Soom Premium Tahini
Many supermarket tahinis are over-roasted, which gives them an unpleasant, bitter flavor. They are also too thick and hard to stir into a creamy blend. Soom's tahini has a full, nutty flavor as well as a pourable and well-balanced texture, made from single-origin white sesame seeds from northwestern Ethiopia that have an ideal oil-to-protein ratio.
Casablanca Market Preserved Lemons from Morocco
Casablanca Market's preserved lemons have a bright, balanced flavor, and they aren't overly salty or bitter like some brands. We like that they add a bold, piquant kick to dishes without being too sour, and their tender texture is perfect for chopping finely and incorporating into recipes.
Milk Street Za'atar Blend
We like to think there are few dishes za’atar can’t improve. Our rendition of this Middle Eastern herb-and-sesame spice blend is punched up with Aleppo pepper, sumac and garlic for a complete one-stop seasoning. It’s also the perfect savory addition to your morning avocado toast, fried eggs or even a bagel smeared with cream cheese.
Mymouné Pomegranate Molasses
I discovered this Pomegranate Molasses from Mymouné through a Cambridge restaurant called Moona; the Lebanese company makes all of its products by hand in small batches, and their pomegranate molasses is the sharpest and brightest I have ever tasted. The bottle will last a long time, and it is so much better than the sweeter, less balanced supermarket products. It's a a powerhouse ingredient used throughout the cooking of the Middle East and the Caucasus region that I guarantee you'll love. — Christopher Kimball
Villa Jerada Harissa
Villa Jerada’s Harissa No. 1 is our favorite version of this North African red pepper paste for its bright, complex flavor. While many store-bought varieties have a one-dimensional spicy flavor, this harissa layers acidity and fruitiness with preserved lemons, a touch of vinegar and tomato paste for a lively, tangy condiment. Villa Jerada uses just enough high-quality Moroccan olive oil to make the harissa spreadable and smooth without diluting its flavor, as opposed to conventional brands that contain a high proportion of water and vegetable oil.
Villa Jerada Aleppo Pepper
Fruity, subtly cumin flavored and only moderately spicy, coarse-ground Aleppo pepper is used throughout Middle Eastern cooking. We use it frequently and consider it a valuable flavoring for all manner of dishes that benefit from a little spark of heat. Villa Jerada’s sourcing is impeccable as these flakes are particularly moist and richly flavored.
Mymouné Apricot Preserves
Unlike many apricot jams that taste mostly of corn syrup, Mymouné's apricot preserve is bursting with real apricot flavor. The Lebanese company uses local apricots that are grown without irrigation, which ensures they have a more concentrated flavor, and cooks the fruit whole down until thick and syrupy. Tasting this bright jam reminds us of fruit just picked off a tree at the end of a warm, summer day. Stir it into yogurt, or pair it with a drizzle of earthy tahini on a bowl of oatmeal. Matthew Card, our food editor, thinks it makes the best PB&J, especially on a nutty whole-grain bread. For desserts, Mymouné Apricot Jam is great as a cookie filling or, when warmed up and combined with an optional touch of bourbon, as a glaze for a pound cake. The fruity intensity of these preserves works with savory foods, too: Try blending it with equal parts extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne pepper to toss with roasted carrots, sweet potatoes or butternut squash.
Villa Jerada Ras El Hanout
Literally translated as “top of the shop,” this Ras El Hanout is a warm, complex, savory North African spice blend that can be a go-to rub for chicken, grilling, or simply mixed with Greek yogurt or softened butter. Every pantry should have a jar. Key ingredients in this blend include saffron, rose petals, grains of paradise, fennel seeds, monk pepper, galangal, orris root, white peppercorns, anise star, lavender, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom and allspice.
Soom Silan Date Syrup
Soom imports our favorite tahini, and this silky-sweet date syrup has quickly become a kitchen staple sweetener. Also known as date honey, Soom’s Silan is a thick, glossy syrup prepared from steamed and pureed dates. It’s earthy and rich, with a rounded flavor and dried-fruit finish. Use it anywhere you might drizzle maple syrup or honey; it makes a terrific alternative to maple syrup on pancakes and waffles, or drizzled over oatmeal and yogurt. Silan even works for savory recipes. Pair it with toasted nuts or nut oils in vinaigrettes; you can also drizzle it over roasted meat or toss it with roasted vegetables, especially naturally sweet carrots, sweet potatoes or butternut squash garnished with toasted almonds and chili flakes.