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Spices can make all the difference between an average meal and a gourmet one. There are a few pleasures greater than sharing a delicious and beautifully set homemade meal with family and friends, so the next time you cook, be sure you have the right spices on hand. (As for herbs, we recommend you try growing them yourself!)
It’s critical to have a wide variety of spices on-hand so that you can cook dishes from different regions, from a Mediterranean mezze platter to a mouth-watering roast chicken. That means regularly stocking up on your Cumin or topping up your shelves with Tumeric.
But remember, spices only last for about six months. Keeping a wide inventory of international spices on hand that’s always fresh and tasty can quickly become expensive. The good news is you don't have to break the bank to indulge in your love of spicy foods. Check out our guide for the cheapest place to buy spices.
In This Post:
- Where to Buy the Freshest Spices?
- Best Places to Buy Bulk Spices
- Best Spice Companies Online
- Tips for Buying Spices Online
Where to Buy the Freshest Spices?
There are a ton of benefits to having whole spices in your kitchen. Because they aren’t yet ground, whole spices retain more of their flavor. You can then toast or grind them, depending on the dish. Even if you don’t use whole spices immediately, they’ll be able to stay fresh longer because much of the flavor is released when you prep them.
If you’re not sure where to buy fresh spices, Sur La Table is our favorite place to buy affordable, quality spices online as well as seasoning mixes for everything from salmon to popcorn.
Best Places to Buy Bulk Spices
You can buy your spices in bulk from a spice sourcer if you want quality ingredients and are looking to get some of the best prices on spices. These direct-to-consumer sellers allow you to skip the store and instead buy your spices from the same retailers professional chefs often use.
Here, three of the best places to buy bulk spices online — plus, what makes each one unique.
This online retailer specializes in fresh spices like Sannan Chillies and Lakadong Tumeric sourced from South Asia.
Professional chefs and home cooks alike rely on Burlap & Barrel for quality spices. Try the Zanzibar Black Peppercorns or Cured Sumac.
This spice company has a mission: to help support peace in Afghanistan, where it ethically sources spices like Saffron and Wild Black Cumin.
Which Shops are Best for Organic Spices?
Unlike regular spices, organic spices are grown without pesticides or genetically engineered ingredients. They also don’t contain synthetic caking agents or chemical additives, and they aren’t irradiated. They’re usually high-quality spices that can improve the flavor of any dish you decide to whip up in your kitchen.
Here, two of our picks for the best places to buy organic spices online:
This all-organic retailer specializes in spice blends that are salt and additive free. You can pick from more than 20 from all over the world.
These high quality organic spices range from Allspice to Vanilla Bean and are available in bulk.
Best Spice Companies Online
Ready to start stocking up your pantry? Here, some of the best online retailers around for spices, blends, seasonings, rubs, and other flavouring.
Sur La Table’s salts and seasonings are beautifully packaged, and make for a great gift for aspiring chefs.
This retailer also has recipes so you can source the ingredients for your very own homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte.
This fair trade spice company gives 4% of its profits back to the organizations that help the communities it sources its ingredients from.
Meherwan Irani, a chef who’s been nominated for a James Beard award five times, runs this online spice retailer. If you’re just starting out, we like the 18 Pack Kitchen Essentials Collection.
Once you have a collection of spice jars, you can buy refill bags at Oaktown Spice Shop — which Food & Wine Magazine has called one of the world's best spice shops.
Tips for Buying Spices Online
Follow these three tips to make the most of the spices you buy online.
Wherever You Can Buy in Small Quantities
Bulk buying is perfect for spices that you regularly use in your cooking. But you don’t need to buy every spice in bulk; stick to the ones that you use frequently and invest in smaller quantities of those that you only need for a specific recipe. Otherwise, it may go bad before you have a chance to use it.
Determine which spices you need in bulk and which ones you need only in small quantities, then choose your retailer accordingly.
Simply Ditch the Famous Names
Big brand names like Trader Joe’s or Costco don’t necessarily stock the freshest spices. You can usually find better spices — at better prices — at authentic ethnic stores. So skip the supermarket if you’re looking for a great deal on affordable, high-quality spices.
Shop Around for the Best Choice
Always shop around before you buy to get the best deals possible. It’s easy to compare prices at multiple retailers when you’re sourcing ingredients from online retailers. If you prefer to shop in person — or are in a time crunch — try a plaza, mall, or other shopping centre where there are dozens of small stores and retailers so you can shop around for the best deals.
Looking for the better prices on home improvement? Check out our post on Menards store.