Monday, May 3, 2010

KALUSTYAN FOR GLUTEN-FREE VEGETARIAN SHOPPING


Kalustyan is a boon for the celiac or gluten sensitive cook, since you’ll benefit from gluten free items traditionally eaten in other cultures, not just our own. Every square inch of Kalustyan, from ceiling to floor, is packed with foods from all over the world.

This place is heaven for lovers of South Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine. The most obscure (by American tastes) condiments are available. Need pomegranate molasses for a North African recipe? Look no further! Tired of using supermarket curry powder when you know most Indian cooking uses multiple spices? Kalustyan (though they carry many spice blends, too) should be your first stop.

Almost 100 herbs sold, many in several varieties (oregano from Mexico or the Mediterranean? or dried bunches from Greece?). This tiny shop carries 100 kinds of lentils. Rices of all sizes and colors, 70 of them. Bhutanese red rice, for example, so nutty and flavorful! If you need it, they almost surely have it. Rice, beans, lentils—all gluten free, of course.


And for gluten free baking needs, everything from a house brand gluten free all-purpose flour to fava, chestnut and almond flours, or several grinds of chickpea flour, both roasted and plain. Xanthan and guar gum, yeast, nuts and dried fruits, juices, even rosewater. And a great little cookbook section on the wall behind the checkout area.

See the website, so the extraordinary variety doesn’t overwhelm you in person. Even with a shopping list, though, you might be tempted to stray—halvah cut to size for you at the register, perhaps? You can never know, exactly, what you’ll walk out with at Kalustyan.

Kalustyan
Located at 123 Lexington Avenue. 6 train to Park and 28th.
Mon-Sat 10-8, Sun 11-7. Credit cards accepted.



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