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Taste the World


Vanns Spices is a family business founded in Baltimore in 1981. Their award–winning products, both seasonings and flavors, are produced for the professional chef and THE discerning cooking enthusiast. Vanns products include herbs, seasoning blends, spices and extracts. Many of Vann’s 200 blends and spices are all natural, organic – most are kosher − and all have undergone NO irradiation. Vanns avoids this process.

The company is trusted and respected for both confidentiality and quality; chefs, restaurants and retailers across the country have chosen Vann’s to prepare their signature proprietary blends. Vann’s is also a spice “pioneer” -- the first to develop an extensive line of interesting rubs before rubs became popular.

According to Vann’s: “As the cooking trend has continued to build momentum in the United States and more recently as more and more consumers are cooking at home, sales of spices have grown dramatically. Chefs and home cooks look to Vanns Spices to enhance their culinary experience and to expand their horizons by being able to easily explore and duplicate various cuisines in their kitchen.“

We had the opportunity to try some of Vanns premium spices, including their adjustable pepper grinder. A grinder is a pretty common kitchen tool, but we particularly liked that theirs is easily adjustable from fine grind to porous. Yes, we like CONTROL!

Quebec Chicken Seasoning
quebecchickenseasoningA well-balanced blend of garlic, onion, salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne and additional spices. This is truly scrumptious on grilled or roasted chicken. For our whole chicken roast, we simply lightly coated our chicken with olive oil, and then rubbed on this seasoning.  Into the roasting pan with chunked potatoes and carrots- along with a sprig of rosemary. Voila- dinner!

Red Poultry Seasoning
redpoultryseasoningAnother favorite was the red poultry seasoning – a blend of paprika, sage and a vast combination of spices and herbs. It is recommended as an ingredient for compound butter – of course, in our case "compound" margarine or olive oil. We combine it with a room temperature parve margarine, Earth Balance, and stuffed it (aka Julia Child) under the skin of our chicken. We tried this, and loved the moist citrus-y flavor. Next – we’ll give it a try with turkey and stuffing.

Saigon Cinnamon
saigoncinnamonCinnamon is another favorite and is made from the dried bark of various laurel trees in the cinnamomum family, one of which is the cassia. When baking, we like our flavorings pure and simple. This Vietnamese Cassia Saigon cinnamon is intense. Cinnamon buns – here we come.

With a collection of over 200 spices, herbs and blends, Vanns is most definitely a choice for a discerning cook. We strongly recommend visiting their website often. Each month Vanns selects a “Travel the World” spice, explores it uses, and shares a recipe. We know that WE will be checking back regularly.

Most of Vanns products are kosher certified OU parve; each bottle is clearly labeled. We suggest considering a collection of these spices to update your pantry, or as a unique engagement, wedding or new home gift.

To find a store near you, use the Where to Buy Vanns store locator.

August 22, 2012

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