Thanks for asking. It’s a great story...and an award winning one!
Under the the full assault of a hot Chicago summer in 2012, Jane was sitting on her deck leafing through books on spices from her local library when she ran across a little note: some spices and herbs contain oils which, when ground down and exposed to the air, instantly begin to degrade. They are therefore better left whole and cooked as such so that their oils remain stable and can infuse the dish slowly and without losing their real flavor. Scribbling away she realized a new potential for her slow cooker. The “little” note made sense and the zen of slow cooking signature spice blends took root.
With excitement, she went to her spice cabinet and selected a handful of whole spices, put them into a tea bag, tied a knot to secure the spices inside, tucked the bag into a mixture of sautéed chicken, apricots and chicken broth and let them cook in her slow cooker over the next 7 hours - the result was our delicious Moroccan Tagine.
The next few days she spent time refining this idea. It took a while to find the perfect bag for the spices and the slow cooker.
Before her next meeting with Meg she put her homemade Moroccan Tagine spice blend into a tea bag and shared her discovery - hence the whole spice infusion was born.
The Sichuan Spice blend won a 2017 SOFI award, the Oscars of the food world, for product innovation.