So, back in September, and yes I'm clearing a certain amount of mental backlog, but back in September, Penzey's sent out their monthly catalog. And it had two coupons. One was for a free bottle of their new spice blend, and one was for a free gift box you could give to a teacher which had a small bottle of cinnamon and another large bottle of their new spice blend.
I kept all of it for myself, because I figure I've taught a lot of people over the years at You Are Dumb, even if it wouldn't really pass muster as a public education curriculum because of words like "cuntbuckets". And also because of the new spice blend itself.
You can see it there on the left. It really is called "Forward!", and it really does have a star under the F, and a ray of light, and the slogan "Flavor Your World", and three happy people enjoying what I can only assume is some Montessori-style learning epiphany. ON A SPICE BOTTLE.
Look, I like Penzey's. A lot. It's better than a grocery store, easier than spice-hunting in small markets, and I feel no shame in using some of their well-crafted blends. But they need to cut this shit out. Tan label, black type, and no name more obscure than "Northwoods". Do not go over to the dark side, Penzey's. Forward already has you two toes deep in the Sith.
So what is it? It is red and generically savory. It's black pepper, onion, paprika, garlic, turmeric, plus extracts of celery, rosemary, thyme, basil, and, doubling up, black pepper and paprika. See? Generically savory. And reddish.
I've been using it, albeit sparingly. Forward is to other spice blends, in some ways, what baking soda is to cocaine. Bear with me on this. Say you're making something seasoned with a jerk pork seasoning, one you mayhap have bought in a bag with a tan label and black type LIKE GOD INTENDED. But it's spicy. So you don't want to use too much of it. But if you use too little, it'll just get diluted and lost.
Cut the jerk seasoning with some Forward, though, and you get some extra red and extra savory, but nothing that will make any kind of distinctive impact against the jerk pork. It's sort of like MSG, only with a positive life message. Or Mrs. Dash, if she hadn't gotten knocked up, and was thereby forced to marry Jimmy Dash and give up her career.
That said, two bottles of the stuff should last me a very long time, and that's good, since I cannot in good conscience buy the stuff. Not with that label. Yeesh.