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Bulk spices in NoVA - Not Penzey's please

Cocinero Cubano Sep 10, 2008 12:33 PM

I need to make a large quantity of bbq pork rub for this weekend. Can anyone suggest a good store - Giant, Safeway, Super H - that will have a good selection, either in bulk or big canisters of the basics: paprika, dry mustard, cayene, cumin, etc? I know all of this is available at Penzey's but I'm doing this on the cheapish.


Cocinero Cubano

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  1. w
    wayne keyser Sep 10, 2008 06:22 PM

    Any good Hispanic market should have many of these.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser
      Cocinero Cubano Sep 11, 2008 04:09 AM

      Yes, of course. Already had La Union, El Chaparral, on the list to check. Thanks for the reminder.

    2. p
      pastrydiva Sep 10, 2008 09:47 PM

      You can probaby find all the spices you're looking for in one of the big box stores (Sams Club, BJ's, Costco) or even Wal-Mart. They've got everything you mentioned in big canister sizes for pretty inexpensively.

      Short of that, see if you can find a Pennsylvania Dutch Market - they too sell spices inexpensively by weight, so you can buy just what you need.

      4 Replies
      1. re: pastrydiva
        Cocinero Cubano Sep 11, 2008 04:10 AM

        Hadn't thought about Wal-Mart, Target, etc. Good ideas those. I don't have a Costco, BJ's membership so I'll have to hook up and make friendly with someone who does. Thanks for the tips.

        1. re: Cocinero Cubano
          MartinDC Sep 11, 2008 06:52 AM

          I think the important thing is to make sure you are buying them from a place where they don't sit around on the shelves. If you making a rub you plan that you intend to use over the course of a year, bear in mind that the spices may already be a year old, depending on where you buy. Penzey's is expensive, but they are dependable for freshness.

          1. re: MartinDC
            Cocinero Cubano Sep 11, 2008 12:10 PM

            Had thought of that so my first places to hit will be Giant, Target, Wal-Mart, etc. I'll try and give whatever I look at the sniff test anyway.

            Cocinero Cubano

            1. re: Cocinero Cubano
              scot Sep 13, 2008 02:43 PM

              Sorry, the stuff you will get from any of the above will be sub-par at best. You are looking at ~6months age bare minimum on anything ground, and more on non-ground. The smell test is only going to be useful on the non-ground spices.

              Stick with ethnic and or penzys. I know you don't want to spend a ton of money, but you will use VASTLY less of the stuff from penzys or some internet spice places as compared to the crap (and I don't use that lightly) from normal markets, target or walmart.

      2. a
        AnneBird Sep 11, 2008 12:58 PM

        My neighborhood MOM's has a really great bulk spice selection. I'm a Target fan, but I've never seen bulk spices there, same with Giant...

        1. d
          dallyn Sep 11, 2008 03:08 PM

          Restaurant Depot in Alexandria and MD has good quality spices at great prices. Anyone with a business license can join, or any tax deductible organization (school, church, etc).

          1 Reply
          1. re: dallyn
            wayne keyser Sep 11, 2008 06:20 PM

            I'll second that - no one ever objects to my buying $40 of stuff when all around me there are people with dollies full of $1000s, and they're nice. As long as you understand they don't want to hold your hand (that's why they're a wholesaler)

            I buy my spices there in 1-pound size.

          2. d
            dcskinsfan Sep 12, 2008 07:04 AM

            The Organic Butcher in McLean will mix up a batch of spice rub for you. I've had them do that a few times. I also bought meat from there so if you've already bought your pork, I'm not sure what they will do. Might be worth a shot.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dcskinsfan
              Martha Sep 13, 2008 02:58 PM

              Was at Wegman's in Loudoun Co. They have bulk spices.

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