Last December I ventured into Allspice Culinarium down in the East Village for a few Christmas gifts for my dad. Typically, cooking stores overwhelm me because I’m not a foodie. Yes, I cook, but I’m no Top Chef (although I do make an awesome red velvet cake). My dad is one of the best cooks I know, so culinary type gifts always go over well with him. Plus, I always reap the benefits. My first visit to this store was delightful. Instead of being overwhelmed, I was given a tour of the store, told what types of spices, rubs, and oils work best for different types of cooking, and given advice on what the best gift packages would be for what I was wanting.
Allspice Culinarium (culinarium = culinary + emporium) sells culinary spices, herbs, oils, and vinegars. Their selection is thoughtful, thorough, and has something for every type of cook. On my first visit, I was told to taste any of the oils and vinegars, which were amazing. I had never even known blood orange olive oil existed. My experience made me think that I could actually be a real cook someday. In my opinion, one of the best parts of Allspice is the affordability of their selection. Over the past few months, I’ve been able to replace my staple Tones spice selection with the Allspice variety and improve my selection of seasonings. The staff has always been helpful when I have questions on what vinegars to purchase or what olive oils will work best with the food I make. Allspice has an online store, so even if you don’t live in Des Moines, you can purchase their products. Their website has an extensive recipe list for all palates and a blog with upcoming events happening in the store.
A few events I want to share with you:
Thursday is Tomato Day: Every Thursday through October, Jenny Smith from Butcher Crick Farms will be in the store from 3-6. You can taste heirloom tomatoes and buy some for yourself.
Olivina Fig Fragrance Launch Party: Tomorrow, Friday September 2, Allspice will team up with Eden, Jasper Winery, and Hill Vintage to kick off Eden’s new line. Allspice and Jasper Winery will be sampling food and drinks. More details here.