Dec 12, 2014

New plans afoot

Greetings from snowy Somerville! I have been quiet here on the Aromatum front lately due to a current project I'm excited to tell you about. Since returning from Asia this past summer, I've been working on creating a business. A spice business to be more precise, set to launch next summer in 2015. The mission of the business is to source sustainably grown and fairly traded spices to offer an alternative to the majority of commodity spices on the market today.

In ancient history, spices were not used to flavor food but rather used to perfume or heal the body. Spices could be found in the apothecary or infused into oils for perfume or incense used in religious ceremonies. They were too valuable just to eat casually, although eventually world trade led to greater production and increased consumption, to the point where now we can buy them at gas stations along with potato chips and Dr. Pepper.

I'm telling you this pithy narrative to reveal two questions which have come to define my everyday life: Can we return to a place where aromatic plants were once valued like precious objects? If we could, might this alter our understanding of the environment and our role in it?

I'm idealistic, I know, dreaming of the day when spices and aromatic plants will change the way we perceive our place on this big blue planet of ours. I mean seriously, if an asteroid were headed our way to destroy the earth, I'd pack a big bag of spices to bring aboard the rescue space ship (they are seeds after all...)

If you're interested in purchasing any of my holiday spices (limited quantity!), please see the selections here and place your order on the clever "online store." (I have updated this since the original post because I sold out of the holiday sets! But there are still more spices to try!). Thanks for your support!

Cloudy Day Tea

During the cold season when it's easy to get run down, sometimes a "spice tea" hits the spot. This tea is barely a recipe but it will make you feel good. It's basically a hot toddy, but featuring allspice, the dried berry also known as "Jamaican Pepper" or Pimenta dioica. "Allspice" was named by a companion of Columbus because it tasted like a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves familiar in England.

3 allspice berries
1 slice lemon
1 tsp honey 
whiskey (optional)

Put all ingredients in a mug and pour over hot water. For deeper allspice flavor, crush one berry in a mortar and pestle, steep all ingredients for 5-8 min, then strain. 


  1. I love your toddy recipe! Mine is spicey tea & hot water + 1 1/2 shots Old Grandad 100 proof + juice of 1/2 lemon + 2tbsb local honey. Take 2 & sleep like a baby through any winter cold!