clay tangia, and we spent an indulgent afternoon sharing its braised lamb and apricots, fragrant with ras el hanout. While the foundation and philosophy of this signature North African seasoning is warmth and welcome—usually represented in cardamom, cumin, clove and cinnamon—each family makes its own enhancements. Our version includes orange peel and, in honor of our host, rose petals—this delicate floral note is the reason, he says, his food “tastes like love.” I use the blend as a dry rub for rack of lamb or grilled chicken skewers—the flavors always conjure that Moroccan memory, and the shimmery sound of a welcoming stranger strumming a sitar in the background.
Known as “black gold,” peppercorns are one of Vietnam’s largest exports. Berries are often picked green to prevent insects and birds from eating mature fruit, but ours are vine-ripened an extra two weeks under the careful watch of our farmers—a ruby-red hue signals peak fruity and floral notes, as well as a smooth, lingering heat. We source from farms in Quang Tri, where Roots of Peace trains villagers to replace live minefields—more bombs were dropped in this province than in WWI and WWII combined—with this flourishing crop.
The Faiyum Oasis is fertile basin of the Western Desert, southwest of Cairo in the Nile River Valley. Its vast Lake Qarun—the third-largest in Egypt—nourishes many crops, including figs, grapes, olives and coriander, an herb prized by ancient Egyptians as a digestive aid and rheumatism reliever (coriander seeds were found in Egyptian tombs). Our coriander is organically grown and harvested two weeks after the seeds of the bright-green, slender-stalked plant turn light brown. The seeds are then dried under the hot sun to develop their lemony flavor and floral sweetness.
Made from seawater collected off the coast of Northern California near Humboldt, these high-grade, crisp, clean finishing flakes are made in small batches with artisanal technique—a delicate dance between filtration and fire evaporation—that seeks to achieve the perfect brine for the crystallization process. As salt crystals form over many hours on the surface of the oceanic concentrate, they sink to the bottom where they are raked, drained, and dried.
For over a century our partner farm has been cultivating ñora peppers for pimentón in Extremadura, Spain, a storied region dubbed the “Spanish Wild West” for its high concentration of Old World conquistadors. Picked at peak autumnal ripeness, the peppers are smoked over oak wood for two weeks, during which the farmer turns over the fruit by hand once daily. Milling is equally unhurried—the smoked peppers are slowly stone-ground to maintain sweetness (metal grinders can burn and bitter). Our pimentón has the Denominacion de Origen, a prestigious distinction for Spain’s finest agricultural provisions.
Farmers in Kahramanmaraş, Turkey grow Maras peppers—also known as Aleppo across the border in Syria, where the civil war has destroyed production—in a fertile plain at the base of Ahir Mountain. Dubbed by the Wall Street Journal as the “Eartha Kitt of chiles” for its sultry heat and slow burn, Maras peppers are harvested in late summer, then sun-dried during the day, and wrapped in cloth at night to “sweat.” This unique regional method traps moisture, boosting the pepper’s trademark “wetness,” also enhanced by the cut size of the flakes, which plays a role in how much salt and oil they will hold. Naturally regenerative, a single Maras pepper seed grows into a plant that yields hundreds of peppers, and we hand-select each one after harvest.
In the limestone hills of Gaziantep in southeastern Turkey, sumac is a drought-tolerant plant that grows wildly near pistachio fields. Since there is no formal cultivation, the late-summer harvest is done by villagers, and at times, a single batch of our sumac is produced by over 100 people. The key is knowing which raw materials to accept—we seek out sumac with a sunny tang that turns into a pucker. Rather than sun-drying, the bright red berry is chopped and packed in salt to cure, preserving the fresh-picked floral aroma of the fruit.
Turmeric thrives, much like we would, among trees bearing juicy mangoes on the island of Java, Indonesia. A lush tropical climate, fertile forest floor and cooling tree canopy make the ideal growing conditions for the native tuber, harvested by farmers at its fleshiest and most vibrant orange—eight or nine months into the growing cycle—before it’s sliced and sun-dried. Prized for the therapeutic properties of its hero compound curcumin, our potent Java turmeric contains up to 8% of the natural antioxidant, four times higher than the average spice bottle.
In the misty Kerinci Valley of Sumatra, Indonesia, near the city of Padang, cassia cinnamon trees grow in regenerative forest plantations long established in the fertile, volcanic soil deposited by the ancient eruptions of nearby Mount Kerinci. Generations of farmers have been harvesting cassia—fiercer in flavor than its more delicate cousin ceylon—every 10 years by stripping the tree bark on location for maximum freshness. Then, on sleds pulled by buffalo through winding backwoods trails, the fragrant raw material makes its way to our fair-trade-certified organic farm to be sun-dried and ground.
While some say that cloves were introduced into Sri Lanka by European colonists in the 1500s, the oldest cloves in existence were reportedly discovered at an ancient port on the island dating back to 200 B.C. Our farmer’s clove grove was planted by his grandfather in the Sri Lankan central highlands city of Matale in the early 1970s. As a third-generation farmer, he harvests these sturdy evergreen trees, naturally fertilized by pollen from the surrounding tropical forest, when the clove buds are on the precipice of blooming, signaling optimum flavor and aroma. The harvest—inspected by hand to remove any buds that have sprouted—is then dried in the tropical sun to achieve its woodsy texture and aroma.
In the high-altitude city of Cobán in Guatemala’s Alta Verapaz Department, the chipi chipi (misty rain) from the cloud forest creates the ideal microclimate of cool humidity to grow the world’s best cardamom, the third-most expensive spice in the world. Intercropped with other cloud forest comrades like coffee and cacao on a hillside family farm where our native grower is implementing new regenerative methods, the cardamom fruit, or pod, grows from vines that shoot from the base of a stalky, leafy clumping plant.
Though the beaches of the California coast get most of the world’s attention, the sunny San Joaquin Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the United States. Set in the center of the state, between the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the rolling, foggy Coastal Range to the west, the valley boasts a Mediterranean climate and incredibly fertile soil. Here, you’ll find an impressive variety of crops: grapes, tomatoes, sugar beets, cherries, walnuts, carrots, melons–and garlic. Garlic thrives in full sun and loose soil, and the valley provides prime growing conditions. Indeed, family farms in the region have been growing garlic from heirloom seeds for generations.
Onions were one of the earliest cultivated crops in the United States, carried across the ocean by New World settlers who ran aground at Plymouth Rock. But wild varieties flourished and were harvested by Native Americans long before European contact. While California is the largest onion producer in the nation, our Spice Tribe harvest is more special. Our onions grow from heirloom seeds planted in the rich soil of the central San Joaquin Valley. Set in the center of the state, between the towering Sierra Nevada Mountains to the east and the rolling, foggy Coastal Range to the west, the valley boasts a Mediterranean climate and incredibly fertile soil. Here, you’ll find an impressive variety of crops: grapes, tomatoes, sugar beets, cherries, walnuts, carrots, melons–and onions. Onions love abundant sun and loose, well-drained soil, and there’s plenty of both in the San Joaquin Valley.
Fennel, a folkloric panacea for all that ails—from asthma to indigestion—is cultivated in the Aegean city of Denizli in southwestern Turkey. During the height-of-summer harvest, fully grown, anise-scented plants are dug from the root, which is sold fresh, while the frilly tops are mechanically separated from the fruits, aka “seeds.” In Aegean regional cooking, the oval-shaped seed—a cumin doppelganger—imparts a delicate licorice flavor into the sautéed greens that fill a popular local pastry called börek.
The flowers bloom year-round in Denizli, Turkey, a town known throughout the western Aegean region for its luxuriant gardens. Everything from old-growth olive trees with twisted trunks to delicate lilac vitex flourishes in the mild climate and nutrient-rich soil of this fertile plain. Oregano loves the sun, so it’s no wonder both wild and cultivated plants thrive in the arid summers of Denizli, producing tiny, pinecone-shaped buds that bloom in bouquets of white, pink, or light purple flowers.
For over 3,000 years, this stellar—get it?—spice with a pleasingly medicinal, sweet-licorice flavor has been cultivated in Bac Ninh Province, east of Hanoi in North Vietnam, only making its way along the tea route in Europe during the 1500s. Star anise grows on evergreen trees that flourish in the region’s climate of steamy monsoons and cold winters. During the bi-annual harvests, locals climb the trees to retrieve the green fruit (spring yields smaller star anise without seeds while fall’s seed-bearing fruit is larger and more fragrant), which is then sun-dried for one hour a day—usually mid-morning—for five days, just long enough to burst the seam of each “petal,” exposing a flavor-concentrated seed.
Organically grown in Cairo, just north of the Faiyum Oasis, caraway plants are irrigated by the Nile River, just as they have been since time immemorial—or so it seems, given that ancient Egyptians sprinkled the seeds inside tombs to banish evil spirits. (Not superstitious? The peppery, bittersweet, slightly soapy seed gives character to everything from rye bread to cabbage.) After a sun-baked, two-year lifecycle, all parts of the caraway plant are edible, from the parsnip-like root to the flowers to the fruit. Caraway “seeds,” ridged and slightly crescent-shaped, are actually the dried fruit of the plant.
At our regenerative farm located on rain-drenched mountain slopes of Sangihe Island, North Sulawesi in the Indonesian archipelago, mature nutmeg trees tower up to 60 feet in the air, bearing apricot-like fruit. The ripe drupes are always tree-picked (fallen crop is susceptible to contamination from mold on the forest floor) and the seeds dried in the sun for six to eight weeks before they’re cracked with a wooden mallet to reveal the nutmeg kernels in all of their warm, exotically fragrant glory.
Are these spice blends salt free?
Yes! These blends are not only salt free but they are free of any preservatives, fillers or gluten. Please note our Marrakesh Sitar Blend has a touch of honey in it.
Do you have recipes to go with these spices?
Yes! We have an ever expanding recipe library of chef tested recipes. Click here to learn more. Please shoot us an email if there are any recipes you would like to see at firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I buy spices for corporate gifts?
Yes you can. Please direct all corporate gifts related inquiries to email@example.com.