I would like to take a post to appreciate the shop that spices my shelf.

The Oakland Spice Shop

The Oakland Spice Shop

As I have begun to grow as a chef and confectioner I am experiencing time and again the integral role of the right spice at the right moment plays. As with most thing related to cooking

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Simple is best.

The Oakland Spice Shop is full of singular wonders to take a meal from (forgive me) satiation to sensation.

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In the great tradition of animated French rats, one such flavor sensation recently came in the form of a Spanish Smoked Paprika that took a ratatouille over the moon.

Oakland Spice Shop stocks the essential. Particularly…

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Few things are more important, as most food processors know to well unfortunately.

The singular addition of their applewood smoked salt combined with the substitution of coconut sugar took Coracao’s hazelnut toffee bark and thrust it to the realm between heaven and earth, aka Heath.


Rubbing a cut of pastured pork with a Cyprus mushroom infused salt marooned the lost loin in a wilderness of delicious, a twist of lemon found it and brought it home.

I am being melodramatic, but cooking melodrama by nature. Hell it has enough reality shows to prove that… Chopped anyone?

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Here is the Details for those able to make the visit:
Oaktown Spice Shop
530 Grand Ave., Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 201-5400

Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 12pm-7pm
Saturday: 10am-5pm
Sunday: 12pm-4pm
Closed Mondays

Friday Food News Round Up: Franken Food Fun

Mixed feed bag today folks. It has been a lively week for fraken food; let start and end with something cool.


1) Chicken Protein for Cone Cream

Poultry protein derived from the left over bits of chicken processing may soon be finding its way into ice cream according to this article. I have heard of lard being a helpful ice cream fat, but that ingredient has a little more old world wholesomeness than the food industries bones and trimming protein enzyme extract. In any case I am sticking with coconut/cashew gelato for now.

2) Hey Ronald!

A nine year old girl strolled into a McDonald’s Conference the other day. Her Plea:

“It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.”

It is not as impressive when you find out her mother is a nutrition blogger affiliated with Corporate Accountability International. Still, I agree.

Great Job, That is almost food

Great Job, That is almost food

The rebuttal by McDonalds cites the fact that Happy Meals all have the green apple option now. It is going to take more than some pre-sliced packaged fruit and caramel dipping sauce to convince me that child focused fast food advertising is ethical.

MAM Flyer Single

3) Occupy Monsanto!

Lets not let 9 year olds do all the work. Join the movement near you against Monsanto this Saturday MAY 25. Help begin to unseat their seedy seed business. I would join but i will be working at a farmers market… so i guess I’m doing a little bit towards the effort regardless.

Here is the local lowdown for my Oakland Peeps

There has to be a better way?!

There has to be a better way?!

4) Vegan Horchada is Paleo, Paleo Horchata is Tasty

A quick vegan version for my favourite taco shop summer quencher. Horchata is a cinnamon loves creamy dream, a smooth edition to warm summer eve’s or iced for memorial day grill feasts. Ole!

I will try to find a dairy/refined sugar free Orange Bang! for next week…O wait here is one now



Friday Food News Round Up: Random Tastes of Spring

Good Morning Sunshine! A tasty TGIF to you.

1) Believe in Hydration

I know it is early, but right of the bat we got to talk about Coke again. Here is an interview with Katie Bayne, Coca-Cola’s president of sparkling beverages in North America. Coke has been ramping up the positive PR, championing itself as the cure, not cause, to obesity. Mostly this just means printing catchy infographics for facebooker to Like and tweeters to retweet. Bayne’s answers were so ridiculous I was sure it was a hoax or something cooked up by The Onion.

The Bayne of Nutrition

The Bayne of Nutrition

When asked about those who viewed Coke-Cola beverages as empty calories, Bayne responds:

“A calorie is a calorie. What our drinks offer is hydration. That’s essential to the human body. We offer great taste and benefits whether it’s an uplift or carbohydrates or energy. We don’t believe in empty calories. We believe in hydration.”

This quote is as silly as it is dangerous. The sodium and caffeine content of sodacan cause dehydration. I believe in free and clean hydration, before there was soda there was water

Quick... HYDRATE!


Is coke the cure to Americas ails Marion Nestle put it best:

“The only way Coke can really help address obesity and poor diets is to sell less soda—the one thing its stockholders will not allow. And the company is doing everything it can to fight city and state soda taxes, portion size caps, or anything else that might reduce sales.”

Meanwhile… in France.

2) Royale wit Cheez

Lets set the stage.

Heard of the French Paradox. Considering America’s chronic disease rates, nutrition scientist have always looked at France with envy. Why can the French indulge in wine, cheese, and sweets daily and still maintain a wealth of health? We may never know because French food is fading as fast food is flourishing. Fast food chains now account for 54 percent of all restaurant sales in France.

The force is strong with this bun

The force is strong with this bun

The number of causal cafés in France has dropped from 200,000 to 32,000 since the end of WWII. A shorting lunch break has demands an “American-style automated experience,” also know as stuffing a meal in 15 minutes while power walking. Cie la vie.

Meanwhile… in Brazil

3) Brazil has Cajones! Sueing the Golden Archs!

The Procon consumer agency in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has fined McDonald’s $1.6 million for targeting children with advertising and toys.


Lawyer, Renan Ferraciolli had this to say. “There’s no need to appeal as they do to children without the maturity or the rationality to enter the market as consumers.”

Agreed, ! hope American lawyer follow suit on this lawsuit.

4) Cabinet full of Random, throw em’ in a pie

On a truly lighter note here is a fun little bit of random. King Author Flour’s website has a Bake with what’s in your pantry recipe app.

I entered pecans, chilli, and garlic and got this savoury sugarless snackable.

Spicy Garlic Nuts

Spicy Garlic Nuts

5) Nuts in a nut shell

Speaking of nuts, here is a little article that will diagnose your nutty needs

Don’t go to Nuts, have a good weekend.

Best (and likely only) Vegan Chocolate of the Month Club


As far as I know this is the only by mail vegan chocolate of the month club (and if it some how isn’t I am sure it is still the best one). Don’t let the vegan part scare ya, cacaomnivorous primates of all diets should enjoy good chocolate.

Coracao is an amazing confection outfit. Their focus has always been on replacing vice with nice.Worrking with them has been a velvety dream. A great deal of my interest in nutrition stems directly from the cacao bean and I am grateful to be surrounded by good people and good chocolate

I hope this does not come off as a shameless plug considering I work for Coracao Confections… but I’m not on commission so take this with a gain of crystal salt.

Check out this new review from Choosing Raw.

If you love chocolate, supporting small biz and sustainable practices, or boosting serotonin on by the bundle pack, consider this convenient cacao delivery system.

P.S. The first secret bonus item is quite the all American all-star candy bar likely missed by many vegan. Rhymes with knickers, comes with almonds. Personally a Milky Way would make my day, but I am happy to settle.


Food Deserts: Correlation is not Causation But…

Doing a project on the West Oakland food desert and thought this was a an interesting correlation

2013 Obesity Rates…

2013 Food Desert Locations…

FOOD DESERT or LOW-ACCESS COMMUNITY = at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of a population resides more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store

Lack of grocery stores is not the only factor, the surplus of fast food and corner stores is as much if not more to blame.

FOOD SWAMP = A geographic area where the superabundance of high-energy foods (for example, caloric snacks sold at convenience stores) inundate healthy food options

I propose we endorse this solution: