I first learned about Épices de Cru from a Globe & Mail article referenced by Taste T.O. The article highlighted a Sri Lankan white curry blend of spices that the company makes. Curiosity piqued, I found the Épices de Cru website, and thus found the spice pushers that my addiction had been missing. These folks travel the world in search of regional flavours, both individual ingredients and unique blends. They do all of the leg work, and bring the wealth back to us in the form of spices and whole spice blends. Unlike grocery store spice blends, these are not preground – the idea is that you would grind the whole lot when you are ready to cook with it.
It was a long walk to Jean-Talon from our hotel, but I hoofed it there in record time. I was excited. The walk back was much less energetic (and more painful), but let’s forget about that for now. I found the store, Olives et Épices, and was immediately in heaven. Walls stacked with little painty jars full of spices, I didn’t know where to start.
Actually, the most difficult part was deciding which spice sets to buy, if any. There were lots of interesting ones, but most of them had at least one item in it that I already had at home. I also had to figure out when to buy a whole jar vs getting it in a set. I got the white curry in a big jar, figuring I’d really enjoy it. I also got a jar of whole Sumac, because I am obsessed with it. After pondering things for about an hour (no joke – this is serious stuff!) I picked a few spice sets, and was on my way. I’m purposely forgetting the part where I broke a glass vial with cinnamon in it, and the nice boys working there quickly swept it up and handed me a new vial, my face red.
Before leaving the market, I stopped for a wee pamplemousse (grapefruit) sorbet. It put the ‘yum!’ in dayyyy-yum!