Spices?

Does anyone have a favorite spice store in the city? I know there's one in RTM, and one in the Italian Market, and there's a Penzey's in Chestnut Hill. Just wondering which one people liked.

I've been watching alot of Cooking Channel shows while...well...cooking on the weekend. (I cook a bunch of stuff to last us during the week.) On a recent episode of Good Eats, Alton said that buying spices whole instead of already ground actually helps them last longer. He uses an old coffee grinder to grind small amounts for each meal. We just happen to have an old coffee grinder that could be used for just such a duty.

So...opinions on spice stores?

fuzzybottoms's picture

No opinions on stores (sorry), but we recently ordered saffron from Amazon and it was way cheaper than in the stores. Seems weird to order spices online, but we saved a ton.

Neilpuck's picture

There's also one at 2nd and Spring Garden on the Northeast corner. I've been in there once but a very long time ago. The spice store in RTM is closing, probably closed by now.

codergrrl's picture

Yes, I order off the net as well, but not Amazon. Another Asian place I think. Used to get stuff like a case of panko before they carried it at the TW. I do have a giant container of whole nutmegs that I bought at Asian supermarket on Germantown Avenue before they went out of business for like two bucks. I will never need to buy it again.

"Je Suis Prest"

jeffro's picture

I always go with the shop in the Italian Market - the one with all the paintings hanging around.

meredith's picture

Neilpuck wrote:
There's also one at 2nd and Spring Garden on the Northeast corner. I've been in there once but a very long time ago. The spice store in RTM is closing, probably closed by now.

i just went in there a few weeks ago. i'm really sad to learn that it's closing. i love that place.

“Try to learn to let what is unfair teach you.” – David Foster Wallace

jbette01's picture

Here is the place at 2nd and Spring Garden, Penn Herb Co. http://www.pennherb.com/

I'd love to buy from somebody local, but maybe its easier to order the garam masala online. :(

Lauraska's picture

jbette01 wrote:
Here is the place at 2nd and Spring Garden, Penn Herb Co. http://www.pennherb.com/

I'd love to buy from somebody local, but maybe its easier to order the garam masala online. :(

My list of spices includes all of the components of garam masala because I wanted to try to make it myself.

codergrrl's picture

They've been there for years!

"Je Suis Prest"

bonzombiekitty's picture

codergrrl wrote:
They've been there for years!

I was under the impression that they sell herbs in more of a natural medicine focus rather than for cooking.

codergrrl's picture

I don't know what they sell...I always thought it was a vitamin/organic type store. I just know they've been there forever because there used to be a seed/grain guy across Second Street, where we always bought canary and cockatiel seed, with various and asundry bird things.

"Je Suis Prest"

dmandy's picture

This place is going to open a shop in the Reading Terminal Market.
http://www.theheadnut.com/

bonzombiekitty's picture

dmandy wrote:
This place is going to open a shop in the Reading Terminal Market.
http://www.theheadnut.com/

Oh dear, I feel like I've been transported back to 1995 when I look at that website.

*off topic rantyness*
A website is just as valuable as a physical store front, if not more so. Would you expect someone to come feel compelled to walk into your store if your store front had a shattered window, peeling paint, and a door hanging off the hinge? Similar thing applies to websites. Nowadays a person is more likely to find your business via the internet, and a website is often the first stop. A potential customer is going to be turned off by a poorly designed website as much as they are by a crappy looking store front. Put some effort into your website, it doesn't have to be some amazing thing, but at least make it easy to use, informative, visually appealing, and up to date.

sara's picture

dmandy wrote:
This place is going to open a shop in the Reading Terminal Market.
http://www.theheadnut.com/

There is a Head Nut in Ardmore and it has TONS of spices, teas, bulk stuff, all for reasonable spices. You can also order from them online. They will be a nice addition to the RTM.

sara's picture

bonzombiekitty wrote:
dmandy wrote:
This place is going to open a shop in the Reading Terminal Market.
http://www.theheadnut.com/

Oh dear, I feel like I've been transported back to 1995 when I look at that website.

*off topic rantyness*
A website is just as valuable as a physical store front, if not more so. Would you expect someone to come feel compelled to walk into your store if your store front had a shattered window, peeling paint, and a door hanging off the hinge? Similar thing applies to websites. Nowadays a person is more likely to find your business via the internet, and a website is often the first stop. A potential customer is going to be turned off by a poorly designed website as much as they are by a crappy looking store front. Put some effort into your website, it doesn't have to be some amazing thing, but at least make it easy to use, informative, visually appealing, and up to date.

With the amount of business the physical store does, they don't even need a web site.

austen's picture

I've had luck cruising the "ethnic" aisles at supermarkets. I've found whole nutmeg and stick cinnamon for $2.99 - which is at least half of the prices over in the regular spice aisle. The ones I bought recently were in the Carribean section @ ShopRite, I think.

Oh - and for whole black peppercorns - which I go through quickly - Christmas Tree Shop. For real.

codergrrl's picture

Yes..Goya capers and canned corned beef are much cheaper than anyone elses.

"Je Suis Prest"

Lauraska's picture

I've decided that it's just totally snobby of me to want to go buy fresh spices from a local store instead of spending three times as much for the pre-ground stuff at Thriftway, so I'm going to do that and maybe have a nice convo with the cashier as she asks me why I'm buying coriander. Thanks for the info, though! I'll pass it on to Thurston.

[/my sarcastic sense of humor that I'm sure someone will take seriously]

Lauraska's picture

PS Psyched about The Head Nut. Their price on macadamias is the cheapest I've found, even at other places that have them in bulk.

sdm's picture

Lauraska wrote:
I've decided that it's just totally snobby of me to want to go buy fresh spices from a local store instead of spending three times as much for the pre-ground stuff at Thriftway, so I'm going to do that and maybe have a nice convo with the cashier as she asks me why I'm buying coriander. Thanks for the info, though! I'll pass it on to Thurston.

[/my sarcastic sense of humor that I'm sure someone will take seriously]

They never seem to have ground coriander there.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.

Lauraska's picture

sdm wrote:
Lauraska wrote:
I've decided that it's just totally snobby of me to want to go buy fresh spices from a local store instead of spending three times as much for the pre-ground stuff at Thriftway, so I'm going to do that and maybe have a nice convo with the cashier as she asks me why I'm buying coriander. Thanks for the info, though! I'll pass it on to Thurston.

[/my sarcastic sense of humor that I'm sure someone will take seriously]

They never seem to have ground coriander there.

Snob.

sdm's picture

Lauraska wrote:
sdm wrote:
Lauraska wrote:
I've decided that it's just totally snobby of me to want to go buy fresh spices from a local store instead of spending three times as much for the pre-ground stuff at Thriftway, so I'm going to do that and maybe have a nice convo with the cashier as she asks me why I'm buying coriander. Thanks for the info, though! I'll pass it on to Thurston.

[/my sarcastic sense of humor that I'm sure someone will take seriously]

They never seem to have ground coriander there.

Snob.

I'm cool with who I am.

Neatly chiseled, well groomed, drop dead handsome face.