My husband is the cook in our house and wants a loaded spice rack with gourmet spices, which I want to surprise him with for Father's Day. I'm looking for recommendations on what brands are good. Based on reviews I've read online, Kamenstein isn't that good and Olde Thompson gets decent reviews. What say you, cooking enthusiasts? TIA!
no matter the brand, if you can get get whole or fresh, it should be good. for example, getting whole cumin seed or whole coriander seed is better than getting it ground. the flavor is more intense and it is more versatile. likewise, fresh garlic and fresh ginger are better than the ground or powdered varieties. instead of ground pepper, get whole peppercorns. instead of crushed red pepper, buy dried red chile's (such as cayenne or arbol). with herbs, such as basil, oregano, dill, parsley, etc. grow your own (it's easy) and then dry and store them in airtight jars when needed. the fresher, the better. as far as brands go, i haven't found much of a difference between any of them, other than with spice mixtures, such as curry powder or the generic "italian seasoning" (which usually contain a combination of thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, and garlic powder) . personally, with brand name spices, or the cheap vs the expensive, they come out to about the same, give or take a few shakes of the bottle.