Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Spices 'n Flavours


I am a sucker for spices. I can spend hours in a spice market...and wouldn't bat an eye at plunking down a good bit of cash for them (or any kind of flavor -- like oils, salts, sauces, etc -- for that matter). On the first day C and I moved into our new home, we opened our kitchen cupboard where I had stashed all my "stuff", with a view to check what we needed to get from the grocery. Seems like actual food was cirtical here, because although the shelves were almost full, there was nothing but but rows spices, spice mixes, curry pastes, dried herbs, canned and bottled sauces, infused oil, and various kinds of sugar and salt. My dowry.

So you can imagine my absolute delight at finding a store that filled itself with just these things! I learned about Spices 'n Flavours through a good friend who asked me: "If there was a store that just sold spices and related items, would you go?" Um. Yes? Hello! Lead the way!

The minute I walked in the store I was smitten. Barrels filled star anise and peppercorns. Floor to ceiling shelves (and those adorable "library-style" ladders) filled with bottles of ground and whole spices, as well as dried herbs and spice mixes. Big glass jars of loose tea. Bottles of sauces (including Nando's Peri-Peri Sauce...am going back for that!). A small selection of Japanese condiments. Organic dried herbs and flavor extracts. Different types of flour/startch (like tapioca flour). Aaah...a wonderful gem of a store in my eternal spice hunt!

Above is part of the selection I got: dried kaffir lime leaves, dried galangal, dried holy basil, and Szechuan pepper. I'm so excited! Just their names are sending me into a tizzy of anticipation of how I am going to use them...even if, at the moment, I still haven't the foggiest! If any of you have suggestions, please do send them over :)


Here's another bunch of flavor I brought home (above)...long pepper. It is closely related to black pepper, but is supposed to be hotter. As of now, I can definitely say it smells different. This is the first time I have come across it and I have no idea how to use it just yet (although there will be a lot of experimentation I can assure you!). So, again, if any of you out there have suggestions, please feel free to pass them on!



Aside from the spices and what-such, they also have these coffee/tea stirrer things with crystalized sugar at the end. I have seen the ones with the regular stirrer before, but not these ones that use a cinnamon stick as the stirrer! Aren't they adorable? So, of course, I had to have some of those too...

I am oh so happy with my loot and am presently in that nice state of dreaming of ways to use them...

Spices 'n Flavours
RR-7 Street Market!
Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
(it’s in Market! Market!, outside, at street level, facing Serendra, near Hap Chan)

38 comments:

Tanna said...

The sugar plum fairy must be dancing in your head with all these spices. So very unusual and facinating! You have a gold mine.

mae said...

Hi Joey, wow the shop is definitely great find. I never knew that holy basil can be dried. I must try drying them next time i get the fresh ones.

For the suggestion, i think from your list of spices, you have the kaffir lime leaves, galangal, holy basil, not forgetting the green curry paste your friend gave you? It's definitely screaming out for you to make some chicken/beef/pork/prawns/mixed veg? green curry! What do you think?

If you can get some lemongrass, it would be a bonus :)

Oh, i've been searching for the Nando's peri-peri sauce!

Ivonne said...

I completely understand your compulsion to buy spices. I'm the same way!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Tanna! Yes...that is exactly the feeling :)

Hi Mae! I agree, I agree! Lemongrass, can do! And I know you have got something posted in that arena :) I will revisit :) Thanks!!!

Hi Ivonne! Yup, we are stricken by the same glorious affliction! :)

christine said...

It's really such a treasure of a place! My only wish is that she sold more of the stuff by weight, like she does with the star anise and other spices in the barrels.

I'm going back for the herbs de provence! :)

angelika said...

How exciting, Joey. And making experiments first in your head and then in reality - that's the true passion of cooking ! I have just filled 101 jars of apricot (our own garden's bounty !) jam, and the experimantalist I am I have given different flavours to them, the results are stunning... stay tuned ! Happy exerimenting, angelika

jenjen said...

I love those sugar stirrers. I think I need ot make my own!!

Mila Tan said...

All I can say is - It's about time! Where was this woman and her store years ago?

Thanks for posting this, Joey, I'm looking forward to visiting the store.

For the szechuan pepper, do a mapo dofu (not from a sachet though), or make your own sausage with chunks of this inside the filling. Will blow your mind (and numb your palate, but that's part of the fun).

anonymous paul said...

i may be wrong but i think they use quite a bit of those long peppers in szechuan cooking. mainly to flavor oils (by frying them in hot oil), along with other aromatic stuff (garlic, dried chili, etc) and then using the oil to fry beef, seafood,...? good to hear a closer place to get spices. i usually had to go all the way to assad along UN ave; where they have shelves of it. but mostly used for indian cooking. also didn't know you could get thai stuff locally ALTHOUGH i really would prefer fresh. makes loads of difference in terms of flavor.

anonymous paul said...

with lemongrass i think the best way to get it readily is prolly to plant your own. my friend just planted some in his backyard and he says it grows like weed so maintenance shouldnt be a problem. the problem would be waiting for enough of it to grow before you use everything up.

J said...

hi joey, how i covet that cinnamon stick sugar stirrer! i can only imagine how wonderful it must be used with your morning cappucino...hmmmm...

briliantdonkey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
briliantdonkey said...

hmmmmm spices,,,,,,I think half the fun of them is just the experimentation.



memo to self:STOP visiting Joey's blog just before bed or christine who I don't know either(I think she has officially changed that to her last name)will yell at you for inevitably gettting hungry and eating ....

Rob

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! Sigh...yes, would definitely like her to sell some thing by weight...We are only 2 at home so using things up takes forever...unless...we have a dinner party! :)

Hi Angelika! I know what you mean...sometimes I lie awake in bed thinking of these "experiments" :) Ooooh! 101 jars worth of apricot jam from your own harvest? That's amazing and oh so enviable! And now with different flavors...can't wait for the post :)

Hi Jenjen! They are adorable! I am going to put them to the test this weekend... :)

Hi Mila! I know! Do you have a recipe for mapo dofu? I’d love to make my own sausage too…but do I need any special equipment? Thanks for the suggestions!

Hello Anonymous Paul! Thanks for all the info! Love Assads…have a stash from there too…Would love to know where I can get fresh kaffir lime leaves and galangal (and holy basil for that matter), so if you find out please pass the info my way ok? As for the lemongrass, apartment living prevents me from planting anything at all…sigh…

Hi J! Isn’t it fantastic? I will have some friends over for coffee and give them a test run :)

Hi Rob! Yes…definitely inspires the mad scientist in me ;) Haha! Oh boy…how we love to talk about this Christine whom we both don’t know! (memo to self: never let Christine whom we both don’t know find out about nightly eating habits lest fall victim to aforementioned yelling)

christine said...

I swear he would have gotten bangungot many times over if it weren't for me! hehe. BTW, read here about bangungot and skip the parts where it says its just a superstition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bangungot

Jo, I love your picture of the cinnamon stirrers, I want to just bite the sugar bit off! :)

canDIshhh said...

They look so tempting!!!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Nens! Thanks for the link...did you send it to Rob? Hehe...btw, I like that picture too, thanks! :)

Hi Candishhh! Everything was tempting me :)

christine said...

No I didnt, I actually posted it here for him :)

Shane Marie said...

Hi, just wanted to say I enjoyed your blog--found it as I was cruising around today. Lovely to know other spice addicts are out there! Mine are souveniers from my trips, like the Grains of Paradise from Saint John, USVI, that I picked up because who can resist that name?
Cheers!

Marketmanila said...

Gotta get to that store fast...thanks for the tip Joey!

Lori said...

Hi Joey, I got around to this store too, although I left with different loot: a huge cylinder of coarse sea salt and half a kilo of crystallized ginger!

Lani said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lani said...

Joey, thanks for sharing. I wish also that they sold most of the stuff by weight.

ChichaJo said...

Hi again Nens...hope he paid attention :)

Hi Shane Marie! Thanks for dropping by! :) "Grains of Paradise"...wow, I wouldn't have been able to resist the name either...

Hi Marketman! You're welcome! :) Lord knows how many tips I have gotten from you already! :)

Hi Lori! Sounds like you made off with a good bounty :) Crystalized ginger...sounds heavenly! I think I remember your post about something you made with it...

Hi Lani! Yes, me too...hard to finish things fast when you are just cooking for two :)

Marketmanila said...

Joey, I went to the store last Saturday...walked out with a huge bag of stuff...overbought of course...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Marketman! Overbuying...yes, I'm very familiar with the concept :)

SNF said...

Hello, people! We are glad you like the spice shop. We never thought there would be people like you all who would know & appreciate things like these. It is indeed very encouraging & heartwarming. Your comment regarding selling by weight is noted but unfortunately, we can't sell them like the anise & pepper because the store would smell.

ChichaJo said...

Hi SNF! Thanks for leaving a comment :) I, and many others, really like the spice shop and are so glad that someone has opened a shop like yours...finally! Thanks for noting our suggestion on selling by weight...it would make things easier for those that need only a little (or perhaps a whole lot!) of the spices. I'll drop by again soon for the peri peri sauce :)

Pille said...

Wonderful choice of spices there! I'm trying to sort out my spice rack at the moment and guess which spices should I give away to friends as I'll be available to buy them in Estonia, and which ones should I definitely ship over. Can't live without them, you see:)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pille! I know exactly what you mean :) I love looking over them in my cupboard like a little witch over her brew, heehee :)

SNF said...

Thanks, Chichajo! We have other exciting stuff coming in...abangan!!! :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi SNF! Looking forward to it! :)

SugarCocoon said...

so many food places, food stores and stuff in manila! wish i was there experiencing all these food revolution!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Sugarcocoon! Yes, there are a lot of new places and provedores cropping up which gives you a lot of options now when it comes to cooking...which is great! Can't say we are at the level of some other countries yet but there is definitely a lot more to play around with and keep at least me busy :)

kitty said...

hi! i'm a student from laguna.. i would like to know if there's any website or e-mail address Spices n Flavours have.or just contact info.. it will be a great help for me if can give me, this is with part of my research study... btw, i am also a fan of such spices(bec. of my field)... and its very hard for me looking for it here...

ChichaJo said...

Hi Kitty! Spices 'n Flavours is located in Market! Market! (Fort, Taguig) ground level...the telephone # is 7582158 or 8310449 :) Hope this helps!

JB said...

Hi! Stumbled onto your blogpost here when I googled Spices 'n Flavours. Will read the rest of it hwne I've time. I have not had the pleasure of visiting the store, though I've been meaning to for the longest time!

About lemongrass: no need to go to any specialty stores. You can buy it at the nearest palengke (and yes, the nearest grocery, too). It's locally known as tanglad. Speaking of local flavor, try putting tanglad into your next chicken tinola. Puts a nice spin to it :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi JB! It's got a lot of serious loot :) Have fun checking out their merchandise! About the lemongrass...yup, have been buying it fresh already :) So good! Will try it in tinola...thanks for the tip! I also use it in a dish that is kinda like tinola -- binakol -- it's got coconut water too :) So delicious!