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How to Buy Spices and Herbs Online

June 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

When I first fell in love with cooking, I was confident of whipping out the best dishes of the season. After all, I come from a family that has long been the pride of the neighborhood when it came to barbecues. Besides, there was a treasure trove of recipes that Grandma had left me and I had not even scratched the surface of. Armed with all the knowledge I could possibly ask for, I was ready to conquer the palette - and the world! But I was in for a major disappointment.

Many of the spices and herbs and even some of the ingredients listed out in Grandma's recipes were just not available. Most grocery stores in the locality were brimming with spices but often some ingredient was hard to find. For instance, when I wanted to make Kashmiri Dum Aloo that my Grandma had mastered when she was in India, I could not find Nutmeg in the nearby store. The query for asafetida was also met with a blank stare. That is when I decided that it was about time to take my search for herbs and spices online.

Following this, I used the power of Google to identify a few websites that sold herbs and spices online. A quick search through forums and relevant websites pointed out some of the genuine stores. After this, it was just a matter of browsing through stores and finding the supplier who had an extensive product list as well as customer friendly delivery policies. Some of the points that I looked out for included:

  • Did the online store have a good collection of spices? This would mean spices used in various kinds of cooking ranging from Indian cooking to Mexican and even continental foods. Since I liked to mix and match items on the menu, I needed a place that could deliver whatever I wanted at short notice.
  • Did the online store pack and deliver spices and herbs carefully? Spices and herbs lose their flavor, aroma and edge if they are left on the shelf too long or if they are not packaged properly. The supplier I identified would pack different spices individually and were prepared to send varying amounts of different spices as and when I needed them.
  • Did the store send in fresh spices and herbs? Online stores are sometimes famous for ignoring the freshness of their merchandise. This could be because the consumer has no way of ascertaining the same until after they have made the purchase. But, through a little trial and error, and sometimes with a little help from friends, I was able to do business with a store that sold fresh herbs and spices.
  • Finally, does the store impose a fair charge? The cost includes packaging and delivery costs. Besides, some spices are more expensive than others. Even so, the price charged must be fair and at par with the industry cost.

In this way, I am able to procure the herbs, spices and ingredients that I need for many exotic cuisines.

If you love to cook but can't find the best place to buy spices and herbs from, why not look online? You won't be disappointed.

Source: EzineArticles
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