BEST SPICE SHOP - 1999
Oh, what that double-strength vanilla does to a banana-cream pie! Fresh nutmeg for creamed spinach! Fresh cumin for chili! Green cardamom pods for curries! Really, cooking with the spices sold in supermarkets is like taking the Flintstones' foot car out on the autobahn and being surprised at the ensuing crash. Kudos, too, to Asia Imports, for premade curries from India and hard-to-find spice mixes like Ethiopian berberé, and to Amand's Exotic Food Market for their many, many bottled hot sauces. But highest praise must go to Penzeys, for their encyclopedic array of the freshest, highest-quality spices around.