A Maine spice company is developing and producing seven special spice blends for food TV personality Andrew Zimmern’s online store, all based on Zimmern’s recent travels.

Christine Pistole of Litchfield, owner of Gryffon Ridge Spice Merchants, was contacted this summer by someone on Zimmern’s staff who told her that Zimmern, the host of several food-related TV shows on the Travel Channel, ran across her certified organic spices and spice blends during a July visit to Maine and was interested in doing a joint project.

“When his reps reached out, we decided to create proprietary blends that will only be offered in his online store,” Pistole said. “It’s a very exciting opportunity, and we’re honored that he appreciates the quality and flavor of our products.”

In the weeks following, Pistole worked fast to develop the new blends as well as recipes they could be used in, and then waited for Zimmern to sign off on them.

Five of the new blends are already available on the Shop Andrew Zimmern website, with two more to come in the next few weeks. The blends cost $10 for a 2-ounce jar.

Kentucky Table is a blend that goes well with trout, catfish and wild game meat, according to Zimmern’s website, while Bayou Blend is good for a shrimp boil. Down the Mississippi would be good for a “freshwater shore lunch,” Zimmern recommends on his site. And the spices in Cattle Drive Gusto, which includes coffee, are ideally suited for cooking over an open fire.

The latest blend, Soul of the Caribbean, was inspired by Zimmern’s journey following Columbus’s expedition across Hispaniola. Zimmern recommends using it on seafood, including whole fried yellowtail snapper, rice and beans, or in oxtail stew.

Gryffon Ridge was founded in 2009. The spices are roasted and ground in Pistole’s gluten-free, peanut-free commercial kitchen in her Litchfield home, and are certified organic by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The line features 55 culinary blends and more than 100 individual spices, herbs, salts and chiles.

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