Spicespotting: Need Help?
Finding international spices is a bitch. The spice rack your mom gave you for a housewarming gift is probably useless. You might have some chili powder in there, and some turmeric. Maybe a generic English-style curry powder (which is kind of gross). But chances are, when you look at recipes from foreign cuisines, you’re going to be missing some ingredients. Spices, herbs, uncommon vegetables and fruits, unpronounceable products and even some stuff that the internets won’t give you a clear idea about. Trust me – it took me months of grocery searching and googling before I made the connection that “dried fenugreek leaves” is sold in Indian groceries under the name “kasoori methi”. And years into my food experimenting, I’m still finding stores and products I’ve never seen before – new sources for new recipes.
If you’re just starting out though, you may be lost when it comes to identifying and locating curry leaves, or asafoetida, or lemongrass, or black fungus. Or even when you get these things, you may not know wtf to do with them. Maybe I know where to find them in Toronto. Post here and I’ll try to help you out with store locations, addresses, even aisle numbers if possible.