Smell and taste are inextricably bound with memory, so what better souvenir of your hands than an array of spices. A few sprinkles can transport you to the narrow alleys, sparkling streets and sunbaked corners of your favorite destination cities.
The Spice of LifeMarch 11, 2014 332 0 0
TASTE IT: The thriving capital of Turkey was a center of trade for centuries, and its food is a fusion of Middle Eastern, Central Asian and Balkan cuisine resulting in mouthwatering kabobs, salad, flatbreads and mezze (an assortment of hot and cold appetizers).
BUY IT: Walk uphill toward the Ankara Citadel on Bakircilar Carsisi to find spice shops. For a uniquely Turkish flavor, look for the crimson-colored dried sumac, which is ground from a wild berry and lends an intriguing sweet-and-sour taste to salads and roasted vegetables.
WHERE: Bakircilar Carsisi Street in the old city, Ulus, Ankara.
TASTE IT: A port city and international melting pot, Lima has a complex cuisine, featuring Andean, Spanish, Italian, African, Chinese and Japanese influences.
BUY IT: Stroll through Surquillo Market in search of Aji Amarillo (yellow pepper). With its moderate heat and floral taste, it can be purchased dry or in paste form to re-create zingy ceviches and creamy sauces to be ladled over potatoes or meats.
WHERE: Surquillo Market, Paseo de la Republica Block 53, Surquillo District, Lima.
TASTE IT: Once a sleepy fishing village, Mumbai has transformed into a bustling metropolis thanks to waves of immigrants from all over India, bringing along their culinary treasures, The city is celebrated for its street food, like savory chicken tikka rolls, dhosas and vada pav, a tender potato fitter in a bun.
BUY IT: Visit Chavan Brothers Masala Store and stand in line with local women having their masalas, or spice mixtures, blended. Try with meats, vegetables or dried chilis to add color and heat to your favorite Maharashtrian dishes.
WHERE: Chavan Brothers Masala Store, Shop No. 5, Lalbaug New Market, Mumbai
TASTE IT: Once called the Venice of Asia for its network of canals, Bangkok still maintains a thriving culture of floating markets. Thai cuisine is a fine balance of salty, sour, spicy and sweet.
BUY IT: Float along the charming low-key market of Khlong Lat Mayom shopping for dried coriander, Thai chili powder, green peppercorn, and dried Thai chilis.
WHERE: Khlong Lat Mayom Market in southern Bangkok.
San Antonio, Texas
TASTE IT: San Antonians are fiercely loyal to their regional Tex-Mex flavors, and you’ll see why as you sample the hearty offerings influenced by Mexico, South Texan cattle culture and home cooking of Mexican Americans.
BUY IT: Pop into South Texas Spice Co. to stock up on cumin and chili powder, two key ingredients in Tex-Mex favorites like fajitas, chimichangas and chili con carne.
WHERE: South Texas Spice Co., 2106 Castroville Rd., San Antonio, Texas.