AllSpice at Tomato Festival This Saturday

Heirloom_Baby_TomatoesThis Saturday, September 2, AllSpice Owners Rory and Andy are going to Ted Lare Design Build and Garden Center to participate in their Tomato Fest!

AllSpice will be there from 2pm to 5pm, sampling and selling some AllSpice favorites. Rory has made some of our Tomato Jam to sample,  and we will be sampling “Caprese on a Stick”* as well.

The event spotlights local growers and artists and merchants, and will include:

  • A Tomato Tasting of 20+ heirloom varieties of tomatoes, with customers voting for their favorite one.
  • Jeff Naples, aka “The Beard Behind the Bar,” will mixing up samples of tomato-inspired drinks.
  • There will also be a salsa contest, a coloring contest, and farmers market vendors on site, too.

We would so love to see our readers there!


*Caprese on a Stick = heirloom cherry tomato + fresh basil + mozzarella on a skewer, drizzled with your favorite Balsamic Vinegar for good measure


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First Friday, Oktoberfest-style

OktoberfestThe kids are all back at school, so that means September is just around the corner — next Friday, to be exact.  We’ll be having an Oktoberfest theme for September’s first Friday, and AllSpice will stay open until 8pm.

Oktoberfest on September 1? We know, we know — having Oktoberfest on September 1 may seem a little premature. But when they do it in Munich (site of the biggest Oktoberfest in the world), Oktoberfest takes 16 – 18 days, and they serve 7.1 million liters of beer, and serve 119,000 pairs of sausages.  We’ve got to get an early start, if we’re going to even make a dent in that record number.

We’ll be serving these tasty treats this First Friday:

Can’t make it Friday evening? Stop by anytime Saturday, September 2, and we’ll celebrate Oktoberfest all over again, with yummy pretzels and homemade mustards and dips.


Photo credit: “Oktoberfest Dirndl” on Flickr

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Can you spot the spice shop?

Can you spot the spice shop?

Oh, goodness! We promise we’re not hiding, we just have a bit of a mess going on, and we don’t look quite like ourselves.

Our building is getting a facelift (of sorts) for the next several weeks. Even though our building is getting a facelift we are all beautiful behind these bandages.

View from the corner

View from the corner

And it’s what’s on the *inside* that counts, isn’t it?

All kidding aside we want to share that AllSpice, and our neighbors at From Our Hands, Leona Ruby, Salon Spa W, and Sticks are all still open to serve our wonderful customers.

We are open during our regular hours:

  • Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm
    (open ’til 8 pm on First Friday evenings)
  • Saturdays 10 am – 5 pm
  • Sunday Noon – 4 pm

BUT: AllSpice will be closed Monday, September 4, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. See you Tuesday, September 6!

Photo credit: Corner view shamelessly lifted from Ann, owner of From Our Hands.


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AllSpice and the ‘Spice Adventure’ Tent at World Food and Music Festival


Next month is the World Food and Music Festival, Des Moines’ “taste and entertainment” event featuring international cuisine, live music and performing arts, cooking demonstrations, wine and craft beers, and a world marketplace.

New location. After many years in the East Village and on the bridges across the Des Moines River, this year the World Food and Music Festival will take place in the Western Gateway Park of downtown Des Moines, Friday September 17 through Sunday September 19.

New AllSpice sessions. New this year, The Spice Adventure tent (sponsored by Principal Financial Group) will feature classes and activities led by Allspice Culinarium staffers. The sessions will feature seasonings from a variety of culinary traditions, and are open to festival-goers of all ages!

Here’s the AllSpice Spice Adventure tent schedule:

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How Hot Is It? Nashville Hot Chicken Is *Really* Hot (and delicious)

hot-chicken-sign-Big-Shakes-Franklin-TennesseeWhen it comes to fried chicken, some like it hot. Really hot.

Hot chicken, aka Nashville hot chicken, is Music City’s culinary specialty, spicy fried chicken, served on slices of squishy white bread. A staple for the hungry late-night crowd, Nashville hot chicken has a crispy outer coating of sweet sugar, garlic, and fiery cayenne (and other) chiles.

Just how popular is hot chicken? Well, it has become such a hit that for the past 10+ years, Nashville citizens have created the annual Music City Hot Chicken Festival that takes place every Independence Day. The festival features a fire truck parade, live music, a hot chicken cookout, and lots and lots of hot chicken. And the craze has spread to cities far from the Grand Ol Opry, with national news organizations reporting on hot chicken joints in LA so popular, your carry-out order has to be placed up to one month in advance.

Love the hot chicken, but don’t have time to organize a fire truck parade, or the forethought to order takeout a month ahead of time?

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