I had to go to Milwaukee a few weeks ago weekend for dinner. Don't ask.
We went to the botanical garden and had some time to kill before dinner but, alas, the cheese shop was closed! But in another one of those "beacon of hope" moments, I spotted a Spice House across the street. I love Spice House, but the nearest one to me is in Geneva.
The night before the Milwaukee trip, I ran out of cumin and chili powder in one fell, taco-y swoop. Ruh-Roh. I didn't' think I had time to make it to the Geneva location Sunday, but knew I would have to try. Then, Spice House saved me with a Milwaukee shop.
I found out from the clerk it wasn't just a Spice House. It was the Spice House, as in the first one that spawned the other locations.
I loaded up a basket with cumin, chili power and onion powder and headed up to the checkout, only to be stopped by the dehydrated sweet corn. It's freeze-dried sweet corn, nothing else, and you can just have it as a sweet, crunchy snack. That went into the basket. Then, they had little spice packets with real ginger slices to make ginger snaps. Hello, impulse buy, get in my basket! As I was being rung up, I tried a crystallized ginger slice. Mmmm, and ginger is good for ingestion and all sorts of other things, so that got added in, too.
It's more money than I meant to spend, but it's worth it. See, ever since I had to ditch the MSG, we've been really turning to good spices to replace that flavor boost. My homemade taco seasoning is a great replacement to the MSG packets, but it takes a ton of spices. Ditto for my enchilada sauce, salad dressings, etc.
That's where Spice House comes in. The Geneva shop is just lined with shelves of huge jars filled with every spice they've ever mentioned on the Food Network, and then some. It gives you real, fresh, unadulterated spices at a good price, in any size you want. I get mine in little baggies, instead of jars, and reuse the baggies. With options like tomato powder and real ginger slices, you can get creative.
A word of warning: Some of the mixes Spice House offers contain MSG. If you have a problem with MSG, just look at the front of the big, old jar. MSG is likely to be bolded so you can find it quickly.