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Spices - Are you particular where you get them

chefwong Nov 3, 2008 04:00 PM

Was just reading CI and noticed they did review of different brands of spices - boutique, specialty, supermarket, etc.

How particular are you about getting a particular spice from a specific source ?
On my way home, there is a penzys, so I just tend to walk in, and pick up most of my spices from them, as I get them in smaller sized qtys and have a more fresher stock.

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    rockfish42 RE: chefwong Nov 3, 2008 05:21 PM

    I'm all for Penzey's or Spice House or San Francisco Herb company if I can preplan buying what I need. I often end up at a couple local places that have spices in bulk, so I can buy just enough for certain recipes.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rockfish42
      Sandwich_Sister RE: rockfish42 Nov 4, 2008 05:52 AM

      I agree with Penzey's. It's just the two of us so we order with other family members and split up everything in equal amounts.

    2. cayjohan RE: chefwong Nov 3, 2008 06:24 PM

      I am very particular. I get almost all of my spices from my co-op, which stocks Frontier spices (http://www.frontiercoop.com/), and has a terrific traffic, so the turnover (therefore freshness) is great . On rare occasion I will visit Penzey's as sort of a field trip, but my outlay is much higher than it would be in my co-op.


      1. al b. darned RE: chefwong Nov 3, 2008 08:20 PM

        There are no fresh spice stores in my area so I do it all by internet/mail. My preferences in order: The Spice House, Penzy's, Savory Spice Shop for HBI garlic, and for tomato powder, The Spice Barn.

        1. c
          carey24 RE: chefwong Nov 4, 2008 03:50 AM

          I literally buy the .50 cent generic ones at my grocery store. I've been to Grenada and brought back "off the tree" nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and saffron. I cannot tell a difference between those and the generic ones.

          2 Replies
          1. re: carey24
            chefwong RE: carey24 Nov 4, 2008 06:18 AM

            Al B was more inline with my OP- as in do you buy particular spices from certain stores, and other spices from another store versus just buying it all from the same store.

            The CI article perked my interest as for certain spices they preferred it from one brand vs. other spices , in another brand. In this month, if recall it was Paprika and Telicherry Pepper.

            I just buy from a single spice store since my palette would not make that much of a difference....while I go to arms length to buy fresh produce, the spices can take a back seat

            Don't even ask about coffee....a viscious expensive hobby,

            1. re: chefwong
              cayjohan RE: chefwong Nov 6, 2008 10:44 AM

              Okay - I do deviate from my co-op's offering when I buy curry powder. Yep, I can make it from scratch, Yep, I can get a *decent* blend at my co-op. But for most use, I always stock a blend of curry powder with the brand name Ziyad, from India.

              We get it at another local market. It's on my list for stocking up.


          2. k
            Kelli2006 RE: chefwong Nov 6, 2008 03:06 PM

            There are a few spices that I am not particular about but I always purchase my sweet spices and peppercorns from Penzeys. i will buy the jars of chili powder, granulated garlic and dried onion that I process into onion powder at the mega mart, along with paprika and thyme when my plant is unusable.

            I found a Greek market in Cleveland that has great prices on fennel, cumin, coriander and whole nutmegs, and I stock up on whole seeds when I am there

            I will also buy exotic spice or blends on short notice at the co-op, but I only buy as ounce or so when I do.

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              Chefsquire RE: chefwong Nov 15, 2008 11:18 AM

              I am particular with a few things like paprika and cinnamon - but several things I get in the latin section )Badia brand). Nothing is more than $3 and it is just as good as anything else in the supermarket.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chefsquire
                thew RE: Chefsquire Nov 15, 2008 01:33 PM

                i try to go to kalustyan,s a few times a year on a spice run

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