I love to cook. I love to eat. Sounds like a Dr. Seuss book huh? My grandma is one of the best cooks I know. Seriously, the woman invents her own salad dressings and can cook anything and everything. She is a master gardener and grows the huge bulk of her own produce. Given her credentials and experience with cooking, when she told me that she thinks that Penzey's Spices are some of the best around, I had to see for myself.
About two years ago, she took me to one of their stores which is located in a strip mall in Scottsdale. If you've never been spice shopping, it's a lot of fun. In fact Penzey's in general is a lot of fun. They send out a free catalog that lists all of their spices, detailed descriptions of what each spice is good for and there are always free recipes as well. They also publish a cookbook magazine that comes out 6 times a year. Put that on my list of magazine subscriptions to get.
In the store, there are glass jars filled with each of the spices they sell, so that you can have a whiff. Trust me, if you've never smelled two different cinnamons next to each other, you wouldn't understand. I love cinnamon, so I bought the strongest one. I also bought some ground white pepper, Apple Pie spice (I put it in the waffle batter I made on Sunday and it gave them a little sweet kick which was yummy), taco seasoning, cocoa powder and got a free jar of their chili seasoning which is also good for meats in general.
I also have to applaud the company for their packaging. Both of the spices I've opened up are so packed full that some of the spice spilled out as soon as I opened them. You know how you open up a bag of potato chips and--surprise!--they're half missing. Not with this company. You get your money's worth for sure. Also, you can buy in much bigger quantities that those little jars that you get in a normal supermarket.
If you enjoy cooking at all, you should at least go to the site and request a free catalog. You won't be disappointed.