T. J. Robinson and his Harvest-Fresh Spice Collection
Dear Lover of Fine Food,
As you’ve experienced firsthand, farm-fresh olive oil is so much more flavorful than store-bought.
And the same holds true for spices! As I invite you to discover risk-free, farm-fresh spices are so much more flavorful than store-bought!
I know you’d never dream of tossing moldy blueberries in your fruit salad, adding spoiled fish to your cioppino, or topping your baked potatoes with rancid butter.
Yet so many home cooks unwittingly prepare their dishes with supermarket spices that are years old, noticeably stale, and virtually flavorless compared with authentic farm-fresh spices.
Yet it’s almost impossible to find harvest-fresh spices in your supermarket because the spice industry’s age-old supply chain is incredibly slow in bringing spices to market. Here’s what’s wrong…
Around the world, small family spice farmers in remote villages normally sell their spices to “a guy on a truck.” The guy on the truck sells them to a small local warehouse … which sells them to a bigger warehouse in another town … which sells them to an exporter in a port city … and so on, all the way up the food chain. At every stop, the spices sit in warehouses, often for months, losing their freshness, their flavor, and even their purity.
By the time these spices reach American consumers, they are already up to three years old! They have lost almost all their robust, harvest-fresh flavor.
There’s another problem as well. Mass marketers treat all spices as a commodity. They combine supplies from thousands of farms in different countries and create a uniform flavor profile for their mass-market products. That means there’s no opportunity for you to experience the distinctive, outrageously flavorful spice varieties produced by the most gifted and dedicated spice artisans.
Each of the eight spices in my collection is single-sourced exclusively from individual artisanal spice growers renowned for the extraordinary flavor of their spices as well as their meticulous care in growing them.
Just as important, we secure each spice directly from the farmer at harvest time and rush it directly to your kitchen at peak flavor.
I guarantee you’ve never tasted spices so fresh, robust, pure, singular, and indescribably deep in flavor. They will awaken, as if from slumber, every dish you prepare with them. In fact, they’re so much more potent than ordinary spices that I must warn you to use only a tiny amount at first, until you’re experienced in working with them. That’s how fresh, robust, and potent they are.
For my entire team, the safety and purity of your spices are our highest priorities. We have a completely traceable supply chain from farm to pantry. Our standards are actually even higher than the FDA’s recommendations across the board.
After harvesting and drying our spices, we send them to a third-party laboratory to test for purity above and beyond FDA standards. In every aspect of modern spice production, we are zealous in our mission to bring you the highest-quality spices available anywhere on earth.
If you’d like to experience what a profound difference these harvest-fresh spices make in your braises, sauces, soups, marinades, spice rubs, salad dressings, baked goods, smoothies, and scores of other recipes, here’s a quick taste of what awaits you with my offer today.
In my personally curated Spice Collection, you’ll receive eight of the world’s food-friendliest spices. Several will be the richest, most tantalizing varieties of spices quite familiar to you. Others in the mix will introduce you to spices that are relatively unknown to most home cooks but are among the most highly rated favorites of professional chefs, who use them in some of their most acclaimed signature dishes.
Similar to my olive oil sets, your Spice Collection will arrive with a Spice Harvest Report documenting each spice’s artisanal pedigree—the region of the world it came from, and its distinctive terroir, history, and influence on world cuisine. Your report will also describe each spice’s tasting notes, most popular uses and recipes, and health benefits.
You’ll also be given practical pointers, such as how to do a spice tasting, best practices for storage and use, instructions for toasting your spices, and a wide variety of my favorite kitchen-tested recipes.
The exclusive cinnamon I chose for this collection is an heirloom variety not known to many. It’s defined by an almost fiery sugariness—think of the heat of Red Hots candy and the sweetness of cinnamon sugar … without the sugar! It’s also highly aromatic, with a wonderful scent that will fill your kitchen every time you open the jar, something I know you’ll do often.
How you’ll enjoy it: You’ll reach for this cinnamon every day to top your lattes and add sweet spice to smoothies and oatmeal. It will also elevate all your fruit-based desserts, whether a simple baked apple or an apple crisp or crumble, a rich babka or richer baklava, brioche raisin bread or gingerbread, or spice cookies. It adds depth to both savory and sweet dishes of many cuisines, from dried-fruit-and-nut-laden Persian rice and Moroccan tagines to Mexican moles and churros to Vietnamese pho to Greek moussaka and baklava. Cinnamon is also a magical ingredient in many global spice blends that you can mix up and have ready to go for a dry rub or as a flavor boost for hot drinks.
Before writing to you, I wanted to test the appeal of these harvest-fresh spices. So I assembled a small group of the most discriminating foodies and home cooks I know.
I sent each person a set of these eight spices and asked them to give me their honest, specific feedback after trying them in their own kitchens and in a wide variety of recipes.
Their verdict was unanimous and overwhelmingly enthusiastic. In the shaded boxes below, I share some of their comments. After you try these spices, I’d love to hear your impressions as well!
“Cinnamon from the store tastes like dust, right? This cinnamon just bursts into the fresh flavor of cinnamon candy on your tongue. This is what cinnamon is supposed to taste like. Holidays at our house just got an upgrade!”— Amy S., Napa, CA
The sweet, smoky aroma of pimentón paprika is unmistakable to the nose and to the taste buds. This pimentón is bittersweet with a bit of heat—the best of both worlds and the perfect option for so many dishes. Made from long, dark-red peppers, it has the richness of cured salami with the bitterness of radicchio, the meatiness of the best tomato paste, and just a hint of pipe tobacco.
How you’ll enjoy it: Of course, pimentón makes many Spanish dishes what they are, from shrimp in garlic to patatas bravas to the classic paella. But it’s also wonderful in American-style deviled eggs, dry rubs and marinades for barbecues, and—for the adventurous—homemade sausages. It marries perfectly with extra virgin olive oil to add heat to any sauté or for popcorn made on the stovetop. And I love to sprinkle it as is on braised greens and cooked legumes.
“I love this smoked paprika! I have sprinkled it on bacon to wrap around scallops before baking. The aroma and tastes are absolutely amazing.”— Tamma S., Raleigh, NC
Legend has it that GIs returning from WWII brought back their new love of pizza liberally sprinkled with oregano. Ever since, use of oregano in the U.S. has been exploding. We went from importing hardly any to millions of pounds by 1960.
Oregano spice is typically made from the leaves, but my “pearls” are the tiny buds of the oregano flowers. They’re handpicked before they have a chance to bloom and then are air-dried. This special process gives them an amazingly bright flavor and makes them perfect for grinding fresh in a host of recipes. (My oregano pearls come in a grinder jar.)
How you’ll enjoy them: These are perfect in tomato and meat-based sauces and bold pasta dishes; I love pairing oregano with garlic! For the best garlic bread you’ll ever taste, brush slices with olive oil and add a few grinds of oregano buds before they go into the oven. Flatbreads and focaccia will benefit too.
Oregano adds wonderful flavor to grilled fish, roasted chicken, and all kinds of meat, especially lamb (kebabs and patties in particular), and to your favorite chili recipe. Beyond pasta and pizza, sprinkle oregano on omelets, frittatas, roasted potatoes, and even fries. Add it to your favorite vinaigrettes.
“Oh my gosh! I have literally put the ground oregano pearls on everything. I especially like it in sautéed spinach with olive oil. Also great on raw veggies too!”— Tamma S., Raleigh, NC
These peppers are red and shaped like bell peppers but pack a taste that a bell pepper can only dream of! My special black Urfa chili is stone-ground into small flakes with a hint of sea salt and sunflower seed oil to further enhance taste and texture. You’ll appreciate how rich and complex its flavor profile is—the deep, dark color hints at its notes of coffee and chocolate and the fruitiness of raisins and dark cherries. But it also has the richness of sun-dried tomatoes, fine pipe tobacco, and the best leather. Black Urfa chili has the deep heat of cayenne, but without the sharpness—it’s more the sweet heat of chipotles.
How you’ll enjoy it: Black Urfa chili adds rich smokiness to all Middle Eastern dishes, and it’s especially delicious on koftis, kebabs, and other grilled meats and veggies. Include it in rubs, wet or dry, on your favorite proteins, especially pork. It’s equally good in just about every other cuisine, from a French stew to an all-American chili. It will enliven your favorite salad dressings and marinades, jazz up simple scrambled or fried eggs, and add extra depth and a hint of heat to brownies, blondies, hot chocolate, and even a scoop of chocolate ice cream.
“The Urfa chili: Really good as a finishing touch for salads and eggs. It will be amazing in soups this winter.”— Amy S., Napa, CA
Once the most coveted spice in the world, peppercorns were the original “black gold.” Black pepper has a place in almost every cuisine, from Cajun blends to the French quatre épices to India’s garam masala.
Traditionally, black peppercorns are harvested while still green, but on the organic farm where mine are grown, they are allowed to ripen longer on the vine before being handpicked and sun-dried in a process that gives them their dark, wrinkly skin and strong yet bright spiciness.
Even if you always grind your pepper fresh, you’ll be blown away by the vibrancy of these peppercorns (which come in a grinder jar). The aroma reminds me of rich cedar—dark and woody—with a hint of florals, allspice, and anise. On the palate, its spicy punch comes from its powerful compound piperine, but there are also notes of nutmeg, cocoa nibs, and citrus.
How you’ll enjoy it: You’ll find reasons to reach for this grinder jar at every meal! You’ll love this pepper on all your favorite foods, like eggs, mashed potatoes, and tuna salad, but you’ll also have fun finding new ways to appreciate its full flavor. It makes a perfect “crust” for steak or duck breast, and enlivens roasted sweet potatoes and winter squashes, vegetable slaws, cold pasta salads, and recipes like the Italian pasta classic Cacio e Pepe and the French Filet au Poivre.
“Most black pepper provides only mild heat with no discernible taste. This pepper smells fruity and complex and has a lingering flavor and tingling heat on the tongue. Intensely flavorful.”— Jackie C., New York, NY
The most exotic spice in my collection, black limes have a rich and storied legacy throughout the Middle East. Then why do I source it in Guatemala? It’s because Guatemala’s rich, fertile, well-drained soil is perfect for producing delicious limes, and Guatemalan black lime spice is highly prized among connoisseurs of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines.
How do they taste? Well, imagine the brightest and most intense lime zest you’ve ever tasted, and now add in hints of Brazil nuts and chocolate that linger on the palate. The sweet-tart taste of this citrusy explosion on the tongue is truly unique among spices. Yet at the same time, black lime is evocative of both sumac and kefir lime and can be used in place of those ingredients in many recipes, including those I share in the Spice Harvest Report that comes with your Spice Collection.
How you’ll enjoy it: Black lime is especially delicious on seafood (notably grilled shrimp, salmon, and tuna), meat, rice and other grains, and vegetables. In addition to exploring Persian foods that include it, try it on ceviche, avocado toast, and soft cheeses—any food you like with a squeeze of lime. It’s also great as an ingredient in vinaigrettes and in marinades and dry rubs for lamb and chicken. One of the most fun ways to enjoy its flavor jolt is to use it to rim margarita and Bloody Mary glasses the next time you’re mixing up a batch of either drink.
“The black lime makes my sliced avocado sing! I had never heard of black lime before, but it tastes and smells heavenly!”— Tamma S., Raleigh, NC
My golden turmeric is grown organically and cured in the soil before being hand-harvested, cleaned, steamed, sun-dried, and ground fresh. The special stone grinder used to make my turmeric creates an extremely fine, soft powder that tastes almost buttery. This painstaking process also gives the turmeric a concentrated flavor and a wonderful sweetness, with none of the metallic chalkiness of mass-produced turmeric.
How you’ll enjoy it: This turmeric will give a richer depth to your favorite Indian dishes, from kormas to dals. You’ll love adding it to sauces, stews, broths, salad dressings, juices, and baked goods for its rich flavor and jolt of color. For example, you can toss cut-up root vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with turmeric, and roast at 400 degrees until soft. Or make a paste with turmeric, honey, black pepper, and another of my unique spices—Heirloom Vietnamese Cinnamon. Add warmed milk or non-dairy milk for one of the most soothing, calming brews you’ll ever enjoy.
“This turmeric makes my cauliflower come alive! I love to add it to my riced cauliflower or roasted cauliflower steaks.”— Tamma S., Raleigh, NC
Small and dark brown, these cumin seeds are extremely rare, not farmed but rather handpicked from wild plants growing in the Hindu Kush mountain range and then sun-dried.
There is a depth to wild cumin, so it imparts more flavor to dishes than the common variety of cumin, which is more indigenous to the Middle East and central regions of India. Wild cumin has the aroma of cedar, pepper, eucalyptus, and rye and, on the palate, is very reminiscent of the caraway on seeded rye breads. It tastes both earthy and bright, with hints of anise, eucalyptus, and mint.
How you’ll enjoy it: Wild cumin, used whole or ground, shines in classic Indian dishes like biryanis and curries, Middle Eastern favorites like falafel and hummus, and North African tagines and harissa, a heavily spiced chili paste. Cumin also is key to many exotic spice blends, such as Baharat and Dukkah. But don’t be shy about using it in Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes that typically call for plain cumin, like salsa cruda, guacamole, beans, and chili. It also adds wonderful zest when sprinkled whole on naans and other flatbreads and when ground for dry rubs and marinades. You’ll love my Piri-Piri Drumsticks with Blue Cheese Dip recipe!
“I used the cumin and the smoked paprika in a rub for a pork shoulder I roast for carnitas every month. The flavors were so amazing, my neighbor ran over to ask what was happening in the kitchen and what time should they be here for dinner!”— Amy S., Napa, California
I’ve chosen these eight spices to enhance your favorite holiday and winter recipes, as well as the kitchen-tested recipes included in the Spice Harvest Report you’ll receive. I can’t wait for you to taste the extraordinary flavor these spices will add to all your culinary creations.
All eight spices are naturally free of preservatives, fillers, anything artificial, gluten, soy, egg, dairy, and nuts. All are nonirradiated.
My Spice Collection makes a unique and thoughtful gift for any foodie or home cook on your holiday list. Your lucky recipients will think of you every time they prepare a delicious meal using these harvest-fresh spices.
Your purchase is covered by my ironclad, 100% money-back guarantee. If you do not fall madly in love with these harvest-fresh spices, just say the word and you’ll receive all your money back, no questions asked. And you won’t even have to return a single spice. All will be yours to keep.
My personally curated collection of harvest-fresh, single-sourced spices is a one-time offer. It’s not a club, so you won’t receive any automatic shipments in the future. I have just 2,000 sets. When they’re gone, they’re gone, and I am presenting them to all 20,000 of my olive oil club members, not to mention the many foodies, fellow chefs, and home cooks who visit my website for recipes or watch my video recipes on Facebook and YouTube.
I must ask that if you’d like one or more of these sets, please respond right away to avoid disappointment.
Over the course of 20 years of traveling the globe—originally as a food, wine, and travel writer—I’ve marveled at the rich tastes I’ve experienced through cuisines and cultures. Whether I was dining at the top restaurant in Paris or sitting down with farmers’ families for simple home-cooked food, every bite was a revelation that fine-tuned my palate. What common denominator did all these meals share? The masterful use of fresh spices—spices that weren’t common at all but rather the freshest, brightest, and most intense these cooks could obtain.
Problem was, once I got home from my travels, I could never duplicate those fabulous meals because I couldn’t find spices that tasted anywhere near as fresh. The potency of the essential oils in spices, the compounds that give them their fabulous color and aroma, degrades over time. By the time commercially packaged spices hit our supermarket shelves, they’re years old and intolerably stale.
Frustrated that there was no way to find the high quality I wanted, I felt I was playing spice roulette trying to replicate those memorable meals. In years past, my solution was to shop at local spice markets whenever I traveled. (Morocco arguably has the best!) I would fill my suitcases with the treasures I found. Unfortunately, there was no way to carry back enough for both me and for my fellow food lovers who clamored for them, too.
Being a freshness fanatic was my motivation for becoming the Olive Oil Hunter and going to the four corners of the earth to harvest and ship olive oil to my club members in record time (yes, the olive oil on supermarket shelves can be as old as the spices!). Out of my spice frustration, I became determined to do the same thing for spices. And that’s how my curated culinary selection of harvest-fresh, single-origin spices was born!
I’d love to show you how to use my handpicked variety of bolder, livelier, fresh-from-the farm spices to add a rainbow of vivid flavors to your favorite recipes, not to mention in the many new recipes I share in your Spice Harvest Report. You’ll immediately notice the difference in your cooking. The flavor transformation you’ll experience can be compared to enjoying color TV versus black and white, or hearing a symphony on full-size stereo speakers instead of a small portable radio.
I assure you, once you start cooking with these harvest-fresh spices, you’ll never go back to dull, stale supermarket spices that are already years old on the day you buy them.
Tasting is believing, and that’s what I invite you to do now.
Savor the flavor!
T. J. Robinson
Curated Culinary Selections