Spice master Lior Lev Sercarz of New York’s La Boîte à Epice shares a spectacular travel hit list for lovers of spice.
Best Spice Market: Levinsky Market, Tel Aviv
One of my favorite places is the Levinsky Market in Tel Aviv. It has a lot of fun things, not only spices but also grains and legumes and dried fruits, which totally makes sense as far as the trade; those things all go well together.
Nostalgic Store: Izrael, Paris
There’s a beautiful store in Paris called Izrael and it’s amazing: a relatively small store with hundreds, maybe thousands of products; of course a lot of spices but also jams, honey, confections, candies from all over the world. It’s like what I think a spice store was maybe 400 or 500 years ago. The owner has a long white beard and this beautiful, great presence.
Expert Venture: Epices Roellinger, France
My mentor Olivier Roellinger has three spice shops in France called Epices Roellinger: one in Cancale, one in Saint-Malo, and a new store in Paris.
Seasonal Trip: Basque Country in September
It’s nice to travel around Basque country during Espelette season. All these beautiful bundles of deep red Espelette chiles that have been harvested are sewn by hand into large bundles then hung out on the windows to dry. That’s definitely a beautiful sight.
Farm Tour: Big Tree Farms, Bali
In Bali, many of the spice plantations are not open to visitors. But the spice company Big Tree Farms just moved to an incredible new facility where they are making chocolate, which is open to the public. The owners do a great job; we have a great friendship.