Food treasures in New York City

“Bespoke” Spices at La Boîte

lior spice making1

Lior Lev Sercaz making spices

Inspired by his passion for spices, and the stories they tell, Lior Lev Sercaz began La Boîte á Epice in 2006. The store located in Hell’s Kitchen, offers 40 unique spice blends like “Luberon,” a blend of lavender, basil and fennel; “Marrakesh,” a mix of cumin, cinnamon and thyme; or “Galil,” a blend of verbena, white cardamom and sage; inspired by Sercaz’s native Israel.

"Coquelicot" - a blend of poppy seeds, lemon and mustard

“Coquelicot” – a blend of poppy seeds, lemon and mustard

You can purchase the spices online but visiting the store is worth the trip. The spices are more costly than your typical supermarket brand but they offer a totally different and unique taste experience.With Sercaz’s guidance you can pick a spice that suits your tastes, or he might create a blend uniquely for you. Not only is it an aromatic experience but your other senses are stimulated as well. La Boîte also sells seasonal selection of biscuits “inspired by cultural events, personal reflections and a very special ingredient – art.” Each season the biscuits come in a special box designed by a featured artist. The artist’s work is then displayed gallery-style in the shop. The Fall 2012-Winter 2013 collection is called “Pure, Real Taste,” and features the work of photographer, Thomas Schauer.

Located at 724 11th Avenue, the store is opened Wednesday-Friday, 3:00-7:00pm.

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Food, spices | , | 1 Comment

Kalustyan’s: Global Selection of Spices and Sweets

If you’re looking for fenugeek seeds, vindaloo paste, dried porcini mushroom, green rice, or you just want your senses stimulated, then you must visit Kalustyan’s Spices and Sweets located at 123 Lexington Avenue (at 28th Street).

Kalustyan’s in Little India

K. Kalustyan opened this specialty food store in 1944, with a focus on Indian spices and groceries. When he passed away, the ownership and management was turned over to Marhaba International Inc. and the company added products from more than 30 countries — from Japan and China to Greece and Israel, and from Australia and England to Thailand and Vietnam.

Some of the products you’ll find at the store include: 180 varieties of tea, 30 varieties of dried whole chiles, 18 different kinds of ghee, and over 400 kinds of spices.

Spice room

Here are some other enticing products you can choose from at Kalustyan’s:

Salts of all colors and coarseness

Hot sauces from around the world

Dried beans for stews or soups

The store is opened Monday-Saturday 10am-8pm and Sundays and holidays from 11am-7pm

Luscious cinnamon sticks available as you check out

November 27, 2012 Posted by | Food, international, spices, sweets | , , | Leave a comment