Thursday, April 5, 2012
Although I often complain about new things replacing old, I’m always happy when something brilliant AND new comes along. When I lead my Food Tours, I often have to gloss over the stores and vendors that are springing up like mushrooms, selling questionable gourmet souvenirs to tourists.
(Yes. I’m talking about bright green pasta shaped like male sexual organs).
On the other hand, in neighborhoods like Monti and Testaccio, there are a bunch of new places that I think are fantastic. Small stores, specializing in just a few things. They choose to limit their inventory, while focusing on the highest possible quality.
Emporio delle Spezie is one of these new arrivals. This pocket-sized store is tucked into a side street in Testaccio. Crystal clear jars line the shelves, filled with over 150 spices from all over the world. While the owner certainly has Italian things like hot peppers and saffron, she’s also all up on peppers from Sarawak, salts from Hawaii and any other Indian spice I could ever dream of needing.
Since the quantities are low, she’s able to renew her inventory often, so everything is fresh (not always easy to claim for things like cumin and sumac here in Rome).
The other reason I love going here? She has a full selection of flours from Mulino Marino.
So, if you are looking for a culinary gift to bring back home, please please avoid the bright green pasta and head here. A small baggie full of peperoncini from Calabria sounds much better, doesn’t it?
Emporio delle Spezie
Via Luca della Robbia 20