Posted by Harry Mueller
Wednesday October 24, Susan Kirkpatrick, Rotarian, former mayor of Fort Collins and now owner of Savory Spice Shop, presented a brief history of spices and look at spices today.  She started by pointing out that no one shops for spices who is unhappy. 
She suggested that the spice trade is the world’s second oldest profession and was a motivation behind world exploration.  Few spices grow outside of 100 north and south latitude and few spices originate from the Western Hemisphere.  At times and places when spices were hard to come by, spices have been used as money.  Before the advent of refrigeration, spices were also commonly used to mask bad flavor. 
Today, the abundance of TV shows focused on food have changed how people acquire and use spices, creating a more vibrant food culture.  However, spices are sometimes sourced from places considered more challenging to do business and supply can be irregular.  In addition, strict import rules apply at the point of import, so the spices that arrive at a shop in Fort Collins are safe.  In the spice trade, there are both straight spices (e.g., Rosemary) and blends (e.g., Herbes de Provence), some of which may be proprietary.  In terms of usage, she suggests: store away from heat; if it has no aroma, it will have no flavor since the flavor comes from essential oils that may have evaporated over a span of six months to one year.  She suggests that, for older people who may be losing their sense of taste, Rosemary has a strong flavor that may be desirable.