Friday, October 15, 2010

Nice (Spice) Rack

I just spent eight weeks obsessively looking at spice jars and racks. I’m not exaggerating. First I looked at those damned test tube racks, scouring cookware stores and science material stores on the interwebs until my fingers turned red from banging on my keyboard in frustration. I thought I had figured out what I wanted, when I went to a friend’s house for tea and ended up helping her pour spices into her test tube spice racks using funnels we rolled out of sheets of paper. As it turns out, test tubes don’t actually hold more than a few tablespoons, and form over function definitely does not apply. At that point, it was "Fuck you, test tubes!"

So I looked at wholesale jar outfits, more cooking stores, houseware stores, container stores, spice jar realtors and more. If there’s a spice jar on the market, by this point, I’ve seen it. I also looked at spice racks (wall mounted, I have very little counter space) knowing the only thing I didn’t want was something from Ikea. I looked on etsy, ebay, thrift stores, department stores… the list goes on. And finally, I found the perfect rack, and the perfect jars. Ironically, I decided upon the one thing I was against when I set out- the Grundtal Ikea spice rack. In itself, it isn’t anything special, but matched with miniature old timey canning style jars I originally spotted at MarketSpice Tea (and later found on sale at Crate & Barrel), it’s perfect. The rack is just the right size for the jars, and holds 21 jars total. Plus, my spice jars now match my pantry jars. I get weirdly particular about things in my kitchen–nothing else in the apartment has been unpacked, and the walls are still a shitty shade of brown-gray, but as long as I’ve got my spice rack and a cast iron skillet, I’m doin’ alright. 

Top Row: Ground Ginger, Ground Coriander, Ground Cardamom, Bay Leaves, Black Lava Salt, Sel Gris, Alder Smoked Sea Salt. Middle Row: Garlic Powder, Rubbed Sage, Herbes de Provence, Turmeric, Ground Cumin, Clove, Ground Nutmeg. Bottom Row: Ground Mustard, Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Sumac, Cumin Seed, Fennel Seed, Black Sesame Seed. Below Shelf I’ve hung measuring spoons, my ginger grater, and my tea infuser spoon. Stay tuned for a post in the near future one why all these spices (and minerals) are my staples.


  1. I understand your spice rack frustration! I had all my spices in a tupperware bin for a long time because the only racks I could find were counter-top styles and I needed a wall mounted one. I have no qualms with Ikea, so I was excited to find the one we both have and it holds the pretty spice jars from Whole Foods perfectly.

  2. i'm just glad my spice rack ordeal is over, and i'm so happy with what i came up with. :)

  3. I have spice rack envy!

    I have many tins for spices but no spices to put in them. I guess I need to purchase more spices. :)