Heady smells of spice. Different kinds of hot sauce. Dizzying arrays of salts. Baggies upon baggies of herbs (the legal kind). Bottles upon bottles of sauces and marinades. Packs of beans and grains. Plus baking ingredients, roasted nuts, and other specialty foods. That’s what you’ll get at Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods in Inman Square.
It’s not particularly pretty (nor well-ventilated) or fancy but it definitely contains a whole lotta spices. Avid cooks will find great joy sifting through containers and sachets of flavorings. I was tempted to buy the most exotic sounding spices (like anything with the word Zaatar or Basque) but I didn’t really have any recipes in mind yet, so I’ll save the shopping spree for another trip.
I went there last weekend, after the blogger brunch at East Coast Grill. Actually what really happened was I couldn’t resist the siren call of Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream so I headed over there with Brian and Elizabeth. Me eating just one or two bites of each appetizer and less than half of my entree during brunch? That’s me strategically saving room for dessert (and in my tummy, there’s always room for dessert!). I ordered a small cup of the burnt sugar ice cream, which was so lusciously sweet and caramel-y. And since we were already there, afterwards we wandered over to the spice shop next door!
It was a fun little trip:
Espresso brava salt. I’m thinking of sprinkling it on top of fudgy double chocolate brownies. Or maybe on top of peanut butter cookies?
Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods is pretty awesome – and not just because it let me have an excuse to bake something with espresso salt. There really is a HUGE selection of spices. Everything is pretty well organized and labeled (A-Z!). There’s no pretentiousness, no flashiness, just straight-up spices, teas, dried fruit, grain, and many other fantastic food items.
Have you been to a spice market?
And if you have any ideas and recipes that call for espresso salt, please share them with me!