Spice Galore is new boutique spice shop that carries everything from black truffle sea salt to wasabi powder in a homey space with a counter built from recycled wood. Whole and ground spices, house blends, sea salts, infused sugars and teas are sold by the ounce in glass jars organized on wood shelves. Each big jar has a small one next to it for tasting or sniffing.
The two friends who came up with concept met at the Miami Culinary Institute, where Victoria Nodarse was the culinary coordinator and Aimee Ortega is finishing her culinary arts degree. Victoria is Cuban American with a master’s degree in hospitality management from Florida International University and a culinary certificate from the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. Aimee, who is from Maracaibo, Venezuela, studied graphic design and came to Miami 12 years ago. Both women grew up helping their grandmothers and mothers cook.
They source spices from around the globe and buy in small amounts so they are always fresh. Spices can be packed in a small paper bag, tin or glass jar or tube.
Seed spices include sharp ajowan, bittersweet black cumin, mustard, dill, coriander and celery.
Za’atar, made in house, is a Middle Eastern blend of wild oregano, sumac powder and sesame seeds, good mixed with olive oil as a bread dip, fish or meat seasoning or sprinkled on hummus.
There’s also garam masala, essential for Indian dishes; Cuban adobo (a blend of dried garlic, onion, pepper and oregano); Madagascar vanilla beans, licorice root; mace; black and green cardamom; pippali (long black pepper) and acai powder (good in smoothies).
Everything can be ordered online, but it’s fun to browse, taste and smell in person.
Linda Bladholm is a Miami food writer and personal chef who blogs at FoodIndiaCook.com.