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All About Food: A savory spice discovery in CdM

March 16, 2011|By Elle Harrow and Terry Markowitz
  • The fragrant and colorful Red Cloud spice mix at Savory Spice Company Corona del Mar.
The fragrant and colorful Red Cloud spice mix at Savory… (Don Leach )

The word "spices" conjures up visions of exotic places and exquisite tastes that delight the senses. Prized long before recorded history, the earliest evidence of their existence dates back to 50,000 B.C. Originally, they were used for magic, medicine, religious rituals and as preservatives.

The spice trade began in the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago with the importation of cinnamon and pepper from the Indian Subcontinent and other regions of Asia. By 2000 B.C., Arabs monopolized the spice trade, bringing their precious cargo back by arduous journeys in camel caravans. It's no surprise then that, for many centuries, spices were ruinously costly.

During the Middle Ages, a pound of peppercorns could buy freedom for a serf. At the time, Venice and the other Italian city states controlled the importation of spices by sea into Europe. This monopoly became an important catalyst for spice-seeking expeditions that eventually resulted in the discovery of the New World.

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We have made an important spice discovery of our own, namely the new Savory Spice Shop in the Corona del Mar Plaza shopping center. For both serious cooks and people who just want some easy ways to spice up their cooking, this place is paradise! With 400 herbs and spices and 140 proprietary blends, your only challenge will be making choices.

Luckily, you will have the expertise of owners Laura Shute and Randy Morton and their staff, including Laura's sister Susan, to help you make up your mind. Laura and Randy both gave up their jobs in advertising to follow their passion.

Their journey began several years ago when Laura went to visit a friend in Denver, who had drawn up a top 10 list of things to do there, which included a visit to the first Savory Spice Shop. Laura left with a bag full of spices and fell in love.

In 2009, she and her partner, Randy, visited the Colorado Springs store and discovered that the small company was franchising. They walked out of the store, looked at each other and said to each other, "We need one of those!"

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