Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gerwurzhaus Spice & Herb Merchants, 342 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria

Melbourne is truly a foodie's paradise.  I was walking down Lygon Street the other day in search of La Parisienne Pate for a new stash of foie gras, and had to duck into a shop to escape one of Melbourne's ubiquitous bouts of flash rain.  This shop happened to be Gerwurzhaus Spice & Herb Merchants, a wonderful little shop selling all manner of spices, herbs, teas and even salts!

I've walked past this unassuming place several times, not realising what's inside, and was very pleased to discover it.

There is a mind-boggling cornucopia of familiar, exotic, weird and wonderful spices, herbs and reagents available: from Chinese Five Spice, Ras al Hanout and Dukka Zataar, to Laksa Lemak, Satay spice, Iranian saffron (in A Grade and B Grade, and available as stamens or powder) and even a South American mate tea blend.

There are also more than 10 varieties of salt, including Himalayan pink salt, Black lava sea salt, Persian blue salt, Italian black truffle salt, and even salt that has been smoked in Chardonnay barrels.

And on top of that, they have Himalayan pink salt blocks: solid slabs of rock salt which can be used to cook, cure and age food, depending on what culinary adventure you choose to embark upon.

Everything is sold loose - you can see and sniff to your content before you decide on what to buy.  When you want to buy something, they provide these nifty little pre-labelled paper bags which you scoop your chosen spice/tea/herbs/salt into, and then you take them to be weighed and charged.  Or if you prefer to save yourself the trouble, you can choose one of the pre-filled and sealed jars that are available.

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