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Eastern spices in Spain

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Offline elvis

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« on: December 07, 2009, 11:10 AM »
Hi, i know this is a touchy subject, but am running out of certain spices bought from home, not generally available in spanish stores.
I have been reliably informed would be available if i make the trip up to barcelona!
so, am on the look out for indian/malaysian/thai spices and maybe basmati rice/red lentils/curry paste if possible?
Any tips for where to find them in Barcelona?

When i lived in Helsinki, there was 1 indian shop, which also stocked a few items of british products (custard powder, ribena), i couldn't work out if it was because british people shopped for indian food there, or because they were indians from the uk who lived there!

cheers
elvina
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 09:26 AM by nick »

Simon

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« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2009, 12:54 PM »
Hi Elvina, et al,

You're right about Barcelona being a good source of spices, etc. Most of the ethnic shops are in the Raval, i.e. the reputedly seedy side of Las Ramblas (and before anyone in the Barana cntingent complains, I do know that much of the Raval is perfectly respectible!), but you need to have a guide as the best shops keep changing in my experience! Nick (a.k.a. the IbNat offcial curry chef >:D) is your man, though, so a quick PM to him should get him looking at this post!

Herb stalls in markets will have basic curry powder mix, but it is basic! - as well as some whole spices like cloves and peppercorns. But if you want real exotica like whole black cardamoms you may be better off doing the Easyjet option - we get our whole spices like that, they seem to last forever in this climate!

Meanwhile, large branches of Carrefour have sections devoted to ethnic foods, especially from Latin America, and are worth checking out if you are passing. Otherwise I guess you're limited to arabic shops, which have things like cumin and turmeric, as well as thier own version of curry mix Ras en-Hanout - which is pretty lethal! We have a local that make thier own bread which is great, otherwise we use pittabread from Carrefour. Pappadums are a real treat, again I get these from Barcelona, as well as basmati in bulk*, again, Carrefour do basmati from brands like 'Nomen' but it's really expensive. Nick has waved me off (or should that be waived  >:D) on the train heavily laden on several occasions!

Good like and happy curry!

Simon

* this reminds me of a boss I used to have, an ethnic Cantonese from Singapore. Whenever I used to moan about my lot, which was pretty much all the time, he was a useless boss although a great guy, he remeinded me that his dad arrived in Singapore with nothing but the loincloth he stood up in, he worked hard on the road gangs and saved up enough to buy a sack of rice, then he started selling the rice by the cupfull to the neighbourhood . . . you can guess the rest, perhaps including the fact that my boss was the one who got sent to Britain to earn foreign exchange to remit to the family - to the detriment of all, my boos would have made a brilliant shopkeeper, wheras I gather his elder brother was useless - fortunes made and lost in two generations . . . But there's a moral here for us all, so go on Elvina be brave - fill up your caravan with bulk spices, basmati, papadums, etc. and set up yuor stall in Tortosa each week!  :dancing:


Offline Maria

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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 13:10 PM »
We struggle to get fresh spices here to we use a company called seasoned pioneers fantastic choice of spices from all over the world in resealable packets that last for ages, quick and cheap to send out to Spain, highly recommend.

Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 14:19 PM »
Touchy? Why?

I know the shop which closed which Simon means, as it was round the corner from where I used to live, but the best shop hasn't changed in 20 years. It's on the corner of Sant Pau and Robadors. (On left side of Sant Pau coming from Ramblas) Tiny place with narrow aisles packed with everything you'll need Indian-wise. Big sacks of basmati. Fresh okra too.  PS just in case you don't know, Elvis, keep a watch out for your bags and stuff in this area.

Also check out the nearby wonderful Pakistani baker on C/Hospital on the left coming from the Ramblas. Delicoius hot chicken roll.

There is also a very good Thai-Malay shop - C/Compte de Ugell 24. A Thai friend I know shops there.

http://www.thaigourmet.es/

The best Chinese shop and the place to buy Chinese food is Dong Fang. Also has Chinese mags and books should you so wish, and functions as an informal Chinese community info centre.

Dong Fang C/ Balmes 6, L'Eixample, 08007, Barcelona

http://www.bcn.es/cgi-guia/guiamap4/cgi-guia/?actives=K001K002K003K004K009K011&scl=5&cnt=30452.15%2C82164.57&plt=30452.15%2C82164.57&plant=capes4c&txt1=&txt2=C.+de+Balmes%2C+6&idioma=0&grayscl=0&zoom=4&escala.x=294&escala.y=11

Ukranian? C/Roser on the left towards Montjuic. in Poble Sec
English? Top of C/Verdi in Gracia (not been yet)
Portuguese? Half way up Verdi on the right.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 14:43 PM by nick »
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Offline Maria

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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 17:13 PM »
Corrr how lucky are you lot having that all on hand, I have to wait till a trip back to old blighty to get a decent curry/chinease/thai etc  :santa_angry:

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2009, 09:18 AM »
A bit nearer than Barcelona I am told that the Indian Food Shop near the Cathedral in Tortosa is good for eastern spices.  I have no had no personal use though, just going by hearsay.

Simon

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« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2009, 09:52 AM »
Well well, aren't we all interested in sugar and spice(s) and all things nice  :dancing:

I've been trying to find a list of the ethnic shops in Tarragona city, to no avail thus far (I'm supposed to be rebuiding my web page :banghead:) but in the meantime, if you do visit the little smoke, i.e. Tarragona, then you might like this official discount card.

I also found a Catalonia based 'foreign' food supermarket. It seems that 'A Taste of Home' is now in Barcelona, as well as being on-line, but I understand that they were/are based quite close to you Elvina in Amettla del Mar, , so an email to them shoud confirm that! They don't have anything like the stock that Nick would expect in Barcelona but it might be handy for the basics - besides, Ametlla is said to be a really nice place - never been there yet myself!

Meanwhile, back to the slog - my curry has been fermenting quietly to itself since Sunday morning, i.e. 48 hours ago, it should be scrummy* by this evening!

Regs

Simon

PS *gud jub doo - I'b geddig a colgd!  :speechless:
« Last Edit: December 15, 2009, 17:08 PM by Simon »

Offline tonyninfas

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« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 09:01 AM »
We use to go to 'A Taste of Home' in l'Ametlla but it closed down during the summer when they completed there move to Barcelona.  I would imagine that the trade in l'Ametlla was not good enough as the shelves always seemed to be full of offers on out of date stock.  Mind you, that could be as a result of the prices being charged !!
Tyr'Little Britain' who are offering a mobile service out of l'Aldea near Tortosa.  They have a website and might be able to obtain those items that you miss so much from the LOG.

Offline elmussol

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« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 22:58 PM »
A bit nearer than Barcelona I am told that the Indian Food Shop near the Cathedral in Tortosa is good for eastern spices.  I have no had no personal use though, just going by hearsay.

This is true.

pault

...though we still have a kilo of turmeric to get through. Elvina, make that trip to Xerta and we may be able to sort you.
pault's blurb: location: Xerta, Tarragona province, Catalunya
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Offline elvis

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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2010, 12:23 PM »
Hiya
Ii went to Tortosa and found lots of spices! no curry pastes but spices a plenty.

I found the indian/pakistani shop (as directed by an indian guy in an internet cafe!) in Calle Bonaire, good for big packs lentils/rice and some spices, and Mr Mohameds in Pl. de Montserrat, who as well as selling kitchen stuff, clothes and Finca's has spices & foods from lots of countries, indian, chinese, south american, north african. So got some tamarind, some bulgar wheat, some peanut butter and some five spice.

Thanks for offer pault but actually still have turmeric from home, similarly had a huge pack one time. But will try visit Xerta soon!

cheers
elvina

Offline Manzanilla

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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2010, 19:56 PM »
I am about as far from Barcelona as you can get - down in Cadiz!   The best place round here, surprisingly, is Morrisons supermarket in Gibraltar.  There is a large Asian community in Gib and they have a whole section of ethnic foods - including all the spices and the full range of Patak curry pastes.

Offline Waste-Dweller

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« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2013, 09:13 AM »
I don't cook much,but I like to have lots of herbs and spices for health and medicine. I used to collect and dry some and buy the rest from a marvelous stockist called spiceworld.uk.com, but they closed (too good to survive in the modern world) so now I buy from Baldwins http://www.baldwins.co.uk/    http://therootsstory.co.uk/the-story-of-baldwins-and-herbal-remedies/  but it costs far more, as they're mostly in small quantities and there's a shop and they do tinctures and so on. Very good, though, and in cellophane packs and glass bottles.

Offline StripeyCat

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« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2014, 00:58 AM »
Thanks to everyone whocontributed to this thread. We can get some stuff from a Brit shop about 25km from here, basic spices and lentils from mercadona but for anything exotic we need to send off to the UK for it. We will try the online shop which is recommended above and let you know how we get on. We have found a very good curry house called Bombay Palace [they have a new chef who is fantastic] in Fortuna, Murcia. It's an hour's drive from us but well worth it for a special treat.