Saturday, 21 February 2009


Kalustyan's at 123 Lexington Avenue (above) between E28 & 29th Streets, is a Lebanese/Armenian grocery emporium with one of the best collections of Indian, Middle Eastern, and Persian products in New York City, which has a mind-blowing display of rice. One can usually expect to find at least 20 varieties, offered in small one pound packages so you can buy a selection. From fat-grained Turkish rice, to odoriferous basmati, to Thai sticky, to sinister black rice, you'll see varieties you never knew existed.

The store is in the heart of 'Curry Hill' which is an area within the Murray Hill district and centered on E 29th Street, so named because of the high concentration of Indian Restaurants. Kalustyan's also specialises in nuts, spices, herbs, sweets, dried fruits, coffee, tea and healthy snacks (see below) all at bargain prices. The fine spices and food is sourced from all over the world from China to the sunny West Indies. Across all product ranges there are over 4,ooo different items to choose from. Little wonder that many of the Greater New York City top chefs regularly use Kalustyan's along with customers from a diverse walk-of-life and professions.

A carryout section at the back has some of the best tabouli (or tabbouleh) in town. Tabouli is a Levantine Arab dish often used as part of a meze. The Arabian translation of 'tabouli' is 'a little spicy.' Its primary ingredients are Bulgar, finely chopped parsley, mint, tomato, scallion, and other herbs with lemon juice, olive oil and various seasonings, generally including black pepper and sometimes cinnamon and allspice. In the Levant it is traditionally eaten with a lettuce leaf but in the United States it is often served with pita bread, as a dip.
An epicurean treasure house awaits your arrival.

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