- Jessica Mar 6, 2002 02:47 PM
Does anyone know of a bulk spice retailer? I have not been able to find one anywhere near Baltimore, although I have to admit, I would probably drive to VA to get my hands on some sumac. Thanks.
You can buy massive quantities of traditional spices [parsley, oregano, pepper flakes, pepper, salt, etc] at any wholesale club. For more obscure items, such as sumac berries, I would recommend an online store. It will be far cheaper than anything you can obtain in NoVA or Maryland.
You can get it at Shemali's which used to be on Wisconsin next to the Tenley Giant and Murphy's: it has moved to New Mexico Av., in the indoor mall where the Ace wine shop and Tree Top Toys are (next door to Sutton Place Gourmet). You can also get sumac at Rodman's. I know they have it in the DC Friendship Heights store. You might call the White Flint/Rockville store to see if they have it there. Otherwise, try Penzeys Spices catalog (800)741-7787, or online (link below).
There is a place in Baltimore, but it's not as good as the Golden Temple used to be, before it closed--much to my sadness--about a year ago.
I'm out of town now, and I don't remember the name of this place, but I think it's on Allegehny, or on one of those cross streets in Towson, a block west of York Road. It's actually part health food store, but they have pretty much any spice you might like. The one thing I don't like about this store, and which makes it different from most bulk spice retailers, is that you can't help yourself. A clerk has to do it for you. Still, if you're desperate, as I was about two months ago, it'll work. Another idea, depending on where you are, is the Fresh Fields in Annapolis, which is far superior, and much, much larger, than the one in Mt. Washington.
Probably not very convenient for you, but perhaps for other 'hounds, is the Indian Appliance and Spice store on Wilson Blvd. in Arlington. A nice selection of spices, grains, jarred and prepared food. All right there next to the blenders, stoves and other appliances.
The cheese shop in the Broadway Market in Fells Point has some bulk teas, herbs, and spices. Not sure about sumac. You might also try an Indian or Middle Eastern or maybe even African (sometimes they stock some extra stuff) store. There's a decent African grocer in Waverly, on 32nd street. And there's a tiny middle eastern one on eastern road out past bayview, but I don't know the name--Koko's, maybe?
GLUT Food Coop in Mount Rainier.
It's on 34th Street 2 blocks off Route 1 (Rhode Island Avenue), has a BIG carrot sign.
Self serve, good prices. No membership needed.
GREAT CHEESES, GREAT PRICES
Keeping the funk in funky
I recommend the food coop at the University of Maryland for bulk spices--some traditional and non-traditional ones plus they are extremely inexpensive. No membership necessary and you can call to see if they have sumac. The thing about Penzeys is the shipping costs quickly add up.
Save yourself a trip and check out Penzeys Spice on the web at www.penzeys.com. They have the best selection and incredible prices. I've been ordering a variety of spices from them for years. And their catalog is great with complete descriptions of the spice, harvest methods, recipies and pictures.