Go here. Quickly.

You need to go here.
In Fort Worth, it's in the Stockyards. They are also online, but you miss the smelling part. So find a store and go.

Here's why. They have this:
Rows and rows of jars filled with EVERY possible herb and spice you could ever need, and several you may never have heard of. You can take off the lids and sniff until your nose can't take it any more.

They also have this:

The table in front is hard to pass up -- little crocks on top to hold your favorite spices, with adorable sterling silver spoons. I have the small white one on the right. But look behind the table: BLENDS. Very smart, very spice-knowledgeable people have done the hard work. They've created amazing blends of spices for everything from steak to fish to vegetables and lined them all up.

You can fill little packets and take your favorite spices home to be your very own. Here are some of my favorites.

Seafood Blackening, Salmon Tea Rub,
Backwoods Hickory, Southwest Seasoning,
California Blend, Vik's Garlic Fix

The best part is that the blends make seasoning foods basically foolproof. Find a scent/flavor you like, and it's a pretty good bet you'll like the taste on your food. And notice the labels; they have hints for what the spice will work well on. That Garlic Fix? I used it on the potato chips I made here. The label recommends it for shrimp scampi - mix it with the melted butter. Yum.

But here's the real reason I have to make trips to this store:

I buy so much of this stuff I had to get a jar. Smoked sea salt is absolutely my go-to spice for everything - salmon, chicken, steak, veggies. It works on everything. The thing about smoked salt is it adds a lot of flavor without a lot of sodium - sounds like a contradiction, but it just works. These two, applewood and alderwood smoked, have a wonderful taste that will add to but not overpower whatever I put it on. I also have a chardonnay salt that is great for topping chocolate! I think that's a different post.

Anyway, if you've wanted to try spicing up your food differently, this is a great place to start. The people there are extremely helpful. Wander by there if you're in the Stockyards!


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