The hardest part about being an inventor must be turning your absolutely brilliant idea into an actual product that works as well as the one that you dreamed up. This Magnetic Spice Rack is a great idea, but I'm not sure it's totally perfected yet and the design could do with a few tweaks.
The logic behind its creation is sound : "The great thing about storing your spices this way is that they're out of the light, close to hand and you can always see exactly what you have at a glance - no more discovering 3 old packs of the same spice at the back of the cupboard again!" Or - if you're a bit on the short side like me, no more knowing the spice is there at the back of the cupboard but not being able to reach it !
So what do you get for your money ? Well, that's the area that could do with a few improvements. You get a magnetic strip, 60cm long and 5cm wide, with an adhesive backing - that seems a bit long to me. It's certainly too long to fit in my kitchen cupboards and, although it would be easy enough to cut the magnet in half, you wouldn't get the nice rounded corners then. You could stick it on the wall or the back of the kitchen door but then the spices wouldn't be out of the light, which is apparently the best way to store them.
The adhesive backing is a great idea for anyone who is hopeless at DIY - you don't need to drill any holes or use nails or screws, you just peel off the backing and stick it. Job done ! And although I was slightly concerned about it unsticking, it hasn't fallen off yet.
The magnets are quite bulky white plastic shapes that look a bit like chess pieces. As a family of 5 with two dogs, our cupboards are packed to bursting with all sorts of tins, boxes and jars (which is exactly why a system that stops spices getting pushed to the back of a cupboard is a great idea !). Once the magnets are attached, they stick out too far so the doors won't close properly. On the website, they say : "Don't panic if the gap between the edge of the shelves and the back of your cupboard door is only a few milimetres - the strips will fit any gap and you can move the magnets around so the door will always close properly". This is true but it takes a lot of fiddle-farting around to find the gaps and as soon as you move things around in the cupboard, you have to start all over again until you manage to shut the cupboard doors (with a huge sigh of relief) ! I would much rather have some pretty spice-related, shaped, flat magnets instead.
I do love the individual single-use teaspoon sized packs of spices though, and they work perfectly with the magnetic spice rack. Owner James Ransome says, "the packs are exactly what you need when you’re following a recipe but don’t want a whole jar that just sits on your shelf for years. You should try and avoid cooking using old, stale spices because the flavours disappear faster than you may think. Now you can buy the freshest possible spices in exactly the amount you really need, sent by post through your letterbox." Great news if you're planning on cooking up some yummy Christmas goodies like Christmas cakes or Christmas puddings that use spices you probably won't ever need or use for the rest of the year. They have almost 200 different spices available too so you're sure to find exactly what you want.
star rating : 3/5 for the spice rack, 5/5 for the teaspoon-sized spice packs
magnetic spice rack - One strip costs £10.95 / 3 cost £24.95 including magnets and free UK delivery by 1st class post.
spices - teaspoon-sized packs of single ingredients are 59p each, blends 69p – all including free UK delivery by 1st class post.
for more information and to buy online, go to : http://www.thespicery.com/