Great spice vendor in the city?
Does anyone know of a really good spice vendor in the city? Ideally I'd like a place that does a high volume of spice trade, yet sells to the consumer, thus allowing for the freshest spices possible. Also, it'd be great if they sold them by the pound instead of pre-packaged.
Some of the spice markets in Curry Hill are promising, but most sell pre-packaged and I have no way of knowing how long they've been on the shelf.
There's on in the Grand Central market:
They carry over 250 spices
Aphrodesia on Bleeker Street - right down from Murray's cheese - is my go to place for herbs and spices. They have been there for many years- turnover of products is high, so what they sell is always fresh. Enormous variety, moderate prices, and extremely knowledgeable - what more could you ask for!
I'm very surprised the first response wasn't Kalustyan's. They're on Lex and 28th. And they have everything, literally. The turnover is great, they even roast many of their own spices. I know for a fact they dry their own ingredients for their various powders (tomato, etc). Cannot recommend enough. http://www.kalustyans.com
If you're willing to travel to an outer Borough, Sahadi's on Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn Heights (one stop in, 6 blocks from the 4/5/6) has a good selection of bulk spices. They sell a lot of imported products like spices all over the US, so if you're looking for large quantities, they will definitely be able to help you.
I don't know if they're any better than Kalustyan's, but I can't afford the prices at Kalustyan's so maybe someone who has bought at both places can compare. For me, it's worth the longer subway ride.
Second APHRODISIA on Bleecker. I get curry powder, sea salt, special telecherry black peppercorns (more oomph than Malabar) and cinnamon (several types to be had). I've also used the marjoram, sage etc, all of which are fresh, though dried. I tend to buy fresh green rosemary, though, as it has more personality.