The Castro Mix


They say variety is the spice of life, and we agree! That’s why we decided to put together this exclusive Pride collection, commemorating our state’s rich history of leadership on LGBTQIA+ rights. California has the largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population in the country —2.7 million and counting! Not only that, but 10% of our State Government Legislature identifies as LGBTQIA+. Within California, various cities have become melting pots for those in the Queer community looking for a place to call home; giving rise to gay districts or “gayborhoods”. Here we honor those communities and the pioneers who paved the way for them to exist.

Celebrating Castro’s history of diversity, we’ve combined the spiciness of Aleppo pepper with the lush flavor of honey, culminating in a harmonious blend that also has a touch of tartness and a little bit of smoke. The taste opens with a sweet and salty rush, followed by spicy heat and smoky aromatics. It has a clean, tart, citrusy finish.

The Castro Mix goes with a wide range of dishes. It’s delicious on seafood, so toss it over Grilled Shrimp for a fast, delicious meal. Rub it on turkey legs and put them in the smoker, or stick to tradition and rub onto pork for slow cooker pulled pork. Try on crispy cauliflower hot wings, or sprinkle over homemade hummus for a little sweet heat and texture. Roasted chicken thighs with lemon, spiced lentils, compound Butter to put over steak, shrimp, chicken, or baked potatoes, are all excellent uses for this blend.

Hand Blended Ingredients: Honey, Aleppo pepper, smoked salt, sugar, garlic, morita chile powder, onion, red pepper flakes, paprika, & citric acid

About The Castro:

I left my heart in San Francisco - more specifically, The Castro. Literally the heart of California’s LGBTQIA+ community, the Castro is one of the World’s most well-known ”gayborhoods”

During WWII, The U.S. military discharged thousands of gay servicemen in San Francisco because of their sexuality. Many of them settled in the city and began purchasing land. During the late 1960s with the Summer of Love unfolding in the neighboring Haight-Ashbury district, the Castro began to blossom as the city’s gay mecca. The hippie and free love movements had fostered communal living and free society ideas including the housing of large groups of people in hippie communes. Androgyny became popular with men even in full beards as gay hippie men began to move into the area.

The 1970s gave way to the creation of an upscale, fashionable urban center in the Castro District. By 1973, Harvey Milk, who would become the most famous resident of the neighborhood, opened a camera store, and began political involvement as a gay activist, further contributing to the notion of the Castro as a gay destination. Around the same time, San Francisco became one of the first cities in the United States to pass a gay rights ordinance, and the first Pride Parade was held in The Castro.

June 5, 1981, marked the first reported cases of what would eventually become known as AIDS. The commitment of local hospitals, the city, and the community in addressing the AIDS epidemic revolutionized the standard of care, saving millions of lives there and around the world. What would become known as “The San Francisco Model”, a humanizing and multifaceted approach to the pandemic sought to reverse the stigmatization of people with AIDS and looked not only across medical disciplines but across the city itself to address the emotional, social, and financial needs of people with AIDS. The Castro was ground zero for this movement, and today continues to be at the center of HIV/AIDS research and prevention.

In 2019, San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance designating The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District.

Spices Inc