If you need Spices, Seasonings, Herbs, Salts, and Goo then visit Kalustyan’s Market on Lex

A while back I was with one of my cohorts selling tour bus tickets to the tourists. He is a native New Yorker and were discussing the difference between Southern and Northern food. He told me that some New Yorkers think that Southern food can be too spicy and even went so far to tell me that even some New Yorkers think that Ketchup is too spicy. (If you hail from south of the Mason Dixson line and are reading this and wondering if I am fucking with you, I promise that I am not!) He told me that he was getting into hot sauces and found a great one from Belize called Marie Sharp. My ears perked up saying that I was familiar with this brand and asked where he picked some up here in Manhattan. He gave me the address of a place on Lex at E28th Street in the Indian section of Murray Hill.

This past weekend I ventured out in the rain and cold to acquire some Marie Sharp since the bottle we got on our last trip to Belize ran out. Ironic that it was almost one year to the date but needless to say I had to get some more hot sauce. I find Kalustyan’s on Lexington and make my way into this sprawling joint. This place is probably 3 storefronts because you walk into different rooms with shelves of all kinds of different spices, seasonings, marinades, and stuff I have no idea what is in a bottle. I find the Hot Sauce section and pick up my Marie Sharp and was amazed that everything was well before the expiration date. This is a common problem I find when someone has a huge variety of Hot Sauce because they can’t get good rotation on everything.

I am standing there and one of the managers comes up to me and we start talking about the store. She tells me that they do more spice and seasoning business for restaurants here in Manhattan than anyone. They get daily shipments in from different purveyors to make sure what they have on the shelf is fresh and listen to their customers. We started talking about the Marie Sharps and she told me that it is one of their better sellers for Latin American restaurants and for Belizeans living in New York. I explain to her my history with the country and how I am always trying different things. She recommends their Spice and Herb book and shows me a couple tricks that you can do in the kitchen to create different flavors. I agree and pay cash for everything. Typical New York Establishment, you can use a card but Cash is King and you get better discounts.

IMG_0580Some of these hot sauces were pretty funny. I stuck with what I knew. Marie Sharps

IMG_0581Need Pink Salt in Bulk? The square on the right is 16X16

IMG_0583Yep, I made some Eggs the next morning and lit it up!

That was it for pictures as they Manager told me that they prefer that people don’t take pictures. I respect that but I will be back!

 

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