The Pantry Ingredient I Love for Making Everything from Eggs to Beef Bolognese So Much Better

published Jul 18, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Volo

In case you’ve somehow been escaping the endless barrage of brutally hot days we’ve been having here in New York City, allow me to be the first to inform you that summer is summering, and our enthusiasm for cooking — while still there — has seen better days. Don’t get me wrong, I still get fired up to cook for friends and chef up elaborate dinners on the weekends, but it’s the never-ending slog of trying to come up with easy and delicious weeknight meals that’s really tough for me. The last thing I want to do is stand over a stove on a hot summer afternoon after a long work day. Thankfully, there are plenty of recipes that are tailor-made to get you through these warmer months without adding to the backsweat-inducing stress of cooking for yourself and your family. This is also where seasoning blends, such as the new Italian Seasoning and House Special that Jacobsen Salt Co. just dropped, come into play. While I used to turn my nose up at pre-blended seasonings, I’ve since climbed down off my high horse and realized just how incredible they can be — especially when they’re handcrafted by some of the

greatest names in the spice world

What are Jacobsen Salt Co.’s House Special and Italian Seasoning?  

These seasoning blends are from Jacobsen Salt Co., purveyors of some of our favorite everyday salts, finishing salts, rubs, raw honey, and more niche (and delicious) grocery products. Much of their salt is harvested in the Pacific Northwest, and all of the items that I’ve tried from the brand are high-quality and delicious. Their Italian Seasoning is no exception: It’s a blend of Italian herbs, dried lemon, and fine sea salt harvested from traditional salt ponds in Italy, and it takes the guesswork out of seasoning pretty much anything you want to have that distinct Italian flavor. (It also makes a pretty solid substitute for Herbes de Provence, in a pinch.) Their House Special is a whole different story: It combines the brand’s house-fermented garlic and kosher sea salt with sun-dried tomato, three types of chili pepper, cacao nibs, and mushrooms to give a deep, rich flavor to whatever you’re cooking. I used this on eggs and as a base for a dry rib rub (pictured) and the flavor shined through, even after I glazed it with some BBQ sauce. 

Credit: Ian Burke

Why I Love Jacobsen Salt Co.’s House Special and Italian Seasoning 

These are not the grocery store season blends that you might have had in the house growing up. Right off the bat, they’re super fragrant — the whole room could smell these as soon as I popped the seal on them. The Italian Seasoning is such a game-changer to have on hand and saves a ton of space in your cabinet and cuts down on time when you’re seasoning ragu, bolognese, and a variety of other easy-to-make weeknight meals. The same goes for the House Special: The inclusion of smoky pepper and cacao gives a depth of flavor and umami that I’ve yet to see in a seasoning that doesn’t include any dried fish, MSG powder, or Sichuan peppercorns. (They do, however, offer a great ramen seasoning packed with delicious MSG.) These are both perfect for weeknight meals, especially when you’re tired and don’t want to rummage through your spice cabinets for a million different jars and shakers. So, if you’re looking for seasoning blends that take some of the stress out of weeknight meals and taste great on pretty much everything, you can’t go wrong with Jacobsen Salt Co.’s House Special and Italian Seasoning

Buy: Jacobsen Salt Co. House Special, $12
Buy: Jacobsen Salt Co. Italian Seasoning, $9.50