Savory Spice Shop

By Lucas Dunn / Photography By Aaron Snow | October 26, 2016
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Aromatherapy for Chefs

The intoxicating scent of cinnamon intermingles with the sweet allure of vanilla. Peppercorn’s sharp bite weaves into the pungent funk of dried garlic. Nutmeg, shallot, cumin, and coriander all compete for recognition amongst the scents that permeate the air.

It’s aromatherapy for chefs, both an invigoration of the senses and an immersive experience. But this isn’t a high-end spa featuring unconventional treatment. This is Savory Spice Shop, the only place in Oklahoma City offering such olfactory bliss.

Located at 4400 N. Western Avenue, Savory has been the secret weapon for the metro’s best chefs and bartenders for four years. It collects over 500 spices, herbs, and extracts, many of which are obscure and impossible to find anywhere else. From truffle salt and makrut lime leaves to powdered balsamic and long peppercorns, this shop surely has untried ingredients for even the most seasoned cooks.

With so much variety, the selection can appear intimidating. Savory is thankfully staffed with knowledgeable employees who are exceedingly helpful in guiding their guests. The owners, mother and son duo Debra and Able Blakely, have a long culinary history that spans decades.

“My grandpa—Mom’s dad—had a cafe in Alva, OK and they did breakfast and lunch for years and years,” Able explains. “So we’ve got that history of cooking in Oklahoma and that understanding of how things have always been done. And I’ve branched out into modern cooking techniques, so we can cover that whole gambit. If you want to talk to me about chamber vacs and whipping siphons and sous vide circulators, I’ve got four of them. I can speak to that molecular gastronomy stuff. Mom was canning, freezing, making jellies yesterday.”

Whatever style of cooking piques your interest, Savory has you covered. Their collection of spice and herb blends is expansive and offers the easiest way to elevate any kitchen’s capabilities. Whether it’s something to make mid-week meals more memorable or the added touch for special recipes, they have exactly what you need.

The most popular blend they carry is called Capitol Hill. Once you get a whiff of this potent mixture of shallots, parsley, and chives, you’ll be driven to use it on everything, particularly seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Other customer favorites include a curry section the breadth of a bookshelf and the wide variety of barbeque spices, which are particularly beloved by Able. “Our BBQ rubs are on-point. Just come in and tell me what you want to grill, and I can cut a lot of work out of it,” he guarantees.

For the holidays, Savory has several items that can propel dishes from standard to stellar. The freshness of these items is a true marker of Savory’s exceptional product line. Sourced from over fifty different suppliers, the spices are all ground fresh, rendering them more fragrant and flavorful. “You can use an eighth of a teaspoon of our granulated garlic and get the seasoning characteristics of using a whole clove,” Debra explains.

To maximize that intense freshness, Savory sells their spices in whatever quantity needed. Instead of keeping increasingly stale containers of rarely needed spices on hand, cooks can buy the exact amounts they need to make fresh dishes taste even fresher.

“You’re going to use half a teaspoon of allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves around Thanksgiving and Christmas to make your apple pies, pumpkins pies, things like that,” Debra says. “You can come in and get those little amounts and you don’t have to have those jars sitting on your shelf for the next ten years.”

Aside from seasonings for baking, Savory is the perfect place to buy turkey brine, salt cure, and mulling spices for wine or cider. They also offer gift sets for your culinary-minded loved ones, including one that is Oklahoma-themed and contains such favorites as Panhandle Chicken Fried Steak Seasoning, Red Rocks Hickory Smoke, and Homestead BBQ. Their section of locally made products, ranging from honey to cocktail bitters, is chock full of fantastic gifts.

Article from Edible OKC at
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