I can not tell you how excited I was to open up a box of herbs and spices from The Silk Road Spice Merchant! To find a Canadian seller of hard-to-find culinary herbs was so tough to do. In fact I could not do it on my own. I asked for help on Twitter and Facebook but no, it was my friend Michelle (now carrying the title of Google Guru) who found it for me.
Why a Canadian company you ask? When I have bought product from the States I have ended up paying a ton in customs and getting way over-charged for the shipping. Then there is also the issue of conversion and even though we are at above par right now, I am never sure how much I am going to be charged and wanted to work within a budget.
I wanted more than just to find a Canadian seller. I also wanted to go to an online store that was beautiful, had fantastic selection and made me feel like shopping there was a special experience. That someone wasn’t just dumping herbs into a plastic bag at the Bulk Barn. The Silk Road Merchant’s site is unbelievably stunning, well organized with a great search engine, fabulous photography and had just about everything I wanted in one stop.
So what did I get? I bought the Spanish hot smoked paprika, Ancho chilies, lavender, fenugreek leaves, lime leaves and curry leaves. Actually when I was shopping they were currently out of curry leaves so I put in my order and then emailed them, asking them when they would have more? They said they were in the process of drying some and if I did not mind waiting a day, they could add it to my order. Perfect!
I loved their labels for their spice bags so much I cut them off the bags and put them on my spice jars. The company also added some complimentary cinnamon sticks and a small bag of their Bow River Fish Blend to my box of goodies.
I know that $9 for shipping may seem like a lot but not when you can purchase just about everything you could wish for in one place. Believe me, I have tried. Most Canadian stores will sell a few things but few carry such a varied selection and there were so many more things I wanted to buy. Also, keep in mind that every cookbook I have put in the mail for my giveaway has cost me $15 and I am sure this box cost more than that. Getting all of this for under $40 right to my house was one of the best investments I have made in a long, long time.
Many people live in cities or have cars and can go driving to obscure places to find these types of items but not me. I am stuck at home and only for half the year can get out just to my giant grocery store who most definitely will not have lime leaves. The Silk Road Merchant is a family-run business out of Calgary who have a top notch stunning online store that makes me feel like I am in a magical far-away land gathering spices from all over the world from my basement.
This is shopping therapy of the very best kind.