Che Fico Calabrian Chili Bomba
The iconic condiment of San Francisco’s Che Fico restaurant, this Calabrian chili paste is incredible, with a pleasant texture and layered flavor that sets it apart from others we’ve tasted. Where most chili condiments have a one-note chili flavor, Che Fico’s features the fruity Calabrian chili at the forefront but also adds nuance with the additions of bright Fresno chilies, savory roasted garlic and a tangy vinegar that lingers on the palate. The juicy pulpiness of the peppers and the slick of oil is both pleasantly textural and somehow creamy and silky. The opening pop of slightly vinegary calabrian chili flavor is perfectly seasoned, but the following fade into garlic is what makes this feel appropriate for any and everything.
Atina Foods Thiyal Coconut Cooking Paste
A neutral fat or oil is great when you don’t want to add any flavor that might compete with what you’re cooking. But if you do want to give your dish an initial boost by using a flavorful fat, we love this one’s complexity. It’s made by slowly roasting fresh coconut until the oil naturally seeps out, then blending it with tangy-sweet tamarind pulp and spices. With a thick texture akin to Mexican mole paste, this paste has a lovely coconut flavor, but what struck us even more was the beautiful, aromatic coriander. The combination is something we’ve truly never tasted—let alone in anything you could find in the grocery store.
Atina Foods Lasoon Garlic Nut Crumble
A reimagining of a popular topping in Bombay, this coarsely ground topping adds a wonderful textural element to food, featuring a complex trio of flavors: peanut, coconut and sesame. Its nuttiness and decadence is balanced by the subtle sweetness of the coconut, while the savory, caramelized taste of the toasted garlic adds another layer of nuance. A dash of cayenne brings a moderate kick. The crumble is just lightly salty, akin to a bowl of roasted nuts, so it won’t throw off the balance of a recipe, but will add some extra oomph since it’s seasoned. Not a flavored salt nor a simple spice blend, there’s really nothing quite like this out there. A simple sprinkle is transformative.
Atina Foods Inji Puli Ginger Tamarind Herbal Jam
Traditionally called inji (Ginger) puli (Tamarind), this ancient herbal jam is a staple at feasts and festivals and has been used for centuries in Kerala, South India as a digestif. Although it’s called a jam, it’s not one in the familiar sense—not jelled or fruity, but with a smooth consistency. This spread has an incredibly fresh, bold ginger flavor—tasting like nothing that’s been preserved in a jar—with a good hit of the spiciness you get from the raw root. The ginger takes center stage here, while the supporting ingredients like fragrant Asafoetida, earthy cumin and mustard are very subtle. It leans in s savory, earthy direction, yet the sweetness of the ginger, tamarind and jaggery evokes the flavor of heavily spiced gingerbread. We can’t find anything on store shelves that compares. The quality and complexity of this jam really sets it apart, making it a quick favorite for dressings, dips and more dishes.
Ingredients: Organic ginger, jaggery (unrefined Indian sugar cane), tamarind fruit pulp, black pepper, sesame oil, *Asafoetida (Asafoetida, rice flour), salt, mustard seed, fenugreek, turmeric (powder) cumin, curry leaves
Atina Foods Whole Preserved Garlic
These jammy whole garlic cloves are submerged in a tangy, tamarind-laced sauce, which gives the cloves an earthy sweetness that’s much more mellow than the natural pungency of raw garlic. A pleasant hit of black pepper rounds out the complex tastes. The cloves hold their shape, yet are incredibly silky and tender. When mashed with a fork and blended with the surrounding sauce, it becomes a rich condiment with an almost barbecue sauce-like nuance to it. But the cloves by themselves or just a spoonful of the sauce are also wonderful ways to add a flavorful boost to any savory dish. What we especially love about these little morsels is that they yield a deep garlic flavor without having to cook them first, making them easier to incorporate into no-cook or lightly cooked meals. A simple spoonful can transform a basic or tired recipe.
Don Chilio Serrano Chile Crisp
Premium serrano peppers are picked at peak ripeness before being sliced, dried and gently crisped in seasoned extra-virgin olive oil. The aroma when you open the jar is akin to a freshly sliced green serrano. Fresh and aromatic, with an herbal, grassy fruitiness and spicy kick. And yet, they are pale brown, dried and fried to delicate crispy perfection. Delicately crispy, these chiles can easily be crushed into a spicy, textural topping for myriad savory dishes. Since they are dried before frying, the flavor becomes concentrated without getting too much of a cooked taste. It also means that the beautifully crispy texture can be achieved faster than if starting with fresh, and less cooking means maintaining the character of the serrano pepper—as opposed to cooking it so long or hard that it fades into a generic “fried chile” flavor. Although we carry other crispy chili products in our store in the way of sauces and oils, these crips set themselves apart from the bunch—yielding only the bold taste of serrano and an audibly crunchy texture.
Don Chilio Habanero Chile Crisp
Premium habanero peppers are picked at peak ripeness before being sliced into thin curls and gently crisped in seasoned extra-virgin olive oil. Delicately crispy, these chiles can easily be crushed into a spicy, textural topping for myriad savory dishes. These habaneros prominently maintain their signature fruity, tropical flavor the pepper is known for accompanied by a bright and fresh aroma. Since they are dried before frying, the flavor becomes concentrated without getting too much of a cooked taste. It also means that the beautifully crispy texture can be achieved faster than if starting with fresh, and less cooking means maintaining the character of the habanero pepper— as opposed to cooking it so long or hard that it fades into a generic “fried chile” flavor. Although we carry other crispy chili products in our store in the way of sauces and oils, these crips set themselves apart from the bunch—yielding only the bold taste of habanero and an audibly crunchy texture.
Morita Mirin-Type Condiment
Pale gold and lightly sweet, this mirin-type condiment is a staple in Japanese pantries for bringing a hint of umami to broths and more. Compared to other mirins you can find in the store, this has much more character and nuance, while supermarket versions can skew heavy, syrupy and astringent. This one has the gentle sweetness and complexity of fermented rice that we want without tipping into syrupy, with a hint of salt that doesn’t overpower the slightly savory and sweet character of the fermented rice base. If you can’t have the real-deal hon mirin, mirin-type condiments are great alternatives, and this is one of the best we’ve tried.
Morita Cooking Sake
This premium cooking sake is made entirely from organic rice, resulting in a delicate character, subtle sweet grain and aromas of fruit. Thanks to the addition of salt, it' leans a little more savory than standard sake, yet doesn't have the harsh mineral quality that exists when you actually taste salt. The straw-colored liquid is slightly more viscous than standard sake and its pleasant flavors come through when incorporated into recipes. Many other brands we’ve tried are so salty and astringent that they bear no resemblance to sake at all. So compared to others we’ve tried, this one is downright elegant, with a subtlety of flavor not generally found in any salted cooking wines. Also, this is a small bottle and should last longer once opened, so it's a great option for someone who wants to try recipes that call for sake without committing to the fridge space, or being left with an almost full 750mL bottle after cooking.
Auria's Malaysian Kitchen Sambal Set
This set of two Malaysian sambals pack a punch of bold flavor pleasant heat. Hot Chili Sambal has a chili-forward flavor and fire that's balanced between the brightness of fresh peppers and earthiness of dried chilies. In addition to garlic, sugar and vinegar, this small-batch sauce also includes shrimp paste, which contributes umami without a fishy flavor. The sambal has a thick, spreadable consistency and incorporates easily into dips, spreads and sauces. Based on a family recipe, Lime Leaf Sambal is a one-of-a-kind tangy and savory chili paste made with makrut lime leaves and lime juice. The clarifying aroma and complex floral notes of the lime complement the chili peppers' fresh, vibrant quality without making the hot sauce taste overwhelmingly citrusy. The sambal is rounded out with pungent garlic, cane sugar and kosher salt for a savory, balanced condiment that has both the brightness of fresh chilies and the depth of cooked chilies.
Hot Chili Sambal Ingredients: Fresh chilies, dried chilies, canola oil, garlic, cane sugar, fermented shrimp paste, salt, vinegar Lime Leaf Sambal Ingredients: Fresh chilies, dried green peppers, canola oil, garlic, cane sugar, lime juice, kosher salt, makrut lime leaves.
Net Weight: 8 ounces each
Note: Made in a facility that processes soy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, fish, shellfish, milk and eggs.
Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen Hot Chili Sambal
This small-batch chili paste from Auria's Malaysian Kitchen has a wonderful chili-forward flavor, with a balance between the brightness of fresh peppers and the earthiness of dried chilies that makes it adaptable to all manner of recipes. The spice is rounded out with pungent garlic and a touch of sugar and vinegar, and the producer also uses shrimp paste in its recipe, which contributes umami flavor without any fishiness. As an ingredient for cooking, you can get more mileage out of sambal than hot sauce thanks to its thicker consistency, while its complexity makes it a great powerhouse ingredient for weeknight stir-fries. Try substituting sambal for the red chili flakes in our Thai Stir-Fried Spinach.
Auria's Malaysian Kitchen Lime Leaf Sambal
Based on a family recipe, Lime Leaf Sambal by Auria's Malaysian Kitchen is a one-of-a-kind tangy and savory chili paste made with makrut lime leaves and lime juice. The clarifying aroma and complex floral notes of makrut lime complement the chili peppers' fresh, vibrant quality without making the hot sauce taste overwhelmingly citrusy. The sambal is rounded out with pungent garlic, cane sugar and kosher salt for a savory, balanced condiment that has both the brightness of fresh chilies and the depth of cooked chilies.
Auria’s Malaysian Kitchen Pandan Kaya
Pandan Kaya is a Southeast Asian coconut jam often eaten on toast or baked into bread and pastries. It has a jiggly, custardy consistency, a spring green color from pandan leaves and a light coconut aroma. The creamy jam has a salted caramel-like character and a lightly herbal quality that is utterly addictive. Auria's Malaysian Kitchen slow-cooks their product in small batches in Brooklyn using a minimal ingredient list and no artificial preservatives or colors. Use Pandan Kaya like you would a custard or curd: Layer between cakes or cookies, use it as a filling for crepes, or smear on waffles with fruit instead of syrup. Try it as a base filling for baked tart shells topped with fruit, or mix with milk and cream and freeze in an ice cream maker
Mount Mansfield Maple Products Coffee Infused Maple Cream
This sweet maple spread will add a dollop of decadence to all kinds of desserts and breakfast items. Each jar has an incredibly high concentration of pure, organic maple syrup from Vermont—which packs a lovely, bold maple flavor compared to other maple creams we’ve tasted that use lower-quality syrups. Though thick, the cream is spreadable and able to be drizzled. And because it’s sugar, it melts quickly on the tongue, releasing a wonderfully rich taste. It’s flavorful enough to simply slather across a thick slice of warm bread—letting the sugars dissolve and soak into it—or eat by the spoonful.
Bona Furtuna Wild Foraged Fennel Pollen
Fennel pollen is often thought of as frou-frou or “restauranty,” but that’s mostly because it’s not something you find at your average grocery store. The delicate granules are harvested from tiny yellow flowers and they have a light texture, but aren’t powdery. While you most likely wouldn’t sprinkle fennel seed on top of a springy cake, the texture of the fennel pollen is definitely delicate enough to be a garnish. The flavor of fennel pollen is, unsurprisingly, more floral, sweet and delicate than earthier fennel seeds. It straddles the line between the strong fennel character and the more licorice-like flavor of aniseed. If you do come across fennel pollen, it can often be clumpy and lose its delicate floral aroma, but this one is exceedingly fresh and lovely. It’s even more versatile than already well-loved fennel seed.
Bona Furtuna Organic Aglio e Oglio
A classic Sicilian herb blend that’s extremely versatile, this medley is flecked with vibrant green parsley and red Calabrian chili. Dried parsley is generally one of the biggest wastes of pantry space, as it loses its character really fast (similar to other delicate herbs like cilantro and tarragon), and mass-produced drying and bottling of parsley generally means little to no flavor no matter how new your bottle is. The bright and clear parsley flavor in this Bona Furtuna blend is pretty much revelatory. The blend tastes bright, fruity and a little spicy, with grassy and bright parsley impeccably preserved by the drying process. It’s got a good amount of spice, but is rounded out with earthy, mellow garlic and a hint of high-quality Trapiani salt.
Bona Furtuna Stuffed Peppers with Tuna
A traditional antipasti from Sicily made with carefully sourced ingredients, this tasty bite has juicy, tender, fruity pepper flavor and a hint of spice in every juicy bite. Savory tuna complements, but doesn’t overpower the pepper flavor. The other flavors (a bit of tomato, the extra bit of brine from capers, the tang of the vinegar) round everything out really nicely. The peppers are chubby and round and stuffed with smooth tuna, with a meaty green olive on top. They’re packed in oil, which as taken on a slight red-orange hue from the red of the peppers.
SAVA Trading Co. Extract-Grade Madagascar Vanilla Beans
Hand-harvested from Madagascar's northeastern Sava region, which is famous for its vanilla production, SAVA Trading Co.'s Extract-Grade Madagascar Vanilla Beans are fresher than conventional brands and hand-processed using traditional methods to maximize their vanillin content and preserve their woody-sweet depth of flavor and intoxicating aroma. The company partners with Malagasy farmers to source sustainably grown vanilla beans picked at peak maturity. By cutting out middleman costs, SAVA is able to directly pay Madagascar farmers above-market prices for their premium vanilla and support local village economies. These whole beans are great for making homemade extract—simply soak beans in the alcohol of your choice. Or scrape the seeds out to use in desserts and keep the leftover pods in a jar of sugar to infuse it with vanilla flavor.