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Frustrated Spice World

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Shopping

There are two main ways to shop. The first way is to shop by choosing individual Cards. Each card includes 8 spice pods with 1/2 tsp of spice in each pod. You can choose from our Recipe Cards (which each include the exact amount of the different spices needed to make a specific recipe once (or sometimes twice), and our Spice Cards (which each include 8 pods of one specific spice) to create your own custom pantry.

The second way you can shop is by Card Deck. A Card Deck is a curated collection of 4, 8 or 16 Cards created by us with our chef partners around different themes and activities. Currently, we have several types of Card Decks. Recipe Card Decks include 4 or 8 Recipe Cards that share a common theme, e.g., Caribbean-Creole Bistro or Kebabs Four Ways. Pantry Spice Card Decks include 8 or 16 cards to keep on hand and use fresh as needed, e.g., American Basics 101 or The Herb Garden. And, finally, Sampler Spice Card Decks include 4 or 8 cards and help you explore different types of popular spices to expand the mind and palate, e.g., The Chile Sampler, The Pepper Sampler, or The Cinnamon Sampler.

If that's all still clear as asafoetida, feel free to email or give us a call!

Our volume pricing enables you to save more when you buy more. And since our airtight pods seal in and preserve spice freshness, there’s no downside to stocking up.

Currently, every order requires a minimum purchase of 4 cards. This is because shipping 1-3 cards would be cost prohibitive for a small business like ours. However, we always offer free shipping on orders of 4 or more cards :)

Right here! All Occo products are currently only available on our website. However, if you know and love a local store that you think should carry Occo, please drop us a line.

Given today’s increased focus on everyone’s safety and preventing the spread of disease, all sales of food products are final. We pride ourselves on our quality product, so if you’re unhappy for any reason, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

For more on order processing & shipping, see Shipping & Returns.

If you have any problems with your order, please let us know ASAP—we’re here to help!

Not when you consider premium spices to be perishable items (which they absolutely are!). Similar to why you don’t buy fruits and veggies by the caseload, most jars of spice decay and lose flavor in just 3-6 months—long before you’re able to finish the whole jar. So, when you toss an old jar of spice, you’re also tossing most of what you spent on it.

When you buy an Occo card, you get—and only pay for—the exact amount of top-quality spice you need, sealed with airtight freshness to be used at your leisure.

Spices

Short answer: If you’re curious about where a specific spice is from, check out our Spice Index, where you can learn about each spice, including its country of origin.

Long answer: Spices come from all over the world! Many spices that were native to very small geographic regions have been successfully exported for cultivation in similar climates. This has increased access to flavors that were once reserved for only the super elite, and has given rise to many different varietals of the same spice. Like wine, a spice’s flavor is impacted by terroir—a term that encompasses a region’s climate, soil, terrain, and traditional farming and processing techniques. For example, a pepper grown in California will inevitably taste different from a pepper grown in Indonesia. If you’re curious about the flavor nuances of different varietals, check out our sampler decks.

We try, at every opportunity, to source organic and fair trade spices from a single origin. Simply put: we always prefer to pay more for better, more ethical spice.

We work with a cohort of suppliers who have set up ethical, high-quality supply chains. These are people who have spent years building relationships at origin and have a deep understanding of what makes a spice high-quality and a sale fair. Part of that equation often includes the specifications of legal claims around “organic” and “fair trade” certified products. But these labels cost money, and farmers at origin may not have cash on hand to pay for the required inspections and certifications. If a spice meets every other quality and supply chain standard but cannot afford to pay for the official marketing of “organic” and/or “fair trade,” we still want to work with them.

Yes, unless otherwise indicated. We always aim to source spices and herbs that are certified vegan, gluten-free, and kosher whenever possible. However, our packaging facility is not yet officially certified as vegan, gluten-free or kosher.

"Pure Spice" can be contrasted with "Spice Blend" -- "Pure Spice" indicates that there is just one ingredient making up the spice, whereas "Spice Blend" indicates 2+ ingredients.

"Powder", "Granule", "Flake", "Cut and sifted" etc. refer to the form and size of the spice on offer. For example, powder is the finest grind, then granule, then flake, then cut-and-sifted (which typically refers to herbs).

At a minimum, we try to package spices that were harvested in the last 12 months—ideally within the last 6 months. This is because the essential oils that give a spice its flavor and aroma naturally oxidize and evaporate as time goes on. By sourcing recently harvested spices and immediately packaging them in oxygen-free, airtight pods, we’re able to extend their shelf life so you can enjoy the freshest, most flavorful spices at your leisure.

Chile powder = a single chile pepper, dried and ground into powder. Chili powder = a blend of multiple spices, used to make the dish, chili. Still confused? Learn more here.

In search of a spice, herb or seasoning we don’t offer yet? Have an idea for a card or a deck? Let us know! Send us an email telling us what you need or would love to see, and we’ll take it into consideration for future product development. After all, not being able to find what we were looking for is exactly what drove us to make Occo.

Sustainability

Occo pods are made of aluminum—the most recycled and most recyclable material in the world! That means it gets recycled the most and is the easiest material to recycle.

This isn’t a happy accident: the economics around making aluminum (an energy-intensive process of refining bauxite ore) are simply so expensive that it’s cheaper to recycle it than make it from virgin ore. That’s why, for decades, governments and companies have focused on recycling aluminum rather than throwing it away. Because aluminum has economic value after it’s been used, robust recycling systems have been built to recover it.


The proof is in the aluminum pudding: aluminum cans average 68% recycled content and can be fully recycled into new cans in as little as 90 days, while just 3% of plastic bottles contain recycled content. (source) Furthermore, you can recycle aluminum an infinite number of times, unlike plastic, which can only be recycled a handful of times before the material fully degrades. (source)

Occo pods can be recycled with your curbside recycling. However, because most aluminum recycling plants are designed for cans, we want to make sure Occo pods don’t (literally) fall through the cracks. We recommend crushing your empty pods and storing them inside an aluminum can, which can be tossed into your curbside aluminum recycling when it’s full.

That said, every city in the U.S. approaches recycling differently (so. annoying.), so we recommend checking with your municipality on what exactly they recycle to make sure your cans and pods are going to the right place. If you have trouble finding somewhere to recycle your pods, give us a shout at hello@eatocco.com.

Occo cards are made from 100% recyclable paperboard.

You can recycle Occo cards anywhere you recycle paper and cardboard.

We use paperboard and cardboard-based shipping materials that are fully recyclable.

Sustainability isn’t pass/fail—it’s a nuanced approach to making better products, through systems that will last.

We believe waste is the greatest contributor to climate change. That’s why we’ve focused our sustainability efforts on reducing waste at every step. While it’s great to use reusable containers whenever possible, if you aren’t able to use up what’s inside before it goes bad (like a big jar of spice), you end up wasting something that requires energy to grow, harvest, process, and ship across the world.

Our goal with Occo is to make a product that helps many people be more sustainable, versus something that helps only a few folks be the most sustainable.