You know how can you tell you are a foodie? When going to a specialty food store is probably more exciting than your birthday.
In fact, I’m probably borderline fanatical, obsessed with the gastronomic world and all it has to offer. If you put me in a bookstore, I search for the cookbook section and will stay there for hours. If there is a gluten-free restaurant nearby or a new Morri-friendly product on the shelves, you bet your bottom dollar I’m going to give it a try. My morning routine consists of reading the latest posts from the amazing food bloggers I follow. I watch the Cooking Channel zealously, and think of ways I could alter the recipes to my lifestyle. I dream of food often, and I daydream of my future in the restaurant business. My philosophies are directly linked to cooking, and the aromas that come from the kitchen smell more glorious to me than the most expensive perfumes money can buy.
My Uncle’s girlfriend was the one who recommended this store to Mama Dazz and me, and if any of you foodies are ever in the Falls Church area, Penzeys Spices is an awesome place to visit.
This store, while simple in design and execution of display, is a jaw-dropping sight to behold. You walk in to shelves upon shelves upon shelves of spices, organized by type and how it can be used. There’s a baking section to your right, with various extracts and cocoa powders and citrus peels. To your left is a plethora of spices from A – Z, including three types of cardamom and even more cinnamon types. There are cheese seasonings, chili powders, sausage spices, and more.
Mama Dazz and I walked out with seventeen distinct spices and combinations in our quaint brown paper shopping bag, all of them Morri-friendly to boot! My favorite by far was the “Balti” blend, smelling exactly like the Bangladeshi home across the street and a scent I had always wanted to incorporate in my cooking. We also got Italian herb blend, Greek seasoning, Turkish seasoning, Chili 3000, Tsardust memories, powdered rosemary, whole cumin seeds, various pepper powders, and natural wasabi (not pure wasabi, but still interesting). Already my mind is swimming with ways to use them, though I don’t want to use them just because we have them on hand. I want to put them in with dishes that make sense, like the Greek seasoning with the falafel and lamb kabob dish I have planned later in the week or Tsardust memories in a meat and cabbage combination to go with a bowl of borsch I want to help the boyfriend make.
The Frenchman (with the accent and everything) behind the counter let me take a few pictures of the store, and he is quite a nice gentleman once you start talking with him. I talked about my time in Sweden, about the two amazing young Frenchmen I had met there and the hilarious stories they shared. Despite my not knowing a word of French (other than Le Petit Poucet) and not learning it while in a Scandinavian country, he gave us a coupon for his wife’s salon and spa with our receipt anyway.
The prices are fairly reasonable, but we have quite a spice repertoire as it is, so it may be a while until we come back to restock. They do have a number of gift assortments, however, great for weddings and the holidays. And I do have a number of foodie friends with birthdays coming up... :)