Propelled by a desire to create a perfect spice rub, Brad Perriello kept a binder for the last 10 years, logging all the trial-and-error recipes he concocted. According to his wife, Jennifer Wood, tracking all those combinations for so long is kind of a dorky thing to do. “I think of him as a nerd, but in the best possible way,” says Wood. The Arlington resident eventually came up with an awesome blend, and the reviews from friends and family were stellar. So Wood took it upon herself to package the dry rub in a tin, and last fall launched Herd Nerd SPICE, a smoky, spicy blend of smoked paprika, brown sugar, ancho and chipotle chile powders, cumin, and more ($12 for 3 ounces). Dust the piquant mixture on a porterhouse or pork chop charring on the grill, or on baked chicken or fish. Its earthy flavors give soup, chili, scrambled eggs, or tofu a complex kick. The tin, with its bright red label of an adorable bespectacled cow, won’t languish in the back of a cupboard. Available at Brookline Grown, 14 Pleasant St., Brookline, 617-487-8687; Arlington Centered, 487 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-643-6700; The Bar-B-Que Barn, 9 Dudley Street Place, Arlington, 781-646-8473; Davis Squared, 409 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-666-6700; Buckalew’s General Store, 504 Main St., Melrose, 781-665-9622; or go to www.herdnerdspice.com.
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.