Serious Eats

What's So Great About Tony Chachere's Creole Spice Blend Anyway?

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[Flickr: schipulites]

Let's not get upset at me all at once. I'm just puzzled by the utter devotion that Tony Chachere's Original Creole Spice Blend commands. For a recent article on Cajun spice blends for Chile Pepper magazine, so many people responded to me with a die-hard love for Chachere's.

There were accolades to Tony Chachere's that weren't seen for other Cajun blends. Fans keep Ziploc bags of it in their purse, containers in the car and dust every dish with the blend.

I enjoy a good Creole blend, don't get me wrong. But Tony Chachere's is just so salty. Even if I don't add any salt into my dish, Chachere's puts the saltiness over the top.

I want a blend where I can taste the spices. I'm partial to Slap Ya Mama, or making my own blend: a mix of smoked paprika, sweet paprika, ground black pepper, cayenne powder and kosher salt.

I don't know the exacts on the current Chachere's spice blend, but in the recipe for his Creole Spice Blend in Cajun Country Cookbook, Chachere lists 12 ounces of salt versus almost 4 ounces of spices. Please, SE'rs, enlighten me. What makes Chachere's so superior to other Creole blends? And if you're not a fan of it, why and what's your favorite?

About the author: Andrea Lynn is a freelance writer/ recipe developer whose cookbook, I Love Trader Joe's College Cookbook, will be out in May. Her favorite chile is a tie between the mild yet flavorful poblano and the mighty, reliable fire of the serrano. Follow her on Twitter at Alynn27 or get more info at andrealynnfoodwriter.com.

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