Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods

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:

yup, that's a lot of spices

I played paparazzi to the food writers...

... who are always busy taking food pictures (or checking for bus schedules)

There were many, many different kinds of seasonings...

...and many, many different kinds of salts

... but one in particular caught my eye

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!

   

12 Responses to “Christina’s Spice and Specialty Foods”

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    Liz @ Blog is the New Black posted November 18, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Espresso salt?! Interesting!

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    Victoria (District Chocoholic) posted November 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm
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    Daisy posted November 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Well if I knew you were going to a salt shop and getting burnt sugar ice cream….

    haha ;) this looks like fun.

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    Daisy posted November 18, 2010 at 11:12 pm

    Well if I knew you were going to a spice shop and getting burnt sugar ice cream….

    haha ;) this looks like fun.

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    MelissaNibbles posted November 19, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I had no idea shops like this existed. I should come out from under this rock.

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    Emily posted November 19, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Don’t you love this store?! I think I had my very first Taza chocolate bar there!

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    Michelle posted November 19, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I love that store and was so tempted to join you but needed a long walk to digest after that meal! Looking forward to see what you end up making with this espresso salt!

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    Megan posted November 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    I live right down the street and haven’t been in there. My fiance makes fun of me every time we walk past (while walking the dog) because I haven’t gone in. What is wrong with me?!

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    Shannon posted November 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    i’ve been meaning to go there!! and that salt makes a killer salted caramel sauce :)

    (http://tri2cook.blogspot.com/2010/10/recipe-impossible-winter-squash.html)

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    emily @ the happy home posted November 19, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    love seeing classmates from school showing up on blogs. hey, brian.
    also– that shop looks so neat!

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    Susan posted November 19, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    I’ve almost gone in there a million times. It’s in my neighborhood and I always go to Christina’s for ice cream. I really have to make an effort to stop next time!

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    nicole @ Making Good Choices posted November 20, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I want to go there!! That looks like a food blogger’s dream!

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