He who controls the Spice, controls the universe!
Earlier this week we had an opportunity to preview one of our most anticipated films of the year, Dune. While we plan on posting a review this week, we wanted to create a piece of content for the film. With so many other talented folks creating recipes, we decided to do something completely different. We are excited to share The Geeks’ Guide to Spice! Not only that, but we are also giving away advanced screening passes so you don’t want to miss out!
“A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, Dune tells the story of Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive.”
What Does Spice Have to do with Dune?
The spice melange in the story of Dune is the most valuable commodity in the universe, but why? For one it can extend life almost indefinitely and it sharpens the mental faculties of the consumer as well as other health benefits. Depending on the individual it can also enable a sort of foresight, so much so that the Spacing Guild’s pilots need it to help them safely navigate interstellar space. The spice is so important that it is the only resource that if withheld, could bring the galaxy to its knees.
What’s the Difference Between an Herb and a Spice?
There is a bit of contention and confusion about this. While not always exact, a good rule of thumb is that herbs are leaves and stems whereas spices are more or less seeds and bark. There are of course a few exceptions like black pepper which is considered a spice but is actually technically a berry.
There are many ways to use spices. Primarily, the way we use them is in seasoning blends for cooking or directly in recipes themselves. You can also use them in simmer pots for making your home smell incredible! Here are some recipes for seasoning blends we have created using various spices:
- Berbere Spiced Popcorn– This Black Panther inspired popcorn uses a spice blend prominent in North Africa.
- Coffee Rubbed Flank Steak Bites– In our Never Sleep Again Pairing inspired by A Nightmare on Elm Street, we use not only coffee but we spice it up with cumin!
- Spirit Soothing Cider– Dolls like Annabelle are terrifying, therefore in our Annabelle Comes Home inspired recipe we used cinnamon and cloves to bring some warmth to this cider.
- Empanada Flavored Popcorn– We love seasoning blends for popcorn and this Suicide Squad popcorn is no exception! The notable spices in this recipe are cumin and smoked paprika!
- Grilled Jalapeno Bacon Wrapped Shrimp– At one point in time we created recipes that didn’t have geeky references and this is still one of our favs! These never last at parties. Also the spice blend we use it great on chicken thighs!
Where Do I Buy Spices?
You’ve probably walked down the spice aisle at your local grocery store. Most of the time that will work just fine. However, there are some places you can go or order from online that carry some harder-to-find spices or unique seasoning blends.
- Penzeys– This national chain has both in-store and online offerings. They are a great resource and carry a ton of great options.
- Whole Foods- Sure, they are a grocery store, but they do tend to carry some of the spices that the generic grocery stores don’t carry.
- Sprouts- Much like Whole Foods, Sprouts carries some bulk herbs and spices as well as some of the more offbeat ones.
- Arizona International Marketplace (or your local Asian market)- One of our absolute favorite places to buy spices is our local Asian market. Not only are they typically more affordable, but the selection and quality are outstanding.
We hope you enjoyed The Geeks’ Guide to Spice! As we mentioned, we are doing a giveaway for VIP Advanced Screening Passes to see Dune early! The contest will be hosted on Facebook but you’ll get a bonus entry by telling us your favorite spice or Dune character in the comments below! Good luck!