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Mar 28, 2008 06:58 AM

Food you buy online [Moved from Home Cooking board]

I am curious about what kinds of foods people buy online - I recently saw an posting about buying tamales in Texas and having them shipped anywhere in the country. What is worth the effort, S&H, and the wait? I am not talking about websites where you order dinner from a local place and it is delivered - I mean things you can't live without and can't find locally. I am also curious about buying spices online. Any good online spice retailers? Thanks.

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  1. I live in New York City, where we order groceries on line. That's probaby not what you meant. I also order grass-fed beef and lamb on line. I can get it locally, but since, again, I live in Manhattan and don't have a car, it's easier to have it sent to me. I sometimes order flour and other baking supplies from King Arthur Flour. And I've ordered fancy ingredients from

    2 Replies
    1. re: NYCkaren

      we order groceries online here too, in wisconsin, from love them. you generally pay a little more for products, and while it may not be worth it for some (mayo, oatmeal) it's definitely worth it for others (meats, produce). we find the quality is SO much higher than what we can get in a grocery store, and seeing as how we only have access to fresh markets for 1/4 of the year here, that's pretty important to us.

      1. re: NYCkaren

        The King Arthur Flour site is one that makes me wish I baked more. A HUGE selection of flours from wheat to nuts. The wheat flours have their specific gluten/protein percentages listed. They are willing to send back a whole tanker of wheat if it does not meet their standards - they test everything coming through their doors. The company is a real asset to Vermont (where I live), both culinarily and socially giving back. When I buy flour in the store, it is their's, no question. Best flour in the US, and I'd say that if I lived in any other state.

      2. In Canada, St-Viateur Bagels from Montreal - minimum order of six dozen. Shipping is reasonable and fast. Great if you're having guests for brunch and don't want to serve them "buns with holes".

        1. Seafood from Great Alaska Seafood, Fisherman's Express, Phil's and Linton's; pastrami, corned beef and breads from Zingerman's; steaks from Allen Brothers, Tallgreass Ranch amd Alderspring Ranch; ham from Niman Ranch; prepared food from Magic Kitchen and Impromptu Gourmet.

          1. I order spices from Penzey's, steaks from a couple of places and low-fat ramen noodles from an Asian grocery via Amazon. For some reason even Whole Foods doesn't carry the low-fat ramen anymore.

            1. I've been buying my spices online for years, from World Spice Merchants. (, I'd never buy them in a store again. So much fresher, and less expensive to boot.

              9 Replies
              1. re: dagwood

                Thanks - that website is so reasonable and the spices look so interesting. I just placed an order.

                1. re: dagwood

                  wow, they sure are cheap, just looking at the Hungrarian Paprika and I just paid 5.00 for an ounce and half and it was 1.00 an ounce on worldspice

                  1. re: thecountryrose

                    The paprika is sooooooooooo good too! I make paprikash just to utilize the world spice paprika because it's so superior to grocery store stuff. The smoked paprika is killer too. (btw, Joy of Cooking has a great recipe for paprikash; I've modified it a bit but the basics are all there and it's a great way to really taste the difference in quality, IMO)

                    Lowren, I'm always so excited the first time people try them! I hope you like it....(I always find the shipping fairly quick and reasonable as well)

                    1. re: dagwood

                      Smoked paprika is *awesome*! I use it in the rub I make for pork roast. So good.

                      1. re: dagwood

                        I just placed an order from them too! I usually buy my spices from The Spice House but found world spice to be even more reasonable. Thanks for the info.

                        1. re: dagwood

                          I sometimes make my mushroom stroganoff with smoked paprika, used carefully, and it really makes for a fun change. I heard about smoked paprika from Penzey's and am glad I did! I need to think of other ways to use it. Maybe to funk up some firm tofu? Hmmm...

                          1. re: BratleFoodie

                            Potatoes. They go really well with potatoes. They also go splendidly w/ roasted cashews. Actually, I think I find excused to put them in pretty much anything. . .. I roast pumpkin seeds w/ these, too, and add it to stews.

                            1. re: BratleFoodie

                              my husband does a smoked paprika polenta that is quite good. he's done it both just dusted on top as well as stirred in.

                              i'm a fan of it in burgers as well.

                        2. re: dagwood

                          World Spice is amazing! If you're ever in Seattle, pay them a visit--they're right behind Pike Place Market. I would pay admission to the store just to go in and smell things! They're nice folks, very helpful, too. I would do mailorder from them if they weren't local, but I sure do love having them right here in town!