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Where do you buy your spices?

Where do you buy your spices? Are you partial to any brand in particular?

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  1. I buy most of my dried herbs and spices a local "World Market" in small cello bags. When I get them home I store them in air tight containers. That way I use them up before they lose their potency and I get a good deal (the prices on cello bag packages are sometimes 1/3 of what a comparable amount of a major brand of herb/spice would be in the market) so it's a win/win all the way around.
    If I can't find what I need at "World Market" I simply buy the cello packs from my regular market (they're sometimes hard to find because they don't stock them in the same place as the major brands).

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      +1 for World Market small packets...though I still do buy a few Badia packets, like their whole black peppercorns for 64 cents (1 ounce packet I think?)...I used to love Badia chili powder until they changed the recipe and now salt is the #2 ingredient, such bull-honkey!...switched to the World Market chili packet after that. If I can't find what I need at World Market, like whole green cardamom, I buy it at our Asian food store.

    2. I'm a big fan of Penzey's, as you can see ; )


      6 Replies
      1. re: Rubee

        Wow!! A beautiful selection. Those quantities would go to waste in my kitchen however. I just couldn't use that much in a year's time so I'd end up tossing it out and replacing it at huge expense after a year.

        1. re: todao

          I live near a patel brothers the spces move also fresh fresh ginger

          1. re: todao

            Thank you. Yes, I love to cook, especially all different cuisines and culture so they get used up pretty fast (well, except for the dill weed, can't remember why I bought that). We also eat out less often now that we've moved from dowtown Boston to Phoenix and have family stay over every weekend. I didn't even take a picture of the larger jars/bags of Penzey's spices I use most often stored in the pantry. ; )

          2. re: Rubee

            We've been using only Penzeys spices for 20+ years now. Years ago one of their stores was about 20 minutes away. We've moved & now order online a few times a year. We freeze what's not immediately needed.


            1. re: Rubee

              Definitely Penzeys. Some people have a spice rack, I have a spice cabinet, and at least 80% is Penzeys. Luckily (or maybe sadly) I live within easy driving distance of the store. I don't think I'd buy so much if I couldn't open and smell the sample jars next to each variety and snag the recipe cards they display around the store.

              1. re: gaffk

                My spice cabinet is slowly migrating to 80% Penzeys, with a few things from ethnic markets thrown in.

                Love the small containers, as this means the spices get refreshed frequently...Penzeys store 3 miles away!

            2. I am lucky enough to live within 10 miles of a Penzey's store, so now I buy everything there, unless it's an emergency (as in, I needed sage last week for my stuffing and was almost completely out so had to go to the local supermarket). I went to Penzey's twice this past weekend--yes twice, as I didn't realize I was out of something after I got home the first time. Rather than hit the supermarket (overpriced, quality not as great, can't buy bulk packages) I made a detour from another shopping trip in the area and went back.

              1. Usually in an Indian or Middle Eastern grocery that goes through them quickly.

                1 Reply
                1. re: junglekitte

                  I buy all my spices in bulk at my local co-op in very small quantities. The herbs we don't grow I also buy there, but try to grow most herbs we need.

                2. Usually at the supermarket. For hard to find items, from the relevent ethnic shop.

                  1. There's a "natural foods" grocery nearby that has a really good selection of bulk spices. I can buy small amounts that I use quickly and replace. Or not if it's some special dish. I recommend that route highly not only for the freshness but because it's crazy cheap. Ten cents, a quarter. Cheap.

                    1. I buy a lot of my spices at Penzey's, because it's where I go for ground ancho and Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, which form the base of a "magic powder" I use as a dry rub (w/cayenne, garlic powder, cumin).

                      But I'll buy spices at the supermarket, too, if that's where I happen to be. I usually get the smallest size available. I've heard good things about the spices available at Trader Joe's; I'll probably buy some there next.

                      1. World Spice Merchants
                        Outstanding prices, simple packaging, whole or ground to order, fantastic customer service, you pay after you purchase (one option you don't see online!), quick to ship and always fresh!

                        I have tried Penzey's at the recommendation of many and believe WSM to be far superior in every way.

                        1. For grocery store spices I've had pretty good luck with the Archer Farms Organic brand at Super Target. They come in one-ounce bottles so they're not a lifetime commitment.

                          1. While I buy my spices online from a number of sources I am partial to The Spice House. (www.thespicehouse.com) They tend to be a bit less expensive than Penzey's in most cases. I also like The Savory Spice Shop. (www.savoryspiceshop.com)

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: al b. darned

                              I happily live just a few blocks from Spice House and they are amazing. Brilliant selection, great people and really good prices.

                              1. re: al b. darned

                                For us, it's a mix of Penzey's and the Spice House. Each seems to have a few things that the other lacks. Price-wise they tend to end up pretty much even for us after shipping costs are figured in.

                              2. I'm a fan of Spices, Inc - www.spicesinc.com

                                Incredible variety and superb cusomter service.