At a potluck dinner party at my home a few years ago, I made the mistake of handing Pete Marczyk a can of Scotch Buy black pepper that had expired in 1988 -- which meant the pepper was old as the friends' marriage we were celebrating, and a lot less spicy. But that black dust did manage to provide the inspiration for the Old Spice Contest at Marcyck Fine Foods, which asked customers to bring in their oldest spice.
The store just announced its latest winner, and although this time I managed to unearth a can of ground oregano boasting a 1990 expiration date form the same cupboard, it did not put me near the winner's circle. See also: - Old Spice Contest at Marcyzk Fine Foods rubs salt in old wound - Best Wine Shop for Bottles Under $15: Marczyk Fine Wines - Denver's Best Store on Colfax 2012: Marczyk Fine Foods II
Top honors went to Rebecca Olgeirson, for her Cream of Tartar from 1967. And that year, as the Marcyzk Facebook page notes:
The first heart transplant happened, the Vietnam war was raging and race riots swept the nation, and somewhere in America a women drove her VW or Pontiac to the corner grocer and picked up this cream of tartar for the recipe she was making. Lulu's To Sir with Love and Light my Fire by the Doors was on the radio, and she was probably enjoying a cigarette, too.
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Special mention went to Pamela Fisher, who brought in a C.S. Morey Mercantile Company's cinnamon can. The can was empty. But the building that once housed the store (it closed in 1956) is not: It's now the home of the Tattered Cover LoDo.