Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Utah residents are using a lot more herbs and spices than they did 20 years ago. But on McCormick & Company's list of the top 50 "Super-Spiced" cities, Salt Lake City only ranks 43, sandwiched between Cincinnati and Charlotte, N.C. 

McCormick, the Maryland-based spice and herb company, considers some seasonings as "super spices" for their natural antioxidant qualities. They ranked the cities that use the most of these, based on spice category grocery sales from Sept. 2009 to Oct. 2010. (So all those old jars still sitting in your spice cabinet didn't count!)

Ranked alphabetically, the "super spices" are:
Black pepper
Chili powder
Garlic powder
Red peppers (including paprika)

And which cities use the most of them?

New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are the top three "super-spiced" cities, which would seem logical, since these are big cities with large ethnic populations. But the great foodie city of San Francisco doesn't even make the top 20. It's ranked 23, just below Oklahoma City. Having visited Oklahoma City many times (and just returned from another trip there last week) I will say there seems to be a lot of interest in both barbecue and Mexican dishes. I was surprised to see New Orleans ranked below Charleston. Having done a lot of taste-testing in both cities, it seemed to me that Charleston's traditional dishes were just a tad more bland than the Cajun cuisine of New Orleans. 

The survey pointed out a few other surprises. For instance, Philadelphia consumed more than 176,000 pounds of garlic powder. Charleston, S.C., used nearly 9,000 pounds of oregano last year.

Los Angeles consumed more than 208,000 pounds of cinnamon — that's a lot of cinnamon toast. This sweet spice has been linked in studies to controlling blood sugar levels.

San Antonio, home to Tex-Mex, used more cumin than any other city in the nation — 98,000 pounds.

Here's the list of McCormick's "Super-Spiced" cities:
1. New York
2. Chicago
3. Los Angeles
4. Dallas/Ft Worth
5. San Antonio/Corpus Christi, Texas
6. Houston
7. Memphis, Tenn.
8. Philadelphia
9. Charleston, S.C,
10. Jackson, Miss.
11. New Orleans
12. Albuquerque, N.M,
13. Atlanta
14. St. Louis
15. Phoenix
16. Grand Rapids, Mich.
17. Sacramento, Calif.
18. Roanoke, Va.
19. Birmingham, Ala.
20. Baltimore, Md.
21. Raleigh, N,C.
22. Oklahoma City
23. San Francisco/Oakland
24. Hartford, Conn.
25. Nashville, Tenn.
26. Indianapolis
27. Norfolk, Va.
28. Springfield, Ill.
29. San Diego
30. Harrisburg, Penn.
31. Seattle/Tacoma
32. Cleveland, Ohio
33. Miami/Ft Lauderdale, Fla.
34. Omaha, Neb.
35. Detroit
36. Kansas City, Kan.
37. Louisville, Ky.
38. Tampa/St Petersburg, Fla.
39. Syracuse, N.Y.
40. Boston, Mass.
41. Toledo, Ohio
42. Cincinnati
43. Salt Lake City
44. Charlotte, N.C.
45. Jacksonville, Fla.
46. Spokane, Wash.
47. Portland, Ore.
48. Las Vegas
49. Knoxville, Tenn.
50. Pittsburgh

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