Monday, June 9, 2014

Let's Spice things up....Oaktown Spice Shop Style!

I once had a very vivid dream. I dreamed of a quaint place filled with spices, herbs and seasonings that filled the air and summoned creativity from every inch and corner of the store.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever image that the spice shops of my dreams would appear on the local streets of Oakland, California.
While taking a vigorous walk around Lake Merritt, I was drawn into a world I had never know. A globally inspired spice shop that housed all the precious spices. From the simple salt and pepper to herbs de province, garlic salt, dried basil, several different varieties of thyme. What initially caught my eye was truffle sea salt. Having loved the taste of truffle French fries. I grabbed the jar and held it tight as if it were diamonds or some other precious jewel.
Precious to me. Finding a local spice shop is rare. Most of us buy our spices from our local grocery store, me included. At least until now. No words can explain the huge difference of using freshly ground spices, dried herbs or baking ingredients. They only thing I can say... Until you've tried it... don't knock it. The difference can be from a good dish to an extraordinary dish.
What do I love about the Oaktown Spice Shop rather than buying the herbs on line ... simply the people in the store. Very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. They hold workshops at the store, recommend new seasonings and recipes, and they are priced reasonably compared to your local grocery store.
Rather use fresh herbs rather than dried ones... think again. Sometimes fresh herbs don't hold up to lengthy cooking or at high heat. Also using dried seasoning, the flavor has been intensified and therefore you dish will be complex and full of flavor.
I can go on and on.... but, l recommend you try the spices yourself. Order or buy simple things like I did ... and grow your pantry with each visit or click of a mouse.
I love Oaktown Spice Shop and I know you will too.
If you are located in the immediate area of Oakland stop by the location on Grand Ave at 530 Grand Avenue accross from Lake Merritt. You can also shop on line at www:

Remember, cooking with love makes every recipe taste better. And adding the right ingredients makes them come back for more.