fudo finds friday: gourmet spice by craig's market

“And she gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices great abundance, and precious stones: neither was there any such spice as the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon”.

A little Spice History before we introduce this week’s fabulous fudofind:

Spices have been regarded in high esteem throughout the history of humankind. We know that spices were used by the ancient Egyptians around 3500 BCE. It can go without saying that spices were probably used well before recorded history; however it is obvious that the ancient Egyptians were well practiced with spices, using them for the flavoring of food, cosmetics as well as for embalming their dead.

Spices were used throughout the Fertile Crescent, traded through the region, eventually spreading to all corners of the Middle East and branching out further to the Mediterranean and Europe. Many spices came from China and India. The trade route used to transport exotic spices was controlled by the Arabs who controlled he overland routes and transported the spices.

Wanting to find a more profitable way to bring spices to market, Europeans searched for a route that led to China and India via the sea. This quest led to the Age of Exploration. A sea route traveling around Africa was discovered by Vasco da Gama. After almost 5000 years, Arab domination over the spice trade ended.

Europeans desired spices for their many uses and spices were as valuable as precious gems and even gold, often causing discord if not all out war between countries. Only the wealthy could afford spices despite the end of the Arab monopoly. The discovery of the trade route on the high seas only intensified the battle for who would become the market leader. This quest for control served to keep the price of spices high and out of the reach of the commoner.

It wasn’t until more recent history that spices became easily attainable and affordable. Of course, if you have purchased saffron recently you many not think spices inexpensive, but compare that price to a time when spices were so luxurious, so expensive and so sought after that they were kept locked away for safe keeping.

With a few clicks we can obtain spices from around the globe. Recently we were searching for user friendly spice blends and we discovered Craig’s Market. Most of the spices and blends at Craig’s Market are housed in smartly labeled tins. You will also find adorable heart shaped tins with large clear-view lids. Of course, our favorite tins are the magnetic ones. Since we live in condos using our space efficiently is a must. Even if the tin holding your favorite spice does come with a magnet, it is easy to glue one onto these very functional spice tins.

Our favorite pick from Craig’s Market is the Custom Herb and Spice Kit. For $11.95 you choose 6 spices and/or herbs and blends. What a fantastic gift for yourself or others. Think wedding showers, hostess gifts, teachers or coworkers. We also love the Gourmet Salt Sampler that includes flavors such as Asian fusion, lime fresco and smoked hot paprika. Wow! This is a fantastic set to have during the holiday season that will add that extra special touch to all your dishes.

Remember the holidays are almost upon us. It is time to check on the freshness of that pumpkin pie spice that you haven’t used since last November. Your food will only taste as fresh as your ingredients. Spend a little time going through your spice cabinet and when you need make a replacement or two or three don’t fret. It will only take you a few clicks before you have updated your collection and maybe even add a few new spices when you visit Craig’s Market. Photo credit: Craig’s Market.

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14 comments

  • October 14, 2011 at 7:53 pm //

    I have to check this out. This is a nice gift set I love that you can customize the sets.

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:51 am //

      It really is Mike, we hope you’ll give them a try.

  • October 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm //

    Thanks for a great tip on this spice market. I hate when I have trouble finding spices I want in my area, so I will keep them in mind!

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:51 am //

      They have a really lovely Indian spice kit, thank you for commenting Carolyn.

  • October 15, 2011 at 12:58 am //

    Anna,

    Am just blown away reading your “About”… What a true gift it is… I know exactly what you mean by finding someone whom you have never met but still feeling the right connection… Blogosphere is one such wonderful space and I am fortunate to have found some really beautiful people..

    It is awesome to meet you virtually.. you have a wonderful wonderful space..

    And thank you for stopping by or I would have never known you…
    I had never known the philosophy behing sticky rice. It makes perfect sense, you have left me touched and I learnt something new :)

    • October 15, 2011 at 2:50 pm //

      Thanks Radhika! I can feel that you are a beautiful person inside and out. I am happy to share my thoughts every now and again and I love learning new ideas as well…Learning more everyday, be it in the kitchen, or life in general, is always a blessing. Keep in touch!

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:52 am //

      Thanks Emily.

  • October 15, 2011 at 3:12 am //

    Magnetic spice tins? I have never seen such a thing. How cool is that! I’ve never used saffron – thought it was too expensive.

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:53 am //

      Saffron is quite an expense, it’s one of those spices that should be savored, having it in Risotto is wonderful, hope you’ll try it sometime, it’s really worth it. Thank you for commenting Jennifer.

  • October 15, 2011 at 5:52 am //

    lovely history info. love the spices and yes, it’s a great idea for the holiday’s!

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:53 am //

      Thank you Valentina!

  • October 16, 2011 at 1:33 am //

    What a lovely post! The spices sound wonderful and I love those classy tins they’re in!

    • October 16, 2011 at 8:54 am //

      Thanks so much Faith.