Thursday, December 12, 2013
Remember the Portland Spice & Trading Co. in the old Portland Public Market space on Cumberland Avenue? You’ll be happy to hear that it’s back in a new incarnation.
Jessica Regina Moore is back selling her original spice blends under the name Regina Spices (reginaspices.com). She does not have a storefront, but her products are available at K. Horton's Specialty Foods in the Public Market House in Monument Square and at Maine's Pantry on Commercial Street.
Moore says she started her old business when she was young and eventually felt like “it was taking over my life.” So she quit and went back to school to do graduate work in world religions. She has also worked on the Casco Bay Ferry lines and at a garden center.
Although her path has taken her a lot of different places, Moore has always loved to cook, and she never fully stopped making her spice blends. She started making them again in earnest last November, and it made her miss her old shop and the connections she developed with her customers.
“I thought it would be fun to try to reconnect with people in a food context,” she said. “When we were doing Portland Spice, people would come up and tell us family recipes. I really miss that side of it.”
Her blends are as inventive as ever. Next time you make a margarita, try rimming the glass with her jalapeno lime salt. Moore says it’s good on salmon and chicken fajitas too.
Her shitake steak rub is good mixed right into hamburgers, she said.
The star anise vanilla sugar? Try it on toast.
To read some of Moore’s tips for using spice rubs this summer, pick up a copy of the Maine Sunday Telegram this weekend. Moore shares some of her basic rubs on the Home and Garden page.Tweet
Meredith Goad has harvested oysters on the Chesapeake Bay, eaten reindeer in Finland and sipped hot chai in the Himalayas. She writes the weekly Soup to Nuts column and enjoys a good cocktail.
Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business before turning to journalism more than a decade ago. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs. A newcomer to Portland, she is an online content producer for the Press Herald.
Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod [at] pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @susansaxelrod