Monday, May 21, 2012
I describe Kalustyan’s, on 123 Lexington, between 28th and 29th streets, as the store that sells everything from everywhere. This is the place to go to get exotic ingredients for ethnic recipes. The spice room itself is the size of an entire shop. Looking for Urfa or Biba peppers from Turkey? No problem. Do you want mastic, berber powder, or mild smoked paprika? All of them are available. The selection of black peppercorns includes those from Turkey, Iran, and India. Since there’s a high turnover, nothing seems to sit on the shelf for too long, and the spices are fresh.
So Many Spices to Choose From!
Kalustyan’s also has an impressive array of condiments imported from around the world. You’ll find every brand of tamarind that is imported, as well as every type of rose petal and orange blossom water as well.
Hot Sauces and Other Condiments
There’s an impressive array of salts, and an even more impressive selective of grains and legumes.
Beans and Grains
They also sell fresh curry leaves, Thai chiles, and lemongrass, as well frozen kaffir lime leaves and galangal for Southeast Asian cooking.
Every trip I take to Kalustyan’s is a fascinating culinary education. Often when I am finished with shopping, I go upstairs and have a bite at the deli counter where Chester Arthur was sworn in as president. (If you want to read the whole placard that is on the wall, read the blog piece on Amusing Trivia about Kalustyan’s.)
The fellow who works the deli counter is a generous soul who takes pride in his dishes.
The Deli Counter at Kalustyan's
He makes each mujadarrah (lentils and rice with caramelized onions) sandwich with care and he varies the offerings daily. He’ll give you a taste of any of the dishes to sample.
Hot Sauce on Your Mujadarrah Sandwich?
Kalustyan’s has a great selection of books on middle eastern and ethnic cooking at the counter as well.
Checkout at Kalustyan's
For those of you that don’t live in New York, you can order from the website http://kalustyans.com. They ship nationwide.
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