Smart Spice: tsp spices

Raise your hand if you have over-the-hill spice jars in your kitchen, their senility evidenced by a layer of dust on the cap, or a price that makes you feel old (when did they ever use a font like that on a price tag?!).

Katie Luber and Sara Engram, two enterprising women in Baltimore, set out to end the cycle of flavorless open jars of cinnamon and cloves in their pantries, and founded tsp spices, a line of organic spices individually wrapped in teaspoon-sized packets. I met them last week at the Fancy Food bacchanal, and giddily left their booth smelling of cardamom.

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Each tsp spices tin comes with twelve teaspoon-sized packets, which works out to be 1/4 cup (how much more do you need?) The idea is that the last teaspoon in the tin is as fresh as the first. Despite feelings about excess packaging, here is a great example of packaging used in a thoughtful, useful way.

The line is sold as individual spices (from Allspice to Tumeric), and as spice collections like Spice Basics (Chile Pepper, Coriander, Cumin, Fennel Seed, Ginger, and Turmeric).

The Sweet Basics collection is perfect for baking. It has allspice, anise seed, cardamom, Korintje cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. This collection is for those who bake in enthusiastic, but occasional spurts. Unless you run a commercial kitchen, you probably fall into this category.

At $9 a pop for the individual tins, and $42 for the largest six-spice collections, the line may feel a bit pricey, but compare to any other brand of organic spices, and factor in the novel notion of not having to toss the jar after opening it and using it a few times, and you have yourself what my grandpa would call a downright deal.

Enter our Bittersweet Baking Contest and you just might win tsp Spice's Sweet Basics collection.

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