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Nov 3, 2008 04:00 PM

Spices - Are you particular where you get them

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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  1. 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

      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. I am very particular. I get almost all of my spices from my co-op, which stocks Frontier spices (, 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. 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. 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

            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

              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. 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.