Cooking is one of my hobbies. It’s relaxing and allows me to use my creativity. It also allows me to revisit favorite destinations either by recreating dishes or cooking with ingredients picked up during my travels. If Florida is one of your favorite travel destinations – and I suspect it is – here’s a new edible souvenir to bring the taste of the Sunshine State into your kitchen.
For the last month I’ve been adding a little sunshine to my meals with a new, regional brand of spices and rubs called Old Florida Spice Company by The Spice Lab. They represent Florida’s wild, authentic side. It’s something the nearly 92 million and counting annual visitors to the Sunshine State can pick up and take back home to remind them of their Florida vacation. Find the line at retailers throughout Florida.
Flavorful spices in the line include:
- 8 hot and spicy sea salts in 100 ml glass jars or 3 oz stand-up pouches.
- 10 BBQ seasoning rubs
- Some of BBQ rubs are named for locales around the state, such as Key West Seafood Seasoning and Everglades Chicken and Gator Rub to South Beach Mango Chipotle Seasoning to Homestead Honey Mustard Seasoning.
- Large choice of other jarred salts and premium spices under the Old Florida label.
During my kitchen experiments, I made:
Sweet Potato Fries with the Jalapeno Sea Salt – I placed slices of sweet potatoes in a zip-top storage bag, poured in a little olive oil and sprinkled in the sea salt. Wow! This salt has a nice peppery bite.
Beer can chicken with the Everglades Chicken and Gator Rub – I rubbed a whole chicken inside and out with the rub then improvised with the beer can part. I didn’t have a can of beer, but I had an empty can of Diet Coke and bottle of Angry Orchard’s Hard Cider. I rinsed out the can, poured in the cider, placed the chicken on the can and roasted it accordingly. Oh. My. Goodness. The chicken came out extremely tender, juicy and flavor beyond the skin (oh, the thin, crispy skin I shouldn’t be eating). It was a nice peppery, garlic flavor.
Fresh-caught fish with Key West Seafood Seasoning – this was pretty simple. From a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, it was only appropriate to sprinkle my mangrove snapper with the refreshing Key West Seafood Seasoning and bake it in the oven. This seasoning complimented and not covered the fresh-fish taste with a hint of citrus.
I’ve also sprinkled these seasonings on popcorn as well as steamed and roasted veggies. Yumola!
From The Spice Lab line I made these Smoky Gingersnap Cookies.
The Old Florida Spice Company has basically encapsulated the many flavors of Florida into edible souvenirs. These spices are being added to my gift-giving list.
What I really like about The Spice Lab is it’s a woman-owned, Florida-based business. Founded in 2009 by Brett Cramer and his wife Jennifer, the company is based in Pompano Beach and get this, The Spice Lab offers more than 240 different salts, peppers and spices from around the world. The line includes 180 jarred sea salts, Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses, peppercorns, spice mixes, bath salts and more.