Where does a foodie buy his supplies in the middle of nowhere?
June 9, 2008 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I live in a gastronomic black hole . There is nowhere within a hours drive to buy decent cooking supplies, please reveal to me your secret sources of cooking supplies! I've googled and hunted and found some, but I want ones that you've had experience with, and know that I will be buying quality stuff from

Things I would like to be able to purchase online are the following:

Frozen seafood.
Asian cooking supplies. Good mirin, shoyu, kombu, etc
Curry supplies
Anything else you can think of.

I really cannot get any good ingredients locally beyond fruit, veggies and meat, so any suggestion is welcome (I.E. "The X from www.Y.com is awesome, you should buy some" is more than welcome.) I'm looking more for ingredients, than finished goods. And not so much for "All in one curry packets" unless they are totally bitchin.
posted by Jonsnews to Shopping (15 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Penzey's Spices

Anything I've tried from there has been fabulous.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 3:43 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

for starters, there's Penzeys for spices, of course.
posted by peachfuzz at 3:44 PM on June 9, 2008

dang. I came here tp suggest Penzey's.
posted by nimsey lou at 3:50 PM on June 9, 2008


posted by Nattie at 4:06 PM on June 9, 2008

I dont live in your area but I suffer a similar dilemma. Are you sure there are no hidden Asian food marts near you? Sometimes those secret places can be wonderful gems. An Asian mini-mart down the street where I live turned out to be the only place in 120 miles to get asafetida, used in some Indian dishes.

If you have to drive *only* an hour for some non-perishable supplies like good Madras curry or big packages of frozen seafood etc, I dunno, might be worth a trip. A big bottle of Dark Soy Superior or Sesame oil will last an awful long time in the fridge. And you can make your own curry powder and freeze it for virtually forever.

You didnt mention hardware, but I wouldnt recommend buying cookware or cutlery sight unseen, knives expecially. You have to be able to judge those things in your hands.
posted by elendil71 at 4:08 PM on June 9, 2008

I've successfully bought stuff from Gourmet Sleuth before, and the quality and shipping time were both excellent.
posted by booknerd at 4:11 PM on June 9, 2008

La Tienda has all those Spanish goodies you've been craving, like jamon serrano. And they have nice-looking cooking supplies, like paella pans (I've only ordered food from them).

Salumi Salami will send you amazingly good artisanal cured meats. (And here
is one of several articles the NYTimes has done on artisanal meat production in the last few years; some phoning around should get you some tasty surprises in the mail.)

(Also, I just did a fast google search, and was surprised at how many companies are ready to ship you frozen seafood. Clearly there is virtually nothing that can't be ordered online for the intrepid consumer.)
posted by Forktine at 4:17 PM on June 9, 2008

Nthing Penzey's.

D'Artagnan is a great resource for fine meats (and mushrooms and truffles!)

Also, if you have Asian/Indian/whatever restaurants nearby that you like, don't be shy. Ask if they'll tell you where they source their ingredients from.
posted by gnutron at 4:45 PM on June 9, 2008

This exotic salt shop got praise in the New York Times. I have been happy with the King Arthur Flour shop for specialty flours and extracts.

I have not used the Spice House, but they have pomegranate molasses, which I have been looking for without luck locally. But then, I haven't been up to Devon, which may be all I need to do.
posted by crush-onastick at 4:50 PM on June 9, 2008

Google tells me that Fort Wayne, IN has the nearest Asian markets (q.v. Mon's Asian Grocery, the Oriental Grocery & Mart, Little Burma, Hoa Hung...). Man, though, that's not just around the corner.

I nth Penzeys for your spice needs. I shop at Uwajimaya for my more hard-to-find Japanese/Asian groceries... there's a brick-and-mortar near me, but they have an Amazon presence. In-store they're great, but they don't seem to have much available via Amazon at the moment. Keep an eye on them.
posted by mumkin at 5:07 PM on June 9, 2008

You need a membership for Cook's Illustrated sources, but you'll also have access to their recipe archives, so I think it's worth it.
posted by pokeedog at 5:09 PM on June 9, 2008

Response by poster: yeah.. I'm about in between Ft. Wayne and Toledo.
I work crazy hours, so I usually don't go either way, and my wife doesn't cook, so I couldn't send her on a fetch quest..
posted by Jonsnews at 5:23 PM on June 9, 2008

Every product I've used from Anson Mills (and that is most of them) has been of absolutely top-notch quality. (Warning: their website is irritating.)

Likewise with Rancho Gordo (website not irritating). (Cuanto le Gusta!)

And yes, Penzey's.
posted by trip and a half at 7:29 PM on June 9, 2008

Rancho Gordo has lovely lovely beans. Not cheap, but lovely and tasty.
posted by gingerbeer at 8:41 PM on June 9, 2008

If you want cheap All-Clad cookware (seconds, but only minor cosmetic defects) try Cookware and More.
posted by Wet Spot at 7:47 AM on June 10, 2008 [1 favorite]

« Older Should I buy a used 12" G4 Powerbook as a stopgap...   |   How accurate are gym equipment calorie burn... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.