Tuesday, April 15, 2008

NY vs SF Round 2: Spice Shops?

This round isn't terribly fair. My favorite spice store in the whole wide world is in midtown Manhattan. It's called Kalustyan's and its the stuff of culinary fairytales. Jars of every type of dried fruit or nut you can think of - Turkish Almonds, Tamari Almonds, California almonds, guava, kiwi, Medjool dates. The list goes on. And then rows upon rows of any oil you could desire to cook with, all the Indian and Middle Eastern spice or lentil or grain you could ask for. Jars of Indian pickles, enough to make Salman Rushdie happy. Arcane japanese chili threads on your recipe list? Kalustyans has them.

And that's just downstairs. Upstairs has another entire floor of delights. There are cooking vessels from various corners of the world - copper kadais and clay tajines. Hookahs if you need one. And an array of dried teas so vast, any Englishman would feel right at home (they have over 180 varieties).

The deli upstairs at Kalustyans is pretty special too. You'll get some middle eastern and Armenian specialties, like Mujhadarra, a curried lentil dish, delicious falafel and mouth-watering dolmades. Eat there and eat often - for just $7, you'll get enough food to keep yourself fed for days!

I haven't found anything that can come close to comparing in San Francisco. Any of you Bay Area buffs out there know of something I've missed??

123 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10016

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