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.
Casablanca Market Black Olive Tapenade
Casablanca Market's simple and delicious Black Olive Tapenade has a rich olive flavor and even, spreadable texture. It's not overly salty like so many supermarket versions, but rather balanced between briny capers, fruity extra-virgin olive oil, savory garlic and an unconventional ingredient: herbs de Provence, an aromatic blend that often includes parsley, thyme, rosemary, savory and marjoram. The herbs act as a counterpoint to keep the spread from tasting cloying or fatty. Instead, the tapenade has light floral notes on top of the grassy-fruity aroma of the olive oil.
Belazu Ingredient Company Turkish Pepper Paste
This robust pepper paste, a variation on Turkish biber sosu, features a base of sun-dried tomatoes and peppers for amazing depth and earthiness. With a smooth, spreadable consistency like a tapenade, Belazu's product has a concentrated, complex pepper flavor and a slow-building mild spice. White wine and balsamic vinegars brighten and balance the peppers' and tomatoes' ripe sweetness, while a touch of savory garlic grounds the flavor without drawing too much attention to itself.
Ingredients: Grilled red peppers, rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried peppers, extra-virgin olive oil, sunflower oil, white wine vinegar, salt, garlic puree, sugar, smoked paprika, balsamic vinegar of Modena, mixed spices
Net Weight: 130 grams Place of Origin: England
Hayden Flour Mills Chickpea Flour
Hayden's Chickpea Flour is earthy, lightly nutty and perfectly balanced between sweet and savory. And the company's stone milling process yields an ultra-fine consistency that is easily substituted in recipes. Swap out small quantities in your baked goods for extra protein and nutty-sweet flavor, or whisk into vegetarian soups for more body.
Casa Corneli Ceci Chickpeas
These premium dried chickpeas from Italian artisanal producer Casa Corneli are creamy when rehydrated but keep their shape well and are never mushy. Casa Corneli's Ceci Chickpeas are also slightly denser and more petite than the bloated canned chickpeas from other brands, with a buttery, earthy-sweet and aromatic flavor profile that tastes great even without salt. We also appreciate that the producer vacuum-seals the chickpeas to preserve freshness.
Canaan Organic Fair-Trade Freekeh
Canaan's organic freekeh has a delicate, toasty aroma and an earthy, nutty taste, with subtle grassy notes from the green wheat and a satisfying chewy texture. Use this grain as you would brown rice or quinoa, for a simple side or pilaf.
Canaan Organic Fair-Trade Maftoul
Similar to couscous, maftoul consists of small pearls hand-rolled from whole-wheat bulgur and flour.
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.
Burlap & Barrel Silk Chili
Softer and more vibrant than the stale chili flakes on grocery store shelves, these fruity chilies are sun-dried then stone-ground into flakes with a touch of sunflower oil and salt to preserve their soft texture. They have a bright medium heat and rich flavor reminiscent of sun-dried tomato.
Rumi Spice Pure Saffron from Afghanistan
After completing a tour of duty in Afghanistan, a team of U.S. Army veterans founded Rumi Spice, a company that grows, collects, and exports saffron, giving hundreds of local women well-paying jobs. It turns out that a good deal of saffron sold around the world is either old or made from dyed corn silk—Rumi Spice sells the real thing. This is premium saffron: collected by hand, sustainably farmed and ethically sourced. Here at Milk Street, we support the notion of helping the women of Afghanistan earn their own money directly for the first time in their lives.
Villa Jerada Dukkah
Rich, earthy dukkah—a blend of crushed, toasted hazelnuts and spices like cumin, coriander and sesame—is as much an all-purpose seasoning in Egypt as garam masala in India or five-spice powder in China. Villa Jerada's Dukkah is one of the freshest, most aromatic versions we've tried, with a fine texture that's perfect for mixing into dips or for sprinkling over food. The blend tastes prominently of cumin and coriander, with the hazelnuts adding a rich, sweet nuttiness and cayenne rounding out the dukkah with a touch of brightness.
Dukkah is eaten in Egypt from morning to night: Served alongside hard-boiled eggs, it's breakfast. With good olive oil and cheese on fresh bread, it's a snack. Sprinkled on roasted meat or vegetables, it's dinner. Try it as a spice rub for meats, or use dukkah to coat breaded cutlets for extra crunch, as we do in our Dukkah-Crusted Chicken Cutlets with Carrot-Cashew Salad. Or keep it simple and mix with olive oil to make a dip for bread and crudités—Villa Jerada Dukkah tastes great with little embellishment.
- Net Weight: 1.76 ounces
Hazelnuts (grown in Oregon), coriander, cumin, cayenne, salt, sesame seed
- Use: Store in a cool, dark place.
- Place of Origin: Morocco
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 Marrakesh Spiced Olives
Marinated in turmeric, lemons, sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil, these Marrakesh Spiced Olives from Morocco have a complexity similar to Casablanca Market's Preserved Lemons (a Milk Street favorite), with an added earthy element from turmeric. The olives have small pits so they're especially meaty and bursting with savory, grassy and buttery flavors. And not only do the lemons lend an intense aroma and brighten up the briny mix, the tender chunks of preserved citrus also taste great on their own.
Mymouné Rose Water
Rose water is the aromatic, subtly perfumed essence that defines the flavor of many of the baked goods of the Middle East; it has the remarkable capacity to cut through saccharine sweetness. We like that Mymouné's product tastes clearly like rose and has a natural, not chemical, flavor, so it isn't perfumey like supermarket versions.