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Shopping online

Thanks the internet/mobile living and the movement towards higher quality and diverse food ingredients, can you trust the quality of ingredients in areas such as wild, fresh seafood, meat, spices and ingredients, teas, ect. from online sites.

I lament the lack of selection at the local stores for seafood (not to mention a focus on the lower-end, farm-raised variety). Can one order fish and shellfish (including lobster( from a highly respected company like Browne Trading Company.

What about shopping for high-quality, harder-to-find meats and poultry from companies like D'Artagan? You can buy caviar online from Browne Trading Company, Petrossian, and Caviar Russe. Cheese, oils, and from boutique stores/retailers like The Cheese Store of Beverly Hiils and Formaggio Kitchen (Boston area). A wide range of exotic spices from The Spice House, grass-fed beef from companies like Niman Ranch and Lasater Grasslands Beef. You get the idea.

My question is, can you basically buy anything online that the top chefs or and those who might have a high-end food emporium in their city have access, and will it be the same quality from the same suppliers? For example, Niman Ranch, Browne Trading Company, and D'Artagan are suppliers to the best chefs and restaurants in the country.

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  1. I use a local company called Farm to Kitchen Long Island. They deliver once a week and service the NYC and Long Island area.
    They have the freshest North Fork produce, local fish and meats. Easy to use ordering system.

    1. I expect you can order these products and get pretty much the same quality the top chefs do. The down side is the cost of shipping and handling.

      1. Costco.com sells D'Argantan. Currently only two products, but many more around November, December and into January. Prices include shipping.

        http://www.costco.com/meat-seafood.ht...

        2 Replies
        1. re: Cathy

          Thanks! I actually wasn't looking for actual places to buy these products, just examples that I can think of in terms of buying high-end, quality products.

          Seafood has these examples:
          http://gourmetfood.about.com/od/where...

          My point was-and I know the shipping and handling costs need to be taken in consideration (but not using that example)-is going into Whole Foods going to net you "better" quality because it's in the store? Or does it not matter where you buy it, because it still has to be shipped to your location (to you directly or to the store)? If you live in Seattle or New England, will a seafood be "fresher" than through the mail?

          If you're a respected company, the quality and handling procedures would be the same, regardless of where you live, correct?

          Would fresh, ripe vegetables and fruits have a harder time via online and shipping process?

          1. re: Eastwind

            The supply chain are different between companies, and some will fill an order regardless its truly quality or not just as long as it has bag appeal. You could theoretically net a better product at Whole's Food or on the internet, but you more likely find a better product @ a store that specifically focuses on quality produce and meat.

        2. I bought many cookware online, but I don't buy much fresh meat and vegetables online. Maybe because I like to see my grocery before I buy them, or maybe I have very good good selection close to where I live that I see no reason to buy online.

          In term of spices, I prefer to buy spices from my local Indian stores or Asian markets.

          1. You sure can! There are quality products on the internet, but it's buyer beware. Your defination of what's quality is different from someone else.

            1. You sure can. In many cases it will get to you fresher without intermediaries.

              1. Add melissas.com for every and any produce you can imagine of the highest quality- they are also a supplier to many high end restaurants

                1. Any great suppliers/outlets that sell meat (steaks, specifically online) that supply the top restaurants/steakhouses? USDA, dry-aged prime steak, top-shelf grass-fed steaks, and the exotics such as Wagyu and Kobe.