Spice rack Pt 2: How small is big enough?
Today, I spent a little time trying to estimate the minimum physical dimensions of the spice rack, based mostly on the number of spices necessary to provide compelling variety and looking also at the dimensions of inexpensively available magnetic spice containers. Given the DIY options for making magnetic spice containers, though, I’m not considering this a real limitation.
Fortunately, I came across this handy infographic:
It lays out the foundational flavor profiles of nine different cuisines. For expediency, I’m taking their prescriptions at face value.
Among the spices listed are spice blends, which I found to be mostly comprised of the other spices listed along its relevant flavor profile. Since it seemed a little cheap and purpose-defeating to say that Cajun cooking is comprised of “Cajun Seasoning”, I eliminated the spice blends and looked instead for any spices commonly included in those blends that weren’t listed anywhere else on the chart. That added items like savory, marjoram, mace and fenugreek.
It looks like a solid palette, supporting the nine cuisines in the infographic, can be built from a minimum of about 24 spices. That is totally dimensionally reasonable while covering a solid variety of basic culinary styles. A number of magnetic spice tin sets come in packages of 24, and several mountable wall bases, like this one, are designed to hold as many. That would mean this spice rack wouldn’t need to be much larger.