When M and I were recently visiting Denver, we ended up walking into Savory Spice Shop in downtown Littleton. Walking in the door, I was thinking it would be dull and quick. But they pounced on us.

"Feel free to open any jar and smell it. Next to the jars are tasteable sample bottles. Put whatever you want in your hands and taste it. If you think it's gross, just throw it on the floor."

And then we started smelling and sampling, and we were almost instantly won over. They had like ten types of cinnamon (and the cassia was labeled accurately!), six or seven different whole chilies, all kinds of rubs and pickling seasonings and mustards and whole dried herbs and extracts and some special salt-free blends. And several different sizes of garlic powder, including High Bulk Index, which is more densely flavorful and integrates in much faster. We ended up buying unbelievable Saigon cinnamon, smoked hot paprika (man, hot paprika is hard to find), and peppercorns. And thank god they sell everything online, because I can guarantee we’ll be buying more.

I can also guarantee we would have been in and out in like 20 seconds if it wasn’t for their brilliant tasting policy.