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Aug 25, 2012 07:49 PM

Finding Schezuan peppercorn / Thai chili flakes in Atlanta metro?

I've been looking for a place to buy Schezuan peppercorns and Thai chili flakes (the kind available at every Thai restaurant) in the metro Atlanta area. The pepper flakes I'm looking for are spicier than what's sold as pizza topping, have a more complex flavor, a darker color, and (to me) a more pleasant burn.

So far, I've tried looking at Assi, H-Mart, Buford Highway Farmer's Market, and Cobb International Farmer's market, and had no luck at any of these locations and the staff had no idea what I was talking about.

I feel like I'm overlooking somewhere simple that would sell these ingredients. Does anyone know where I can get these two things? The closer to Marietta or Kennesaw, the better, but I know that's probably a pipe dream...

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  1. Hey neel2004, I asked the board about the peppercorns back in May. Never did find
    them based on the suggestions. However on day at BHFM I asked an Asian woman
    shopping there if she could help and she didn't know what I was talking about either
    until I mentioned they were also known as 'ma la'. She then directed me to one of
    the Chinese aisles that had a bunch of dried spices. There was a bag on one of
    the bottom shelves that she said was them Unfortunately it was a huge bag, one
    that I could possibly never go through. Don't know the aisle but it was on the left side
    about six or so down from the front. Hope that helps. She kind of looked at me funny
    and asked what in the world I would want those for. I guess a long haired 50
    something white male was surprising to her that I would eat those things.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jethro stella

      Thanks for the reply -- I'll have to remember to print your post and take it with me the next time I head that way. I've been through the aisle you mention several times, and the closest I could find was 5 spice powder, which contains a little bit of the peppercorns.

      1. re: neel2004

        Neel2004, just left BHFM and they definitely have them on aisle 28, bottom shelf in a
        usable quantity. They are labeled prickly ash.

    2. I know you can find the peppercorns at DeKalb Farmer's Mkt (that's where I got mine). As jethro_stella notes, you can get them at Buford Hwy Farmer's Mkt too. I bet they're still inexpensive even if it's more than you need. There are probably multiple spots there that you can get them, too, because of how it's broken up by country. Guess the main point is to know what you're looking for regardless of what the label says. As for the chili flakes, I'm not sure, but I'd think you can get close if not exactly what you want.