If there’s a foodie — or three — on your Christmas list this year and you need the right stocking stuffer, consider a jar or two of spices, herbs, extracts or seasonings they might not have.
There are numerous choices out there, some of them local and some you can have delivered to your door.
Alamo City Pepper Products is a local line of gluten-free seasonings. If you enjoy adding a kick to your food, try the Hatch Green Chile Salt or Jalapeño Salt, while the Honey Chipotle Seasoning adds a sweet-hot touch to most any kind of meat. If someone on your list is a real hothead, you can get Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Chile), the hottest chile on the planet, in two forms: dried or powdered. You can find Alamo City Pepper Products at Whole Foods. You can order them, too, at alamocitypepperproducts.com.
Penzeys Spices hasn’t opened a store in San Antonio, but that doesn’t make them a stranger to many from who have been in need of anything from mulling spices to Peri Peri Seasoning. Turkish bay leaves, celery flakes and salt-free corned beef spices are just a few of the beauties you can find online as well as an impressive array of dried chiles, including dundicut peppers from Pakistan, Sanaam chiles and Turkish aleppo peppers. To learn more, click here.
Silver Cloud Estates bills itself as being more about vanilla beans and vanilla extract, but it also has an exciting array of spices, herbs and extracts. Among the pure extracts are allspice, cappuccino, coconut and ginger, while the spices include Grains of Paradise, Korintje (Indonesian cinnamon), epazote powder, bourbon pepper and Moroccan raz el hanôut. For more information, click here.
You could also shop locally at any of the city’s many ethnic markets for spices and seasonings from around the world. A few favorites include:
- Ali Baba International Food Market, 9307 Wurzbach Road
- Himalayan Bazaar, 8466 Fredericksburg Road
- Hung Phong, 243 Remount
- International Food Market, 2449 Nacogdoches Road
- Las Americas, 6623 San Pedro Ave.
- Mustafa, 4081 Medical Drive
- Salaam International Food Market, 3727 Colony Drive
- Sari-Sari, 5742 Wurzbach Road
- Seoul Oriental Food Market, 2415 Harry Wurzbach Road,
- Tim’s Oriental Food Market, 7015 Bandera Road
- Vietnam Market, 5360 Walzem Road
A few other places where you can find an array of spices include Gaucho Gourmet, 935 Isom Road; Melissa Guerra Tienda de Cocina in the Pearl Brewery, 200 E. Grayson St.; Sur la Table, 15900 La Cantera Parkway; and Central Market, 4821 Broadway.
You might also want to consider a spice book or two to add to the gift. A few suggestions include:
- “The Complete Book of Spices: A Practical Guide to Spices and Aromatic Seeds” by Jill Norman
- “Field Guide to Herbs and Spices” by Aliza Green
- “The Spice Bible” by Jane Lawson
- “The Spice Lover’s Guide to Herbs and Spices” by Tony Hill