I don't know about the Serious Eats community, but Chile Pepper's employees are drowning in an assortment of spices. My shelves can barely keep up with the demand. For those who live in Atlanta, there is no greater treasure than the DeKalb International Farmer's Market, which sells fresh spices at an oh-so-reasonable price. When I go to visit family in the South, I always leave extra room in my suitcase for a massive amount of spices from the indoor market.
With so many spices at your disposal, why not use these to create your own spice blends?
I prefer a five-spice blend heavier on the black pepper and less on the cloves, so commercial brands always end up too clovey for me. Problem remedied by making it at home. Also, make your own chili powder by using a variety of ground chiles like ancho and smoked paprika; then add salt, cumin garlic powder and oregano. This way, the heat preference and smokiness can be controlled to your liking. Chile Pepper created its own chili spice blend from ancho, cayenne, chipotle, tea-smoked sea salt, celery seed and other spices. Want a sample of our Get Zesty seasoning? Post a comment below of a description of your favorite spice blend and five winners will be chosen at random. In the meantime, have fun creating your own spice blends with the following recipes.