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Pop quiz: you're making steak for dinner. What do you season it with? We can't blame you if your answer is a simple 'salt and pepper', but we have to tell you: the spice world is much, much more exciting than those trusty standbys. Our 2016 resolution to cook more nonwithstanding, the world of spices is another area of exploration that our inner culinary goddesses are curious about. With spice blends like chermoula, vadouvan, and harissa popping up on menus nationwide, it's clear that we're in the midst of a flavor revolution here in the States. With our curiosity piqued, we set out to find some sources for seasonings that would inspire our cooking and enlighten our palates. 

Raw Spice Bar is an exciting subscription service that ships an array of small-batch spices inspired by a specific country and accompanied by regional recipes to your door. Think ground sumac berries and hazelnut dukkah paired with unique Egyptian spiced bronzini, and custom-blended jerk spices for Jamaican jerk fish tacos. Wildly diverse and encouraging a worldly palate, this source is perfect for picking a culinary adventure and diving in head-first. Beautiful Briny Sea is an Atlanta-based dry goods company that custom-blends unique salt combinations like Unicorn Salt, which mashes up pure ocean salt with smoked paprika, rosemary and garlic, and Friends Forever, a salty/sweet dream of honey and salt (divine on popcorn and sweet potatoes). Even if your cooking isn't particularly adventurous, adding a new twist in the form of special seasoning can elevate even the simplest roasted potato or grilled chicken breast to a new level of delicious. 

If heat's your thing, L.A.-based Spice Station is a super-source for chiles of all stripes. From spicy-sweet Aleppo peppers, which are popular on everything from pizza to pasta, to Bhut Jolokia, or ghost peppers, you can find everything you need to turn up the heat at home at their webshop. If baking sweet treats is more your thing, The Spice House is a one-stop shop for cardamom pods, ground cacao nibs, and delicate flavorings like orange flower and rose water. Whether you're baking a cake or sauteeing up a stir fry, spicing things up is a fun way to take your cooking to the next level.