Located in New York City on Lexington Avenue, Kalustyan's is three expansive floors of international and multicultural cooking ingredients including but not limited to: sauces, spices, breads, bean mixes, bulk ingredients, flours, olive oils, canned goods, seasonings, and teas. It probably has anything you could ever ask for, seriously, and for me it was like food geek heaven. Almost everything is packaged on site, and many gluten free items are offered.
However, being the curious Celiac that I am, I spoke with one of the employees who clarified what is truly safe for a Celiac or someone with a wheat allergy. According to this employee, there are two sets of employees who package different items at different times. Bulk items (beans, seeds, chocolates, etc.) and flours are all packaged at the same time by one set of employees. This includes the gluten free items, for which they take precautions but, since they are done at the same time, cannot fully guarantee no cross contamination. Spices and Seasonings are packaged separately by a different set of employees at a different time. So, Spices and Seasonings are a go, but be cautious if your looking to use their bulk or flour products. Obviously, prepackaged goods not made or packaged by them require the same usual diligence.
Despite the massive content that can be overwhelming to the first comer, the layout keeps things clean and simple. Check out these photos for an idea.
The main floor includes bulk good, canned goods, sauces, fridge items, oils, rices, and sweets.
The Lower level includes flours, cooking mixes, ethnic groceries, cooking gadgets, and spices and seasonings (mostly in alphabetical order).
The Upper level included a selection of tea, cooking supplies (cups, bowls, steamers etc.), and a take out or dine in deli.
Doesn't it just seem great?
So, if you're as insane as I am about flavoring your foods, and live in the area/will be in NYC to visit, totally check out Kalustyan's! And be sure to check out one of my favorite things there besides the food: A huge list located in the spice section that gives you the ethnic background, cooking uses, and pairings for their spices and seasonings. I wanted to take a copy home!
Submitted by Celtic Celiac: http://celtic-celiac.blogspot.com/