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Kalustyan's on Lexington


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Omnivorette's and Orik's exchange on falafel reminded me of the incredible range of spices available to people in the NY metro.

 

recently, I had the occasion to visit Kalustyan's to restock my chile supplies. They must have a hundred different varieties of chile berries, dried powder, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Indonesian, etc. And, easily a thousand other spices. I usually grab one at random, take it home, and work with it.

 

This time I lucked out. Picked up zaa'tar, a Jordanian blend of peppers, thyme, sumac, ginger, etc. It's been a wonderful coating for grilled hamburgers and fish, delivering wonderful pinpricks of flavor to the tongue. I had some last night on a thick, lightly oiled tuna steak.

 

I'm sure other cultures in the area have their custom blends of this product, I may need to sample them, as well.

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Omnivorette's and Orik's exchange on falafel reminded me of the incredible range of spices available to people in the NY metro.   recently, I had the occasion to visit Kalustyan's to restock my chi

I've always pronounced it kal-oo'-stee-yans, but I don't know if that's correct or not.

Otherwise it'd be Single.   But you have to go to Kalustyan for about that many types of cocoa.

Kalustyan is a great shop. The kind of place where I always end up spending ten times as much as I intended...

 

By the way, the herb in Za'atar is not (supposed to be) precisely thyme, but some mixture of wild herbs - Holy Hyssop - this used to be the main ingredient, but due to over harvesting its availability is limited (in Israel it is protected and available only from farming), Wild Thyme and Thyme flavored savory.

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Has anyone visited Kalustyan's restaurant yet? It's about 100 feet south, on the corner.

 

Price looked fine by midtown standards, as I recall, but perhaps a shade high for the area. Brunch for $17 sticks in mind, most entrees in the $25 range.

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  • 7 months later...
The Daily News has a recipe for Kalustyan's Chicken with 1001 Nuts sauce. 1001 Nuts Sauce

In the recipe, it says at the very bottom:

Note to the cook

Turkish peppers: Aleppo pepper is a sweet-spicy red pepper; urfa-biber is darker

and smokey. Use them in place of paprika for a more complex flavor. They're

available at gourmet specialty shops such as Kalustyan's, 123 Lexington Ave.

Isabel Forgang

 

Aleppo pepper (if it originates from Aleppo) is Syrian pepper (and not Turkish),

however if it is being recommended to substitue aleppo pepper with ''urfa-biber''

(hav'nt a clue as to what urfa-biber is), then perhaps this may be the Turkish

alternative to Aleppo pepper ?

 

opinion please ?

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Turkish food shops in London (e.g. Haringey, Dalston, Lewisham off the top of my head) carry urfa biber. I've always thought that 'Aleppo pepper' is just the fancy name (first come across chez Wolfert in my experience) for those Turkish red pepper flakes, usually in big bags, that you get in the same shops and is always just called Biber (Turkish for pepper) or some such. My packet of Aleppo pepper from Penzey's (courtesy of Abby) is the same as the stuff I have from UK shops, though perhaps better quality.

 

I don't see why the term 'Aleppo' means the stuff has to come from Syria. Perhaps that type of pepper just originated from there years ago. It's a bit like saying cayenne peppers have to come from Cayenne or whatever.

 

v

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I've always thought that 'Aleppo pepper' is just the fancy name (first come across chez Wolfert in my experience) for those Turkish red pepper flakes, usually in big bags, that you get in the same shops and is always just called Biber (Turkish for pepper) or some such.

Hello Vanessa, interesting stuff. Googling brought the following results:

 

Aleppo Pepper: Result-1 www.worldspice.com/cart.htm gives its latin name as

Capsicum Annuum, also known as Near East pepper, describing it as: ''Sweet and

sharp chile from the Aleppo region of Syria, with moderate heat that doesn't

overpower it's fruity flavor. Some Indian dishes use only this chile as a seasoning

because the complexity can stand alone.''

 

Result-2: Penzeys (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-

penzeysaleppopepper.htm) describes as: ''This Turkish crushed chili has an

ancho-like flavor with a little more heat and tartness. Put a jar right on the table

and shake on pizza, subs and salads. Aleppo Pepper is great on grilled meats like

chicken breast, steak, chops and our flavorful, easy Turkish Kabobs. Aleppo Pepper

also makes an attractive sprinkle for potato, chicken and tuna salad and deviled

eggs too. Try mixing Aleppo Pepper with our Greek Seasoning for flavourful roast

chicken, tasty pork chops, and robust salads. Aleppo Pepper is also known as

halaby pepper.''

 

Result-3: (This one in my view gives greater in-depth detail's and may explain why

it is referred to as ''Turkish Pepper'' -Reason probably being that it is close to

Syria's border with Turkey and that possibly the closest port of shipment must be

from Turkey, hence the origin has been switched to Turkish (this is my feeling).

Another reason for this may be due to certain ''restrictions'' in-force due to which

perhaps Syrian pepper is being 'dressed'' in Turkish clothes (Imagine buying a

Havan cigar from UK and calling it a Churchillian cigar).

 

http://shop.store.yahoo.com/chefshop/aleppopepper.html

The Aleppo pepper is a dark red, robust pepper grown in the area around Halab in

Northwestern Syria just south the Turkish border – Halab was known as Aleppo

during the Middle ages. With a high oil content this dried and crushed red pepper

has a deliciously deep, aromatic flavor. With a bit more heat than paprika it is truly

a versatile ingredient in the kitchen and at the table. It is delicious in chili, meat

loaf, and sauces, or anywhere paprika is called for. It is great on grilled meats like

chicken breast, steak, and chops. Aleppo Pepper also makes an attractive sprinkle

for potato, chicken and tuna salad and deviled eggs too. In Syria it is used for

many dishes, especially soups, salads, and fish.

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