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Spice Up Your Life: These Women Are Bringing the Flavors of Their Heritage to Home Cooks Everywhere

by BUST Magazine

This fall, let’s all give pumpkin spice a break and update our pantries with globally inspired seasonings instead. With thoughtful flavors, pretty packaging, and ethical sourcing, these innovative women-owned brands are putting the zing in seasoning. 


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Sisters-in-law Doaa Elkady and Freda Nokaly draw on their Egyptian roots and Queens, NY, upbringing to create intensely flavored, high-quality spice blends like Greek Table, Malaysian Curry, and NYC Halal Cart (each $8.95 for 2 oz.).

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Spice Tree Organics sources spices from around the world and donates 2.5 percent of profits to grassroots relief efforts in places like Puerto Rico, Lebanon, and Yemen. 


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Formerly a cooking blog, My Fabulous Food evolved into a thriving retail business for CEO Chanel Murphy-Lowe, who wanted to share the ingredients in her most popular recipes, with spice blends like Sweet and Spicy Sriracha Lime ($15 for 73g) and Citrus and Herbs Salt-Free Blend ($15 for 68g). The RedWine Sea Salt ($28 for 4.4 oz.) is a sophisticated way to finish desserts and plays well with cheese, while the quick-to-sell-out Ultimate Cake Spice ($15 for 108g) might just be the hint of sweetness your Sunday brunch is missing.


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First generation Vietnamese American sisters Kim and Vanessa Pham are on a mission to reclaim and celebrate Asian flavors. Their convenient, authentic meal starter seasoning packets ($12 for a 3-pack), like Vietnamese Lemongrass Barbecue and Filipino Sisig, combine oils, sauces, and spices sourced directly from Asia or Asian-owned brands to deliver serious punch. 

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Through Home Beis, founder Scherise Merritt connects to her Dominican heritage while uplifting the community. “I wanted to bring us back to our true roots with flavorful, organic spice blends,” says Merritt.

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Tradicional Spice Blend ($13.90 for 2.5 oz.) conveys the robust flavors of sazón and adobo, thanks to annatto, cumin, and lime, while By The Bayou Spice Blend ($13.90 for 2.5 oz) serves a creole combo of smoked paprika, garlic, and thyme. 

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With her brand Diaspora Co., founder Sana Javeri Kadri is decolonizing the spice trade one single-origin spice at a time, working directly with farmers in India to improve their quality of life with fair pay, equity, and access to health care.

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Each jar is guaranteed same-year harvest, ensuring that your Makhir Ginger ($12 for 50g) and Nagauri Cumin ($12 for 55g) are at peak freshness. –STEPHANIE GANZ

Top Photo by Andra Ion on Unsplash
Photos: Omsom: Deanie Chen, Diaspora Co.: Aubrie Pick

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today! 

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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