No more buying expensive containers of spices for a dish you may only make once. No more buying spices that lack flavor.
At the Claremont Spice & Dry Goods store, you can smell the freshness. Honest, they let you open sample containers to smell.
Sometimes I’ll be blown away. I didn’t know that’s what it supposed to smell like.
My favorite part is I can leave the store with lots of packages of spices and fill my cabinet with a traveling adventure for my palate. I hardly ever use Chinese Five Spice powder, but I have it when I make that Asian dish that requires it. And I didn’t have to pay $5, or even $3 for it.
Sometimes though I still don’t know what to try or how to use the plethora of spices in their store (over 200).
The new owners of Claremont Spice & Dry Goods, Chiara Tosi-Nelson and Ben Nelson, are going to solve this dilemma for us. They plan to include a recipe and usage suggestions for all their spices, as they test them in their kitchen at home. Now that’s a passion for your product and dedication to your customers to deliver great service and support to use their product.
For now we get a ‘taste’ of what’s to come in their future endeavors by shareing their favorite spices and top sellers and the secrets on how they cook with them.
What are your favorite spices?
Chiara: I was lucky to be able to live in different countries before moving to NH, so my favorite spices are the ones that remind me of the places I have lived in. Our Asian seasoning and Szechuan peppercorns on noodles are my go-to for when I want to feel like I am back in Beijing.
Pollo Asado seasoning (a mixture of garlic, dried chili and pepper) brings me back to the UK, where it’s the best selling plate of a very popular restaurant chain that provided me with a lot of late night meals. And of course, being Italian, I cannot be without basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme.
Ben: My family has always liked to experiment in the kitchen, so I am always discovering new blends that end up being family favorites. Our current cannot-go-withouts are Pipelchuma seasoning (a savory south American blend that is amazing on chicken and dips and a real people pleaser – even children), and Kimchi spice, for that instant Korean-style boost of flavor.
What are the top sellers in the store?
Saigon Cinnamon is a huge favorite of our customers. Most cinnamon comes from Ceylon or China, but Vietnamese cinnamon has a way more intense flavor that makes it really popular. When we pack it, the whole store smells amazing for hours.
Our coffee is also a top seller. We get 27 different types of whole bean coffee from New Hampshire Coffee Roasters, which is located in Dover, NH. The best seller is Soprano, an Italian style well rounded dark roast. But Death by Chocolate is also… well, to die for. Try cold brewing it, mix with coffee liquor and almond milk, with some of our Mocha Vanilla salt around the rim of the glass. Instant party favorite!
On the savory side, our Truffle Parmesan, Barbecue spice blend and Italian seasoning are year-round bestsellers.
What should people make sure to check out when they visit the store?
Apart from the spices, definitely the Kitchen Drawer, our sister store that carries all kinds of kitchen gadgets and accessories. Plus our selection of North Country Smokehouse meats, and the creations of many Claremont based artisans. From hand-carved cutting boards to reusable beeswax wraps to hand and body lotions, there is definitely something for everyone.
Find them on Tremont Square a few doors down from Revolution Cantina.
Come see what makes this store truly special and why people from all over the Upper Valley and out of state come to shop here.
Photos Courtesy of Claremont Spice & Dry Goods.