Enveloped in spices

I finally found one thing that’s cheaper here than in the US (or Owego, at least)–spices at the Indian food import store! I had seen the sign a while back so today, having nothing better to do, Milo and I stopped in. I’ve never seen spices in bulk like this before, the scents as you open each bin rise up and envelope you. Even Garam Masala had its own bin. I must have looked discombobulated, juggling my sharpie and several slippery plastic bags, because a thoughtful employee collected my spices off the floor and into a shopping basket. The store also has bulk flours (including ones I’ve never heard of) and more types of dried legumes than I thought existed. It was delightful. I plan to try every legume there, systematically, but I restrained myself this first time and only purchased two. Most don’t have English names.

Can you believe this color? I wonder if tumeric can be used as a dye. The spices are so powdery and soft that I’m glad Milo was safely strapped to my back–he would have loved dabbling in them, and the lower bins are at that perfect reachable height.

The labels and prices are probably too small to read in the photo, but ground cloves is $70/kg. That’s about $2.10/oz, NZ dollars, or $1.60/oz US dollars. Cloves were the priciest I saw, most were $15-20/kg. Mom, you want me to send you some?

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4 thoughts on “Enveloped in spices

  1. I don’t expect you to remember the pictures of the spice markets in Syria. There the spices were in barrels! What a sensory experience. I know what you mean about cheaper spices. I wish I had bought some of the saffron they were selling. I could have bought a pound of it there for what they sell a few strands for here.

  2. Molly-the perfect Christmas presents! I can imagine the aroma when one opens those bins-sensory heaven. And all the different beans to try- what fun! What a find! Keep introducing Milo to all the aspects of good cooking and he”ll be a gourmet cook like you one day (of course he has to try the foods first ;}) How is your hunting going for a permanent living space?

    • We’ll be moving tomorrow to a tiny yellow house with a tinier garden. At least it’s yellow, clean, and cheerful. I have had major house regrets, actually, since just after we signed for that one we heard from a realtor that it’d be alright to put a garden at another one we had viewed, which was a better house and yard. Oh well. The redeeming factor is that the house we rented is in a location that would make it easier for me to work at Lincoln university, if that opportunity ever presents itself. I hear there are community gardens around here too, I just have to ferret them out.

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