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Is House of spice a quality shop ?

toyopl Feb 1, 2013 08:31 PM

I'm thinking about getting some good quality spices.
So far my cabinet is filled with Mccormick and Irresistible brand spices in the little jars and I thought that since I like cooking eveyrhting from European to Indian and Asian I might get some quality spices.
I read that Pendry's and Spicehouse in the states has quality spices but what about the House of Spice in Toronto ?
Looking at the pics it doesn't look like much, but is the product good ?

  1. t
    trombasteve Feb 1, 2013 09:05 PM

    While I won't say that I've loved everything I've gotten there (most, but not everything), but they have a great selection, reasonable prices, and knowledgeable staff.

    1. t
      tochowchick Feb 2, 2013 01:21 PM

      Next time you're in Buffalo visit Penzey's...GREAT spices and interesting mixtures and lovely store....helpful staff too...

      1 Reply
      1. re: tochowchick
        rsvp7777 Jun 23, 2013 10:21 AM

        I love Penzey's and order them on-line:

        Everything I've ever had is great and their Vietnamese Cinnamon is especially wicked.

      2. t
        Tatai Feb 3, 2013 07:26 AM

        You might want to try The Spice Trader, on Queen West. I've bought a lot of spices there and have been very happy. http://www.thespicetrader.ca/

        1. d
          DDD Feb 3, 2013 07:35 AM

          I've been fairly happy with most of their dry spices as well. Good value overall.

          1. Googs Feb 3, 2013 10:50 AM

            I'd recommend finding a place close to home or otherwise conveniently located. Spice is, as you no doubt know, the sort of thing that should be purchased in a quantity that'll be consumed quickly for best freshness. For example, I like going to Lenny's on Parliament at Carlton because they have good stuff and I'm near it every couple-3 of weeks.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Googs
              PoppiYYZ May 28, 2013 07:15 AM

              What is Lenny's Googs? I'm not getting any search hits.

              Looking for a good source for whole black pepper, all types : Ecuadorian, Vietnamese, Lampung, Sarawak, and of course Malabar, and Tellicherry. Stupidly didn't load up - enough - last time at Kalustyans.

              Still trying to find Kampot Pepper from Cambodia too.

              1. re: PoppiYYZ
                Googs May 28, 2013 08:18 AM

                Probably because of my tragic misspelling. It's Lennie's Whole Foods. I don't think they have anything as exotic as the items on your list. If you live in the area, it's definitely worth dropping in to see what they do have.

                1. re: Googs
                  PoppiYYZ May 28, 2013 10:02 AM

                  Thanks Googs,

                  Definitely will stop in after my next Jhal Muri ingredient run to Marhaba Supermarket on Parliament. They have the best Indian Snack called Hot Country Style Mixture. Good spot for some spices too.

            2. s
              seeldee Jun 1, 2013 10:20 AM

              A couple of weeks ago I picked up the Epice de Cru Cuisine 101 spice sampler at Ruby Eats. I was really impressed - kinda blown away, actually. I tracked Epice de Cru down online and ordered a bunch of stuff from them last weekend. Free shipping over $60 and NO TAX as they ship from Quebec to Ontario. This results in huge savings vs. buying from a middleman. Really, really fast delivery through Canada Post.

              The company is based out of Montreal; here is their website in English: http://spicetrekkers.com

              5 Replies
              1. re: seeldee
                PoppiYYZ Jun 1, 2013 01:42 PM

                Awesome !! Thanks seeldee !!

                Been looking for a Canadian source comparable to Kalustyans, and this looks like it. Ordered a mess of pepper, some I have never tried before (sadly Kampot is sold out). However, prices are 2-3 times that of Kalustyans. Still an excellent find. Thanks.

                Anyone else have a great online spice source ?

                1. re: PoppiYYZ
                  seeldee Jun 4, 2013 08:52 AM

                  Glad you checked them out!

                2. re: seeldee
                  radiopolitic Jun 4, 2013 09:36 AM

                  Their prices seem way too high.

                  1. re: radiopolitic
                    PoppiYYZ Jun 4, 2013 02:15 PM

                    True, Kalustyans are typically 7oz pouch for $7-$9 US. Spice Trekkers are less than 2oz for the same dough, but where else can you get that selection of pepper ? Some I never even heard of. My use for this stuff is as a finishing dust, not for cooking.

                    My experience at House of Spice hasn't been that great and the Spice Shop website shows only a limited selection of organic (I haven't been in person but plan too).

                    1. re: radiopolitic
                      PoppiYYZ Jun 23, 2013 10:02 AM

                      One pepper mill filled with Tellicherry Extra Extra Bold (not all that bold, but excellent), the other with an 8 pepper blend from Spice Trekkers. Both fantastic. The 8 pepper blend has an earthy nutmegy undertone that is crazy good.

                      Can't wait to fill one with the Wild Voatsiperifery Pepper. Good pepper heat, woody flavor, and the aroma is hypnotic.

                      Relatively expense, but the 50g tin for $6 - $10 will fill a large pepper mill twice, so it's worth it IMHO and the selection is fantastic. Thanks again seeldee.

                  2. d
                    Dean Tudor Jun 4, 2013 10:20 AM

                    I go to House of Spice for their comprehensiveness, and always buy small lots.

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