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Mail Order Ingredients

I will soon be moving to a remote location so I am building a list for sourcing ingredients via mail order (including international).

Living on an island currently but the mainland isn't far away, although fare is typical supermarket; moving to a more remote island where fare will be even less varied.

Locally I can't even find green peppercorns, let alone anything more "exotic".

Anyone care to share quality online sources for food ingredients, especially spices?

Opinions welcome too, and thanks in advance!

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  1. Spices:
    The Savory Spice Shop
    Love them both.

    Specialty items:
    I just noticed that you're in the state of Washington so Kalustyans may not be viable but there are specialty markets in your area that would ship to your island home... surely.

    I have had very good luck buying unavailable ingredients from Amazon, of all places.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Gio

      I second Penzey's for spices. And Amazon as well. They carry a lot of things that can be difficult to find - Chinese Salted Preserved Black Beans for one. In addition, they have very good prices on items in bulk, which would definitely be a boon to someone living in a remote location.

    2. World Spice Merchants, Seattle Washington http://www.worldspice.com/
      outstanding prices and customer service

      1 Reply
      1. re: HillJ

        Yes! World Spice is great with unbeatable prices. The ONLY exception I've found is their truffle salt, which I find notably harsher than my usual Fusion brand, but it was also notably less expensive. Everything else has been outstanding. For anything I can't get from World Spice I turn to amazon.com first and look for things that include free shipping. With amazon.com you will often find an identicle item offered by several shippers at different prices and you have to pay attention to which ones offer free shipping because "cheapest" can turn out to be most expensive once you add shipping charges!

      2. Heck, as noted above Amazon has a fairly broad spectrum of food options. They're generally my go-to for unusual ingredients just because their pricing is generally better.

          1. re: greygarious

            Count me in as a fan of the apricot king! Dried apricots, jam and sales!
            A few CH posts discussing their purchases can be found here:

            1. re: greygarious

              Barry Farm offers the best cheddar powder, and it's the ONLY low fat cheese powder I've ever found. That means longer shelf life (not that that is ever a problem) and great cheese flavor without upping the fat content. I DO love me some luscious brocolli cheese and cauliflower cheese soups!

            2. http://www.theposter.com/vanilla2.html
              for vanilla beans, dried mushrooms and saffron.

              Vietnamese coffee (instant and by the lb.


              Full range Thai grocery (produce, spices, condiments, ware


              All things pizza-making, amazing fresh cheese mail-order dept.

                1. If it's remote and fresh veggies are scarce, may I humbly suggest a bit of sprouting? Edible outcome, plus it gives you something low-maintenance but cheering to look after, like a very lazy pet lol. Not just leafy sprouts, but sprouted beans/legumes, sprouted cereal grains, microgreens. :)

                  Sproutpeople.org is a terrific source for organic seeds, and sprouting devices.

                  Nuts.com and bulkfoods.com for a variety of snacks, dried veg/fruit, spices.

                  Hope you will share your experiences and challenges! :)

                  1. I'll third World Spice Market, mentioned above. Amazing customer service, great spices. I go into the store when I'm in Seattle, otherwise order by mail.

                    If you're still on Whidbey, I've easily found green peppercorns at Oak Harbor Safeway and at Freeland Payless. Lots of interesting stuff at the Bay Leaf in OH and Coupeville too.

                    1. For spices I use Herbies, they have all kinds of interesting stuff and they ship internationally:


                      1. I just wanted to say thanks to everyone for posting, great sources and I am sure I will try most if not all. Funny, I never even thought about Amazon - who knew!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: coakes

                          When you shop amazon.com, it's always helpful to include "free shipping" in your search. For instance, if you're looking for cheese, enter "cheese free shipping." The minimum is $25.00 for most free shipping, but shipping charges can run more than what you're buying if you're not careful. I'm crossing my fingers that coakes is moving someplace where free shipping is offered! I do a LOT of shopping with amazon.com. No driving, no parking, no hassle, no sales tax, and all I have to do is open the box!

                          1. re: Caroline1

                            To the Caribbean actually, and only for a few years; looking forward to many exotics, especially chili's.
                            And thank you ;-)

                        2. I recently bought spice jars from Penzey's, but spices from The Spice House in Chicago. I don't remember exactly why I went that way, but looked over all the possibilities before settling on TSH. I'm satisfied with my choice.

                          My peppercorns are from India Tree, which I bought at a local supermarket. They no longer carry them, so when I need more I expect I will get the same brand by mail order. IT is a wholesaler, but they list several sources on their website

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: GH1618

                            I love savory spice great price and you can buy very small quatities..